A visit to Appledore

1- The Maritime Museum

Over the years I have mentioned the trading ketch, Ceres, which belonged in turn to my great-great-grandfather, my great-grandfather and finally my grandfather. I promised myself that, when I finished the day-job and had more time, I would further explore her history.

Last week, I visited Appledore in North Devon – three reasons:  to visit the small and excellent Maritime Museum , to find Richmond Dry-dock – (in the photograph of Ceres below), and to look at Bideford Bar across the entrance to the Taw/Torridge estuary.

When I arrived, a gale was blowing and there was rain in the air.

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Coming alive

Yesterday I experienced what everyone who has ever owned a boat must feel – that moment when the elaborate and expensive shed you have spent the winter accessing via a wobbly metal ladder reenters the water and comes alive. Continue reading

‘Ethel May’ – a great grand-daughter remembers

The following arrived during the week:

“I was thrilled to find, by chance in your collection, a photo of my Great Grandfather’s boat. The Ethel May was built at Rhyl, North Wales, in 1878 (65 tons) owned by John Kearney of Co. Down.  I am assuming it was a schooner?  My Great Grandfather, Richard Coppack was her captain.  My Aunt was named after the boat, although she always felt it should have been the other way around. 

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Speak up for the horses

You carefully pilot your ship into harbour at the top of the tide. You wait until the tide goes out and there is clear ground around the ship. Then you bring the horse and a cart to offload into. The cargo is heavy – coal, or slag, so you harness two horses in tandem to haul the load across the beach and up to the stores.

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