News in September 2013

Restoration of Torbay Lass takes a dramatic step forward Posted on

One of the last surviving Brixham sailing trawlers is to make a dramatic and emotional return to her home town.

Fears that 1923-built Torbay Lass might never head out to sea again have been allayed thanks to the efforts of a Torbay-based campaign group and crucial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The group, headed by the Trinity Sailing Foundation, is seeking a £900,000 grant to restore and preserve the vessel.
The first stage of the application to HLF has now been approved, providing funds with which to carry out temporary repairs to the ailing vessel and draft the detailed application for the major grant. That means Torbay Lass will be able to return to Brixham harbour under her own power, and there await the final decision about her future.

Brixham shipwright John Cuthbertson and local trawler skipper Toni Knights, who have both skippered Trinity’s other traditional sailing trawlers, will head the crew on the voyage back from the River Thames, where Torbay Lass is currently lying. As a precaution, Torbay Lass will be shadowed by an escort vessel as she needs to undergo a complete restoration.

Struan Coupar, Chairman of the Trinity Sailing Foundation, said he is delighted that boat will be heading back to Torbay. “Everyone at Trinity is obviously thrilled, as we hope everyone else in the local community will be. The fact that she is the last Brixham trawler, that needs restoration, especially with the name Torbay Lass, makes it all the more exciting. It has been a real group effort from an ever-growing and supportive steering group, composed of a number of organisations and individuals from across Torbay.”

Had the initial bid been turned down, the boat’s future looked bleak. Her current owners do not have the funds to maintain or restore her, and the owners of Tilbury Docks, where she has been kept, wanted her out earlier this year.
Torbay Lass was given a stay of execution until the Lottery bid result was revealed after Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston and Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver intervened with letters of support.

The second, more detailed, application needs to be submitted in February to fund the main restoration work. A final decision on her fate will be announced next June.

Torbay’s mayor has now joined the steering group and will sit on the committee tasked with raising £371,000 in match funding that will be required to supplement the HLF main grant, if that is approved. The total cost of the project to save the vessel is estimated at £1.27 million.

The Trinity Sailing Foundation already owns and runs three of the surviving Brixham trawlersLeader, Provident and Golden Vanity. It is a registered charity dedicated to the preservation of historic local vessels and providing sail training for young people and sailing opportunities for members of the general public with an interest in traditional craft.

Among those also supporting the project are Brixham Town Council the Chamber of Commerce, Torbay Development Agency, South Devon College, Tor Bay Harbour Authority, as well as prominent local people including former Pilot Captain Bob Curtis, shipwright Bob Cann and enthusiast Bill Wakeham. The campaign is now seeking practical and financial support from the Torbay community.

Mr Coupar said: “Now the real hard work starts as we need to start raising the additional money that will be required, and for that we need businesses, other organisations, and individual members of the community to get behind us and help.

“We hope to see a big turnout to welcome Torbay Lass when she comes back.”

Torbay Lass is one of 200 vessels that form the nation’s National Historic Fleet, vessels that include HMS Victory, Cutty Sark and SS Great Britain. Six of the vessels in the Fleet are former Brixham sailing trawlers, a testimony to their reputation as an iconic class of working vessel in the days of sail.

Five of the six have already been brought back to Torbay and restored. The aim is to complete the locally-built heritage fleet based in Brixham by restoring Torbay Lass in the harbour area, with the work open to the public. The work will take two years to complete.

Sailing trawlers were first developed by the fishermen of Tor Bay and became the model for deep sea trawling in Europe during the 19th century. At one time more than 3,000 were in commission, based in ports like Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft as well as Brixham and Plymouth. They vastly increased the catches made by previous methods, and linked up with the developing railway network to bring fresh fish to all parts of the country.

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West England said: “This is a historic vessel that is much loved by the local community. We look forward to receiving in due course the detailed plans for her restoration and hope to see the Heritage Fleet in Brixham working in partnership for the benefit of them all.”

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Notes to editors

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

The project has been awarded a First-Round Pass in the form of a development grant of £39,700. A First-Round Pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 35,000 projects with more than £5.5bn across the UK. Click here for more info.

 

Brixham sailing trawler 'Torbay Lass'

Trinity skipper unveils 2014 calendar artwork Posted on

Trinity skipper, and Brixham-based artist, Toni Knights has spent some time this season capturing some colourful scenes in his trusty sketchbook. He is currently putting some of his favourite pictures together for a 2014 calendar.

Copies of the calendar will soon be available to buy. Here are a couple of images showing you what to expect when it is released in a few weeks’ time.

Toni Knights - Provident Toni Knights - Red Ensign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please see our Facebook page to see a small selection of other paintings he is likely to include.

If you would like to see some colourful scenes, from the likes of Paimpol festival and some of our vessels, on your wall you can pre-order yours from today.

To order a copy, please email Toni directly using toni.p.knights@gmail.com

One week down, only five days to go… Posted on

Voting to support ‘Charting a New Course’, a local youth development project is well under way, so if you haven’t grabbed a copy of the Herald Express and voted….you only have a few days left!

Please note all votes have to be in by the 16th September

Please cut out the coupon in the current Herald Express (see what it looks like below) and the coupon in the new copy out tomorrow and please cast your vote – you can make the difference!

 Herald Express voucher

Learning session for primary & secondary schools Posted on

AFLOAT: DESIGN CHALLENGE – learning sessions for Key Stage 2 & 3 schoolchildren

Trinity Sailing Foundation, in association with Torre Abbey’s new LearningLab, is providing a series of exciting learning sessions during October.

Launched as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Provident Project’, schoolchildren will get involved in learning about boat design and development and will get the chance to create their own boat as part of a design challenge.

Call Trinity to book your school in today!

 

AFLOAT.SchoolsKS2.Final
AFLOAT - Learning sessions 2

AFLOAT exhibition starts 8th September Posted on

Don’t forget to visit the AFLOAT art exhibition in the Spanish Barn at Torre Abbey (Torquay) during September and October.

The last preparations are being put in place for the launch on 8th September and the exhibition also features the stunning ‘Collective Spirit’ (see photo). It promises to be a really spectacular exhibition with a range of 3D work, oils and watercolours by some of the regions best artists and makers.

Make sure you get along to this open exhibition where all the artwork is for sale (with part of the proceeds going to Trinity). We hope to see you there.

 

AFLOAT Art Exhibition

Collective Spirit

Get voting to support local young people Posted on

From tomorrow, the public will have the chance to support a new initiative which will support young people from the local community through offshore sail training on Trinity’s traditional vessels.

Please make your vote count – buy a copy of the Herald Express on Thursday 5th September and 12th September and using the coupons provided PLEASE VOTE for this important project.

Charting a New Course - Poster

Update on project to save Torbay Lass Posted on

Campaigners hoping to save one of the last surviving Brixham sailing trawlers from the breaker’s yard are about to hear if the vessel might be saved.

A Torbay community steering group, headed by the Trinity Sailing Foundation, handed in a £900,000 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, in May, to try and secure the future of the 1923-built Torbay Lass.

If the first stage of the bid gets the green light, a second, more detailed, application will be submitted in February with a final decision to be announced next June.

The initial decision, now only two weeks away, is crucial as the project will have to be dropped if the idea is rejected.

Torbay’s Mayor, Gordon Oliver, and local MP Dr Sarah Wollaston have supported the project from the outset, and the Mayor has now joined the Steering Group and will sit on the committee tasked with raising £371,000 in match funding required if the Lottery grant is obtained.

Also helping with that task will be Steve Parrock, Chief Executive of the Torbay Development Agency, and his colleague Suzie Masterman, together with Struan Coupar and Toby Russell from the Trinity Foundation.

Torbay’s Mayor Gordon Oliver said: “Torbay is steeped in maritime history and it is right that we look at how, as a community, we can help save this Brixham sailing trawler, which forms part of the national historic fleet, from the breaker’s yard.

“This boat is local living history and has a story to tell our residents and visitors of all ages. It would be a huge disappointment if this vessel was not able to be saved and restored to its former glory.”

The Steering Group met last Friday and made plans to bring the vessel back to Brixham as soon as possible if the first stage of the plan is approved.

Meanwhile, Torbay Lass remains at Tilbury Docks on the River Thames, where she had been threatened with eviction at the end of April until Gordon Oliver and Devon-based MP Sarah Wollaston stepped in to urge for extra time. She has now been given until the end of this month.

Her current owners say they have no money with which to find her a berth elsewhere. The total cost of the project to save the vessel is estimated at £1.27 million.

The Trinity Sailing Foundation already owns and runs three of the surviving Brixham trawlers – Leader, Provident and Golden Vanity. It is a registered charity dedicated to the preservation of historic local vessels and providing sail training for young people and sailing opportunities for members of the general public with an interest in traditional craft.

Among those also supporting the project are Brixham Town Council the Chamber of Commerce, South Devon College, Tor Bay Harbour Authority, as well as prominent local people including former Pilot Captain Bob Curtis, shipwright Bob Cann and enthusiast Bill Wakeham.

The campaign is seeking practical and financial support from the Torbay community.

Mr Coupar said: “If we are successful we need to start raising the additional money that will be required, and for that we need businesses and other organisations to get behind us and help.”

If the initial Heritage Lottery Fund application is successful Torbay Lass would then be moved to Brixham under her own power, with an escort vessel in case she gets in to difficulties.

Torbay Lass is one of 200 vessels that form the nation’s National Historic Fleet, vessels that include HMS Victor, Cutty Sark and SS Great Britain. Six of the vessels in the Fleet are former Brixham sailing trawlers, a testimony to their reputation as an iconic class of working vessel in the days of sail.

Five of the six have already been brought back to Torbay and restored. The aim is to complete the locally-built heritage fleet based in Brixham by restoring Torbay Lass in the harbour area, with the work open to the public. The work will take two years to complete.

A survey of Torbay Lass, carried out at Greenwich, revealed the extensive nature of the restoration work required to save her. However, the surveyor has said she can make the trip under her own power provided precautions are taken.

Sailing trawlers were first developed by the fishermen of Tor Bay and became the model for deep sea trawling in Europe during the 19th century. At one time more than 3,000 were in commission, based in ports like Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft as well as Brixham and Plymouth. They vastly increased the catches made by previous methods, and linked up with the developing railway network to bring fresh fish to all parts of the country.

For further information call Harry Gottschalk, at the Trinity Sailing Foundation, on 01803 88 33 55 or email team@trinitysailing.org

Torbay Lass sailing