Residents, business leaders, retailers and politicians from across Torbay are being urged to attend an open day this month to see how then can play a part in saving one of the last surviving Brixham Trawlers.
People will be able to find out how they can get involved in the Save Torbay Lass campaign at Brixham’s Scala Hall, in Market Street, on Thursday, November 28.
Between 9am and 5pm members of the steering group, tasked with trying to bring the back the vessel and restore her for future generations, will be available to answer questions and explain the background to the £1.3 million project.
The campaign is seeking a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant to cover the majority of the cost that will be involved in restoring Torbay Lass, which is currently lying on the River Thames in a very poor condition.
As well as highlighting the major task of restoration, which will be carried out ashore in Oxen Cove over a two to three year period, the event will highlight other aspects of the project, which include:
*Apprenticeships in shipbuilding and repair
*Training courses for young people in marine skills, from engineering to shipwrighting
*Opportunities for volunteers in various roles, including assisting with practical work, acting as guides and carrying out research for a community project
*The creation of a Heritage Trail in the town
*The launch of a Conservation in Action programme, led by volunteers
*Opportunities to learn traditional seamanship on board vessels run by the Trinity Sailing Foundation – Leader, Provident and Golden Vanity, as well as Torbay Lass once restoration is complete
The organisers want to attract as wide a range of people as possible, including individuals, members of community organisations and local business people.
A steering group spokesman said: “This is a community project, and we want the whole of Torbay to be aware of it and have a chance to participate in it.
“Torbay Lass is part of Brixham’s history. Bringing her back and restoring her will be the last, missing, in the maritime heritage effort that began 15 years ago and has seen the Heritage Fleet become a major feature of the harbour area.”
The campaign backing of local MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, Mayor Gordon Oliver and TV personality Jonathan Dimbleby – as well as Brixham Town Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency, South Devon College and others.
Torbay Lass was built in 1923 and fished under sail until 1938. She was used as a sail training vessel for more than 50 years, but has fallen into disrepair and was in danger of being lost until the Save Torbay Lass campaign was started. The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided a grant to fund temporary repairs and the cost of bringing the boat back to Brixham, so that restoration can begin. She is ready to leave the Thames when weather conditions improve.
Notes to editors
About Trinity Sailing Foundation
Trinity Sailing Foundation is a registered charity (No: 1137405) dedicated to supporting the personal development of disadvantaged young people through offshore sail training and to conserve the nationally important historic sailing vessels in its care. Based in Brixham, its fleet of four historic sailing vessels, including Provident, also provide opportunities for traditional sailing holidays around the UK and Europe. Website: www.trinitysailing.org
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. 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 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk
For further information, images and interviews, please contact
Harry Gottschalk, Office & Sales Manager
Trinity Sailing Foundation, The Sail Loft, Pump Street Brixham, Devon, TQ5 8ED
Tel: 01803 883355 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org