The anticipated return of one of the last surviving Brixham sailing trawlers to her home town has been delayed due to bad weather.
It had been hoped to bring the 1923-built vessel back home shortly after receiving crucial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). However, now the weather has taken a turn for the worst it is unclear when the boat will return.
Councillor Mike Morey, the Leader of Torbay Council’s Non Coalition Group, said it is imperative that Torbay Lass is not brought back to port until it is safe to do so.
He said: “We have reached the point when the safety of the boat and crew are paramount and therefore because of likely inclement weather conditions it is necessary to delay its return.”
“However, when it does return and the work on her is completed it will form yet another piece in the jigsaw of Brixham’s proud maritime heritage.”
Councillor Vic Ellery, who represents the council’s Berry Head ward, said although the boat cannot come back immediately it is important that Torbay individuals and businesses get behind the plans to restore her to her former glory.
He said: “It is vital that the community and commerce get behind this project with both financial and public commitment to it.
“The boat must only be moved when all the elements for safe and secure passage have been confirmed.”
The Steering Group that is coordinating the project, 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.
When the time is right, Torbay Lass will be able to return to Brixham under her own power, and there await the final decision about her future.