Three masted Cardiff Bay schooner Kathleen & May at Brest last year. Photo by Pymouss
The fabulous Kathleen & May, our last surviving timber-built three-masted topsail schooner described by the National Historic Ships as ‘an outstanding vessel of national significance’ and part of the National Historic Fleet, is in grave danger of being sold abroad.
The Arts Council is expected to grant approval for her to be sold abroad and the South West Maritime History Society has got up a petition to try prevent such a disastrous move – sign it here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45755
The vessel is well known to the British public as it starred in the famous [BBC television drama series] The Onedin Line and took part in the Queen’s Jubilee Parade last summer.
The SWMHS is calling on David Cameron to protect listed ships in the same way as listed buildings, as is done in other countries. It has a point – the important elements of our culture are not limited to its biggest icons, such as the Cutty Sark, which has received enormous attention and spending.
It also wants the National Lottery to establishing a substantial ‘attendance and interpretation’ fund to enable many more of these wonderful ships to attend the festivals, help keep them well maintained, provide sailing opportunities for young people, help stimulate local economies including by attracting visitors from abroad, and generally showing the flag for Britain at festivals abroad. It seems a reasonable request in the light of calculations that nothing else the Lottery does offers such a low cost per view.