Photo: Peter Facey, via Wikimedia Commons
Heritage Lottery Fund officials have announced that a bid to develop Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Boathouse no 4 to include a traditional boat building training centre run by the International Boatbuilding Training College has successfully passed the first stage of its application for funding.
If the bid is successful, Boathouse no 4, which was constructed during the massive 1930s period of re-armament and used for constructing the secret three man midget X-Craft submarine during World War II, will be restored and opened to the public as the Boatbuilding & Heritage Skills Training Centre.
Visitors will be able to watch traditional boat building in action, as well as enjoy exhibitions on the story of small boats in the British Navy.
As well as securing the future of Boathouse 4, the project is expected to help produce the craftsmen needed to preserve iconic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, although graduates will leave the academy with carpentry and engineering skills to enable them to develop careers in the marine and heritage sectors more generally.
The Portsmouth branch of the IBTC will be in addition to the long-established college near Lowestoft in Suffolk.
See the Heritage Lottery Fund announcement.
Head, Heart, Hand – a Boatbuilder’s Story (the link goes to an impressive collection of sample pages) is a beautiful book documenting the work of Thames-side traditional boat building firm Henwood & Dean, with photographs and design by Michael English.
The book is published to celebrate three decades of the Henwood & Dean boatyard – an event that is also marked by local newspaper the Henley Standard.
I’d guess that it would make a nice Christmas present for quite a few folks out there…
By the way, if like me you feel a little awed by the the varnished finishes the Henwood & Dean team achieve, you may be interested to know that Colin Henwood will be leading Boat Building Academy courses on renovation and finishing at Lyme Regis next year on the 18th-22nd February and 18th-22nd November (by coincidence the dates fall on the same dates each month).
Tally Ho – one of the larger Albert Strange-designed boat and winner of the 1927 Fastnet race. She’s currently lying at Port of Brookings, Oregon
If you’d like to sail a magnificent gaff topsail cutter from the early 20th century, and have the resources to restore her, The Albert Strange Association is definitely looking for you.
The organisation is working to save Tally Ho, at 47ft 6in by 12ft 10in by 7ft 6in and rated at 30 tons, one of the larger boats designed by Albert Strange (1855-1917), a leading artist and boat designer, as well as a writer and sailor.
Tally Ho has a great reputation as ocean sailing boat, having won the 1927 Fastnet Race, and has had various names over the years – readers may have come across her under the name Betty, but she has also been called Alciope, Escape to Paradise and Escape.
See Thad Danielson’s article on the newly created Tally Ho pages of the ASA website here.
The ASA is working hard to find a way forward for Tally Ho. Happily, unlike many older yachts, she still has her shape, thanks to having been strongly built. I think she richly deserves a new lease of life – but then I’m an Albert Strange fan…
The photo below shows Tally Ho in her glory days.