Photos of Bremerhaven harbour, and its almost lost dry dock

Old dry docks at Bremerhaven

The 1850 dry docks at Bremerhaven, photographed last week

The dry dock photo from Bremerhaven harbour above shows what can happen when these treasures of industrial archaeology fall into utter neglect. No doubt the folks of Appledore will take careful note, and perhaps these photos will also seem relevant to those interested in the future of Faversham Creek.

The shot was taken on a brief trip last week by regular contributor Hans-Christian Riecke of Nordhorn’s Graf Ship Association. (By the way, we’re going to be at Nordhorn’s Canal Festival in a few weeks. If you’re in the area, please stop by to say hello!)

Here’s what Hans has to say:

‘Last week I have been on a short trip to the port of Bremerhaven. It was founded in the 19th century, when the River Weser became so severely silted that the original port of Bremen could not be reached by seagoing vessels.

‘Soon it became a thriving coastal town, with famous shipyards like Vulcan, Lloyd and Tecklenborg. Later it was the centre of German high sea fishing. But changing times claimed their toll and by 1995 nothing was left, the yards were bankrupt, the fishing industry was gone and unemployment was soaring.

‘Now it has been developed somewhat, with the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum (our national maritime museum), the Klimahaus (which is devoted to the subject of the world climate) and the Columbus Centre. It is also a great rallying point for traditional wooden boats and historic ships, as you can see from the photos [below].

‘One shows the last working steam icebreakerWal, and in the background you can see as replica of a German-built replica hansekogge, the famous medieval trading vessel. Another is of a part of the port reserved for traditional boats. On the third you can see the remains of the old drydocks of 1850. It is not only in Appledore that they fall in decay.’

Steam icebreaker Wal and kogge Bremerhaven Kogge at Bremerhaven traditional wooden boats at Bremerhaven

For more on the Graf Ship Association, zompen, tjalks and the rest, click here.

 

 

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The Scottish Coastal Rowing Project’s St Ayles skiff is launched in fine style

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The St Ayles skiff slices the water; Dr Robert Prescott speaking at the launch; David Tod with Alec Jordan; proof that St Ayles skiff designer Iain Oughtred was present. All images used with Chris Perkins’ permission

Last Saturday provided pretty well perfect conditions for the press launch of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project’s first St Ayles skiff, says Chris Perkins.

He has kindly written the following report, sent the photos above and provided the video links below. Many thanks Chris! It’s particularly good to hear that the project seems to be snowballing in various locations around Scotland – and even abroad.

‘Among the notables present at the press launch were Alec Jordan, whose original brainwave kicked the whole thing off and whose superb effort in the workshop over the past two months culminated in Saturday’s event. Scottish Fisheries Museum trustee and chair of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Project David Tod introduced Dr Robert Prescott, chair of the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships and vice president of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, who gave the project launch speech. It was great that Iain Oughtred was also able to attend the launch and try the boat out for himself after the formalities were over.

‘The Forthsailoar weblog author Osbert Lancaster was also present along with naval architect Richard Pierce who has provided some very useful analysis on the prototype’s performance. Boat Building Academy graduate and now professional builder Charlie Hussey also put in an appearance.

‘My snaps suggest around 50 were at the speechifying. Having a goodly sized group including some who were very experienced trying the boat has helped fine-tune the design: the principal tweak will be to spread the thwarts to give more room for the oarsmen.

‘This will also benefit the trim of the boat when coxed by an adult with a fuller figure!

‘Representatives from some of the groups planning to build a St Ayles skiff were there including the Portobello Sailing and Kayaking Club, the North Berwick group and Anstruther RNLI. The ripples from this project keep expanding: apart from the prototype now on the water, the Scottish Fisheries Museum boat is now in build in the viewing gallery at the museum, and Ullapool 1, Portobello 1, and The North Berwick Rowing Club have placed orders. There is strong interest from Achiltibuie (Coigach), Anstruther RNLI, Glasgow Schools Pilot (Galgael), HerdeckePort Seton, Portobello 2, Portsoy Faering Project 1 & 2, Tollcross Centre, Edinburgh and even Germany. The breaking news is that there is now strong interest in in building four boats in the Western Isles, but more likely and interest has been expressed by another Loch Broom group.

‘Alec was tweaking the cutting files yesterday to expand the rooms and will then start cutting the kits already ordered.

‘The boat had at least four different sets of crew so that means not less than 20 took the opportunity to try her out – though I may have missed another group because I couldn’t resist inspecting the museum, very worthwhile for anybody visiting Anstruther. And, of course, I thought it was also getting dangerously close to Alec suggesting I have a turn at the oar!

‘Cheers

‘Chris’

Interested readers may also want to see some snatches of video of the skiff at Chris’s YouTube channel:

Charlie Hussey (mentioned above) also got a good clip of the boat in action that’s worth seeing.

And, finally, for much more on this project at intheboatshed.net, click here!

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Campaign now to save the City of Adelaide

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The clipper City Of Adelaide, later renamed HMS Carrick, and finally SV Carrick.
The hull is visible on a slipway at the Scottish Maritime museum, Irvine, North
Ayrshire, Scotland. From the Wikimedia:the original author is Rosser1954.
Click on the photo for a larger image

City of Adelaide again. Photo courtesy of Paula Palmer of
the National Historic Ships

I imagine many intheboatshed.net readers have been troubled by the condition of the passenger clipper City of Adelaide as she moulders on a hard at Ayr. The following communication from National Historic Ships director Martyn Heighton makes it clear that we now have an opportunity to make our point heard, and to make a difference. Martyn’s email is below – please do what you can to put our message across.

‘Heritage protection Bill – Latest News

Dear Supporter,

You will be aware from our website and newsletters that the government will be considering a new bill in Parliament later this year which is designed to strengthen the protection of the UK’s heritage assets. As things stand, historic vessels are not included in the bill going before Parliament. National Historic Ships has responded formally to these serious omissions, and has published our case on our website. I have also been in correspondence with Margaret Hodge, who until recently was the Minister with responsibility for Culture and have received the letter set out below from her before she left office. A copy of the Ministers letter is attached, which I urge you to read.

Although this letter contains some encouraging statements on the future of historic ships, there is still no proposal to bring these vital heritage assets into the provisions of the Bill. Our earlier response to the Draft Bill raised many valid issues which in the end focus on 3 key matters

1. The Bill does not recognise National Historic Ships, the Advisory Committee which governs it, or the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV). The Bill makes specific reference to the registers run by English Heritage and Cadw. It is crucial that the NRHV, for which National Historic Ships is accountable to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, is recognised in a similar way.
2. Historic Ships are exposed to loss by neglect and demolition, with recent high profile examples such as
City of Adelaide and HMS Stalker. Thankfully the demolition of the City of Adelaide has been slowed down due to the fact that she is one of only 2 ships to enjoy protection as listed buildings. No such protection applies to HMS Stalker and we fear she will soon be nothing more than a memory. Something needs to be done to prevent the tragic loss of more of our significant historic ships. Where vessels in the National Historic Fleet (that is the Core Collection and Designated Vessels) are presented in a static form – either dry or afloat – they should be subject to similar protections as those applied to historic buildings. It is more complicated for those vessels which operate and move from port to port, but the Bill could at least recognise the issue and pave the way for further work.
3. The Small Grants scheme which we run has had positive impact far in excess of the amount of monies disbursed. We need to find ways to expand this scheme, especially for the Registered Vessels. The Draft Bill is concerned primarily with physical protection rather than funding. Nevertheless aspects of funding are referred to in the Bill and this needs to be recognised with regard to ships. Relatively small sums can be made to go a long way.

Robert Prescott, the Chair of National Historic Ships and I are in touch with Barbara Follett, the new Minister for Culture, Media and Tourism, and are asking for an early meeting so that we can set out our concerns and ambitions for historic ships in the UK. We need to know your views on all this, and are keen to hear from you. Please go onto our website – www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk, and click onto the heritage protection bill thumbnail, read our submission in full online, and let us know what you think by email julia.bray@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

We really do want to hear from you
Warm regards
Martyn
Martyn Heighton
Director & Secretary to the Advisory Committee
National Historic Ships

For more on National Historic Ships:

http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/

For more on the City of Adelaide:

http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/index.cfm/event/getVessel/vref/433

http://www.sunderlandmaritimeheritage.org.uk/adelaide.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Carrick

For more on HMS Stalker:

http://www.maritimesteamrestorationtrust.co.uk/projects/index.html

Follow this link for more on clippers at intheboatshed.net.

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