Eye of the Wind film and 1970s reminiscence event at Faversham

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The Faversham Creek Trust folks are organising an evening of reminiscences about the Creek based around the restoration of the famous world-circling tall ship Eye of the Wind at Faversham in the 1970s.

The event is to take place at the Fleur de Lys hall in the town on the 21st February at 7pm (doors open at 6.30). Tickets are rather restricted as the organisers want to find room for people with memories and stories to share, but entrance is free. If you’d like to attend, contact the trust.

(Read about the Eye here and here.)

The trust folks will show film provided by Tiger Timbs, who was involved in the restoration and later became her master.

The film shows a lot of the work that was done in the Creek and also the history of the ship herself, and this will hopefully trigger lots of memories of that time from locals and others who were involved – not only about what was happening on the Eye herself, but also around the Creek generally.

There will also be a short talk from the skipper of the Leila – a spectacular Victorian gentleman’s racing yacht based in Suffolk, which is run to benefit the same kind of community that the Creek Trust is hoping to involve in the maritime revival of Faversham Creek.

The Leila Trust has already offered a subsidised berth to an unemployed young (or not so young) person from Faversham, and we are hoping that we will be able to have some youngsters in the audience too let them see a bit of the history and maybe inspire them to get involved.

PS… I’m planning to be at the event and have been honoured to be asked to play some tunes and maybe chip in with a song if there’s time. No doubt I’ll think of a few appropriate items…

Win a berth on board Leila in the Tall Ships Race this summer

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A free berth for a youngster aged 15-25 years aboard the Victorian racing cutter Leila is up for grabs in this year’s Tall Ships Race, which takes place in the Baltic this summer.

The Leila Sailing Trust has been helped in getting Leila through her last stages of MCA coding by the National Lottery, which has provided nearly £15k in support.

Built in Greenwich in 1892, Leila is the fifth oldest yacht in the UK, and the last time she raced, she won the Round Britain in 1904.

The draw for a free berth on the July race from Denmark to Finland will close on May 1st.

The Suffolk-based trust is just completing a £176,000 five-year restoration. In March, Awards for All, part of the Big Lottery, granted almost £10k for the safety gear needed for her Category 2 MCA safety coding.

The Heritage Lottery fund who contributed nearly £50k four years ago, have also given another £5k to help with fit out and sails.

Leila will move from Southwold to Lowestoft after Easter, and will then get ready for her first weekend charter on May bank holiday. She plans to visit London, Ipswich and The Suffolk Yacht Harbour Classics before going to the Baltic for the Tall Ships in July.

The Leila Sailing Trust appeals for a little more financial help

The magnificent restored Victorian gentleman’s sailing yacht Leila has her new transom and new stanchions required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s requirements for guard rails. The windlass has been fitted, and down below the ballast is secured with a wooden lattice. The electrics are all in conduit and waterproof boxes, a bilge alarm has been fitted and Perkins the engine runs sweetly.

It all sounds good – but the Leila Sailing Trust is running low on cash and desperately needs £2000 to finish their work so that they can move her at the end of the month to Lowestoft, where she will have a new berth close to the International Boatbuilding Training College – which I gather is likely to be providing advice.

Leila’s currently being worked on in Southwold Harbour.

The Leila Sailing Trust is therefore putting out an impassioned appeal: after all their work, can anyone chip in to help them get over the next few weeks, and take the next beg step towards getting this wonderful old lady back to sea? Contact them via the website.