The Great Big Cornish Gig Project

Great Big Cornish Gig Project

A group of wounded war veterans have built a Cornish pilot gig named Valiant in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall’s workshops at Falmouth, and a few days ago set out on an ambitious row to the Scillies.

The project is supported by National Maritime Museum Cornwall and military charities including the Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant scheme and Help For Heroes. It was originally an idea developed by Mike Selwood and Andy Wyke NMMC, and the build was led by boat builder Andrew Nancarrow.

Along the way, the team of veterans have trained in boatbuilding skills, build a gig, learned to row and will compete in the 2016 World Pilot Gig Championships.

The project doesn’t have its own website, but there’s this page at the NMMC website and a few bits and pieces on the NMMC Twitter account – and this Facebook  page, which looks as if it will likely be the best source of information on their progress, though time will tell.

For more posts about Cornish pilot gigs, click here.

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The sinking of HMS Colossus

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HMS Colossus, sunk ship, Scilly Isles, 1797

HMS Colossus

‘The Water gained upon us fast… before day light, I was obliged to Order the People on the Quarter Deck & Poop, the Water being up to the Cills of the Upper Deck, and as the Ship rolled, struck with so much violence against the Quarter Deck, as to break several of the Beams… About 8 o’Clock in the Morning, I had the pleasure to see several Boats coming to our assistance’

So wrote Captain George Murray describing the events leading up to the 1797 sinking of HMS Colossus while anchored off the Scilly Isles. The horrific story is vividly described in an extract from the ship’s log included in an appendix to an impressive archaeological survey, and it makes harrowing reading until rescue comes in sight.

See a pdf file of the survey here; the story of the sinking appears on page 94 onwards.

My thanks to Martin Corrick of the Openboat Yahoogroup for spotting and reporting this astonishing piece of material.

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