Shetland fifie Swan beats Spider T to win National Historic Ships flagship award

Fifie Swan - The Swan Trust

Shetland fifie Swan, winner of the national flagship award

Spider T, winter 2010

Humber sloop Spider T came second in a close contest

The Swan Trust deserve our congratulations on the fifie Swan’s victory in being made 2011 flagship by the National Historic Ships.

Humber sloop Spider T came second in a close contest.

The award presented to Swan goes to the owners of the vessel on the National Historic Fleet with the most impressive seasonal programme of public events in the forthcoming year. The winners receive a special pennant to mark her flagship status, and a grant of £1000 to be spent on the vessel’s upkeep.

A fifie herring drifter, Swan (LK243) was launched in May 1900 at Hay and Company’s yard in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles. Having survived two world wars and then falling into disrepair, this vessel has now been restored to her former glory by a team of dedicated volunteers. The judges were particularly impressed with the breadth of Swan’s summer programme which, starting in her home port, will take her to the Orkneys; along the Caledonian Canal; to Waterford to compete in the Tall Ships Race to Glasgow, and then to Norway, engaging throughout with the large number of young people who will form her crews, and inviting visitors on board wherever she goes.

Swan is one of some 200 vessels of pre-eminent national significance which together form the UK’s National Historic Fleet.

Swan Trust chairman Allister Rendell, said: ‘I am delighted that Swan has won… It is particularly appropriate that Swan has been selected, since the Tall Ships will be visiting Shetland this year.’

Runner-up Spider T receives a £250 grant which will also go towards supporting the vessel and promoting the Flagship of the Year scheme.

National Historic Ships director Martyn Heighton commented: ‘With the flagship award now in its third year, the quality of entries has gone from strength to strength. Swan is a worthy winner in a year of fierce competition.’

Humber sloop Spider T’s owner Mal Nicholson is a regular contributor to, usually on the subject  of Spider T herself. For more posts about the Humber sloop, click here.