Classic Sailing announces a special Tall Ships Race offer for 16-25-year olds

Tall Ships racing with Classic Sailing

Phwoarrr! If you’re 16-25 and can find the reduced price of €1495 from somewhere, this might just be an irresistable opportunity:

Participants will sail in two legs of the Tall Ships Race on the Europa, starting from Lerwick in the Shetlands on the 22nd July, then across the North Sea to Stavanger in Norway, and then to Halmstadt in Sweden.

My thanks to Mike Goodwin for pointing this out!

Developers threaten Appledore’s grade II* listed dry dock of 1856

Lundy ferry Oldenburg in Appledore dry dock 1993

Lundy ferry Oldenburg in dry dock at Appledore in 1993

Appledore's Grade II listed Richmond Dock as it is today

The dry dock as it is today

The good folks of Appledore in North Devon have got in touch to alert readers about another cause that’s well worth protecting – the fishing village’s grade II* listed dry dock completed in 1856.

In terms of importance, that grade II* listing puts it on a par with Jacobean mansions and medieval manor houses.

It seems Faversham’s Standard Quay (see the top left) is certainly not the only important maritime site at risk in this country.

The Appledore dock was built for an extraordinary-sounding business first established during the Napoleonic era by local businessman James Yeo. After Napoleon Bonaparte blocked supplies of shipbuilding timber from the Baltic, Yeo had the idea of part-building ships in Canada. They were completed to a seaworthy stage, packed with a cargo of timber, and towed across the Atlantic to Appledore for completion.

It sounds strange now, but it was obviously successful as it continued long after the Napoleons rule in Europe was over.

An organisation known as Celebrating Appledore’s Shipping Heritage (CASH) was set up in 2003 to fight inappropriate housing development on the historic site, which is known as Richmond Dock.

The situation now is that a local developer has appealed the latest refusal of planning ppermission and there is to be a public inquiry. The timescale for submitting alternative plans is mid-May so the clock is ticking is ticking for CASH, which is putting together a fully-costed business plan to place a maritime heritage centre on the site of the dry dock.

This would include the reinstating the dock for boat maintenance and repair and providing boat storage on-site, but also a museum, educational and gallery facilities, rentable office and workshop units, a retail area and a cafe.

As part of its campaign, CASH is seeking expressions of interest from prospective users of the site who may wish to use the dry dock, visit the centre, or work with the trust perhaps by providing help and advice on how to set up a successful heritage centre – and, of course, sources of funds.

Foghorns on the BBC

Foghorns on the BBC

This is a typically quirky and entertaining BBC Radio 4 piece celebrating the foghorn’s place in music, literature and film, and in sailing. If you can, hear it here: (If you’re outside the UK you’ll probably need to find a proxy or some other technical fix to hear it.)

Here’s what Auntie Beeb’s blurb says:

‘The foghorn was invented in 1855 by Robert Foulis, a Scotsman living in Canada who heard the low notes (but not the high notes) of his daughter’s piano playing whilst walking far from the family’s fog-shrouded coastal cottage, thus inspiring the first steam powered fog horn. But beyond the sea, it’s “whale-like” sound has inspired artists, writers and musicians to use the foghorn both as symbol and instrument.

‘[Programme maker]Peter Curran hears from foghorn composer of Maritime Rites Alvin Curran, Jason Gorski, aka The Fogmaster, who used to conduct guerrilla foghorn concerts in the Bay Area of California, and takes a tour of Portland Bill lighthouse in Dorset, with keeper Larry Walker, taking the opportunity to set off an almighty Victorian foghorn. He also joins James Bond film music and future 2012 Olympic theme music composer David Arnold, who tries to digitally recreate the foghorn’s cry, and Dr Harry Witchel, who analyses Peter’s yearn for the sound as a child.’

Stand by for the usual BBC mix of inspiration and nonsense!

PS – If you can’t hear the programme itself, you might enjoy the following – though I think they’re best enjoyed with a pair of headphones rather than the tiny speakers you get with many computers: