On Friday, 26 November 2021, Geoffrey visited the Britannia Sailing Trust in Winkleigh to celebrate their recent Heritage Lottery Award and meet the team responsible for restoring the 106-year-old sailing ship, Britannia.
Britannia is the last remaining Class 1 East Coast Smack and has been on the National Register of Historic Vessels since 1997. After being rescued in a state of disrepair, Sam and Vicki Samuels formed the Britannia Sailing Trust in 2014 to save her from destruction. Her restoration is due to be completed in April 2022.
While at the event, Geoffrey spent time talking to volunteers about the restoration work being carried out and was also pleased to become a Friend of Britannia, by donating funds towards the project, which still needs support to achieve its goal of launching her next year. Geoffrey has also been helping the Trust gain access to public funds to enable local young people become apprentices at the Trust and learn rare and valuable shipwright skills.
Geoffrey later reflected:
“I was delighted to attend this event and to have the opportunity to view Britannia and speak to the dedicated volunteers who are working so hard to restore her. The Trust aims to launch Britannia in about 18 months’ time. It would be wonderful if this could be done at Appledore and I hope the local community will get behind the inspiring initiative to rebuild this beautiful wooden ship. I would encourage people to support this project in any way they can.”
If you would like to learn more, information about the Trust can be found at: https://britanniasailingtrust.org/