Flying flag for historic sailing ships
A NEW Holland-built sailing vessel ups anchor for the Arbroath Seafest, tomorrow morning, on the first leg of a month-long ambassadorial voyage.
The Humber super sloop Spider T, built at Warren's shipyard in 1926, will be flying the flag for National Historic Ships, an organisation charged with the preservation of the nation's maritime history.
The vessel, which has previously landed on Cleethorpes beach, was the runner-up in National Historic Ships Flagship of the Year Award this year and received £250 towards promoting the work of the organisation.
Her first and last port of call is Grimsby, and en route she will meet up with the former Humber Paddle Steamer, Wingfield Castle, at the Historic Quay in Hartlepool. During her visit to Grimsby she will be hosted by the Humber Cruising Association.
The vessel, built by Warren's to carry bricks up and down the East Coast and a variety of other cargoes, was restored to sail in 2007 after being rescued from the scrapheap by Mal Nicholson, his wife Val and a team of enthusiasts.
She has been accorded the status of being a member of National Historic Fleet which places her alongside famed vessels like the Mary Rose and Balmoral.
The Spider T, which sailed to Rotterdam in 2009 as a British representative at the World Ports Day festivities, visited Arbroath in 2008 and proved so popular, the authorities there asked for it to return as the town celebrates the 200th anniversary of the building of the Bell Rock lighthouse.
"It is a great accolade both for the Spider T, her crew and supporters," said engineer owner Mr Nicholson.
"It also gives us a chance to thrill people with living history as we visit a variety of ports and resorts during our month-long voyage, making our way as far north to Montrose and then heading back south," said Mr Nicholson.
"Obviously in these hard economic times it is not only the sea conditions we are sailing against for such voyages but the low ebb of the economy, so we are grateful to all sponsors who have contributed in whatever way they can to make the trip possible."
Sponsors include Tesco, DHL (UK) and CFS fuels.