After all the preparation by a few dedicated members the event was suddenly upon us. COMRADE and AMY HOWSON were already moored at Ferriby Sluice, Alan Gardiner brought PHYLLIS over from Barrow Haven on Wednesday 20 July and that evening we held our final meeting to make sure everything was in hand for the weekend. On Friday 22 July we spent the day preparing the ships, putting up signs and finally assembling the marquee kindly lent by our member Ian Murray. SOUTHCLIFFE arrived at approx. 1530 hours, penned through the lock and moored up followed by SPIDER T about half an hour later.
The full line-up of vessels attending in order of viewing from the lock were:
COMRADE (Keel) built 1923 Warren’s Shipyard, New Holland – owned by the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society
AMY HOWSON (Sloop) built 1914 Scarr’s Shipyard, Beverley – owned by the Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society
PHYLLIS (Sloop) built 1907 Warren’s Shipyard, New Holland – owned by Kath Jones and Alan Gardiner – based Barrow Haven
SOUTHCLIFFE (Keel) built 1923 Dunston’s Shipyard, Thorne – owned by Chris Sherburn – based Goole (Waterways Museum)
SPIDER T (Sloop) built 1926 Warren’s Shipyard, New Holland – owned by Mal Nicholson – based Keadby (adjacent lock)
The final task on Friday was to erect the marquee, which proved a little challenging. Unfortunately, after surviving the night, an especially strong gust of wind ripped out the pegs and blew it over the barbed wire topped fence. Some quick re-arrangement meant that AMY HOWSON became the location for the marquee stalls and displays.
Saturday July 23 saw AMY HOWSON’s hold being re-arranged to accommodate the stalls as well as the slide shows and DVD presentations, then a few final adjustments before opening to the public at 10 a.m. The Mayor and Mayoress arrived at 11 a.m. to officially open the event, posing for a couple of photos then taking their time to visit each vessel and board some of them. The weather, unfortunately, was very windy and the skippers decided that the sailing trips would be cancelled – so the only sail set was COMRADE’s mainsail at the quayside – but it remained dry and plenty of visitors boarded the vessels, watched the presentations and kept the sales stalls busy.
With the days work done a group of members made the extremely long journey (across the road) to the Hope & Anchor where a large table had been booked to partake in eating, refreshments and a lot of jovial banter, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Then it was time to retire, most on board the moored keels and sloops, before we began all over again.
Sunday July 24 dawned bright and sunny, preparations were made for the public opening at 10 a.m. (the fine weather attracted some early-birds). The wind got up again causing COMRADE’s trip to be cancelled and then at the last minute dropped to a reasonable level so Alan Gardiner decided to gather his crew and pen through the lock for a public display sailing up and down inside Read’s Island. The BBC cameraman arrived just as PHYLLIS set her sails for some wonderful shots then continued to SPIDER T where he interviewed Rodney Clapson and Peter Warren (of Warren’s Shipyard) on the foredeck. The public response over the weekend was excellent and Sunday’s sunny weather meant there was strong through-flow of visitors all day long.
In conclusion, our 40th Anniversary was a great success, plenty of members came along to see the ships and catch up with old friends, lots of public interest was created judging by the number of visitors, some new members signed up plus sales and donations helped add a little to the funds required to keep the Society afloat.
The winners of a print of the Keel ‘Sceptre’ from a painting by Lesley Everatt are:
Mr A J DALTON of Hessle
Mr & Mrs P HEDLEY of Barton
Thank you to the members who gave their time and input to make this event possible and most of all thank you to the owners of SOUTHCLIFFE (Chris Sherburn), PHYLLIS (Alan Gardiner & Kath Jones) and SPIDER T (Mal Nicholson) without whom this would not have been the largest gathering of Keels and Sloops for many a long year. The question heard most was “will this become an annual event?” …. maybe … just maybe.
Photos by Lesley and Dave Everatt