New guide to historic ship preservation

It’s a mid-summer’s day on the pier. About 800 people – many wearing boaters, their womenfolk under parasols – are swarming along its length, some alighting from steam paddle tugs, others being sailed into harbour aboard Yorkshire cobles being utilised for day-trippers. Many of the men in the foreground of this image are wearing flat-caps and seaman’s jerseys.

It is a wonderful scene of work and play which was about to change forever. The photograph was taken at Bridlington Harbour in 1913. A year later fifty percent of the menfolk would have been in the trenches of Flanders.

This is the frontispiece of a beautiful new book, Conserving Historic Vessels, Volume III, published by National Historical Ships. It covers how and why and which ships are chosen for preservation and defines the difference between replication, reconstruction and restoration.

There are superb photographs of all kinds of vessel from the Thames sailing barge Cambria, Britain’s last sailing, trading vessel, a reconstruction to YM contributor Tom Cunliffe’s former pilot cutter Westernman, a representation.

The book costs £30 and is available from National Historic Ships in Greenwich, see