Torbay Lass is going home
An ancient sailing trawler is to be re-fitted and sailed back to her home port of Brixham where she will join a fleet of similar craft. But enthusiast are trying to raise £50,000 to make her sea-worthy enough for the voyage from her current berth in London’s Tilbury Dock.
Kenya Jacaranda has, since 1951, provided thousands of underprivileged children with sailing experience, is in danger of being lost after 60 years of service as a sail training vessel.
KJ is now in need of extensive maintenance work to combat the ravages of age and the demands of modern safety standards and Tilbury Docks, her berth for the last 25 years, is now unable to provide a long-term future home after September this year. As a result, this historic vessel faces an uncertain future, despite the efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers who maintain and sail her.
Money is the simple solution. A new home has been found for KJ in the form of a plan to return her to her original home port but £50,000 is needed immediately to make her seaworthy for the voyage to Devon and begin the restoration work. Back home she will be converted into a classic Brixham trawler suitable for sail training and cruising. She will return to her original name ‘Torbay Lass’ and skilled craftsmen will restore her to mint condition. The funds required for this major refit will be the subject of a forthcoming Heritage Lottery application which will require equal co-funding but what is needed immediately are the funds required to make this transformation possible.
Roger Stevens, a spokesman from Kenya Jacaranda Heritage Sailing and son of Steve Stevens, who first rescued KJ from the breaker’s yard in 1951, has said: –
‘We are delighted that a secure future can be found for this wonderful old ship but there is one major hurdle to overcome which is to get her ready for a major voyage. We are hoping that the public support that KJ richly deserves will make this possible but will shed a few tears when she glides out of Tilbury Docks for the last time.’
An appeal has now been launched for the funds to prepare KJ for the voyage to Brixham – as ‘Kenya Jacaranda’ before she is restored to her original design and becomes ‘Torbay Lass’ once again.
Donations can be made directly to Kenya Jacaranda Heritage Sailing (KJHS), Co-Op Bank. Account no. 65371884, Sort 08-92-99
Donations can also be made via MyDonate – https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/kenyajacaranda