Each handwritten scroll is 100ft long and provides details of Sir Alec Rose’s circumnavigation aboard his ketch Lively Lady and his life
Two 100ft handwritten scrolls which provide an insight into Sir Alec Rose and his 1968 circumnavigation around the world in his 36ft ketch Lively Lady have been revealed.
Sir Alec’s family handed the documents to Alan Priddy from Around and Around. The charity is the custodian of the yacht.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth are photographing each section as part of a project to digitalise the scrolls.
The author of the work remains unknown.
‘We don’t know who made this remarkable document but clearly the person interviewed Sir Alec in depth and over a long period of time,’ explained Priddy, who believes the author may have a connection to the Portsmouth News.
‘It is as important a find as finding the wreck of the Mary Rose, although I am biased. This historic piece of workmanship can tell the story of Sir Alec and his voyage far better than his book,’ said Priddy.
The documents also record Sir Alec’s reflections on his first circumnavigation attempt in 1966.
Lively Lady was hit by a fishing boat and was forced to stop in Plymouth.
On the advice of Sir Francis Chichester he aborted the voyage, which he later regretted as Sir Francis went on to become the first person to sail solo around the world with just one stop.
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‘Ultimately Sir Alec believed it wasn’t the right decision as Sir Francis went on and took all of the glory and he was allowed to be forgotten,’ said Priddy.
Sir Alec Rose, who was a Southsea greengrocer, went on to complete his circumnavigation in 1968, arriving back in Portsmouth to a hero’s welcome.
It is hoped the digitalised scrolls can be used to raise money to secure Sir Alec’s legacy.
Ideas such as a stage show and wallpaper for yacht clubs are all being considered.
Priddy, who led the restoration of Lively Lady in 2017-18 and recreated Sir Alec’s voyage with crews of disadvantaged children from Portsmouth in 2006-2008, believes it would take around four hours to read the documents in their entirety.
Lively Lady, which Sir Alec gifted to the people of Portsmouth, is currently berthed at Port Solent.
Anyone with information about the scrolls’ author can contact Around and Around at www.livelylady.org.