A new gallery has been posted HERE featuring pictures of Vanessa Ann in her role as a topsail schooner. Ann pictures are provided by Andrea Grylls and the crew.
The following information is provided by Andrea Grylls
The History of “SANTA BARBARA ANNA”
The quiet checkered life of the vessel “Santa Barbara Anna” begins in 1951. A 100´ diesel-trawler with no. LT254 was built in this year in the Richards Ironworks shipyard in Lowestoft near the east coast of middle England. It was ordered by the Rhondda Fishing Co Ltd, Grimsby, for the purpose of deep-sea fishing in the North Atlantic.
The ship is made out of steel, is riveted and has specifics as follow: 30,4 meter length, 7 meter width, 316 tons displacement and 3, 5 meter draft and contains a 8 cylinder – diesel – motor. The vessel could carry 30 tons fuel in 2 tanks for a trip that was a week long.
The ship was named “Vanessa Ann”.
Typical features of a ship used for open sea work are the high forecastle, the flare of the bow for a soft plunge into water and the midships raised wheel house. Furthermore there were 2 masts for working, for example to control the parts of the fishing gear.
The medium-sized open sea trawler “Vanessa Ann” was transferred from Lowestoft to the harbour of Fleetwood in 1957 and was registered as FD133 under the flag of the United Kingdom.
Later in years “Vanessa Ann”was used by new owners as a supervisory – ship for oil platforms in the offshore area of the North Sea. After the crank shaft of the engine broke, the ship was finally sold.
A British buyer was looking for a ship with an appropriate hull which he could rebuild as a cargo – sailor to carry on a trade in the area of the South Pacific islands. It was recommended to buy one of the arctic trawlers, built in the 1950s, with elegant underwater – lines (which are ideal for sailing) and sturdy riveted steel – hulls. Even so he saw his ideas matched with the vessel “Vanessa Ann”, which he brought and towed to Denmark, where he put in a new Hundested – motor (8 – cylinder in series with 250 HP) and a new controllable pitch propeller.
His intention was to navigate his new ship to London, to do some more rebuilding work but he fell ill and had to sell the vessel in 1984. Marine engineer Reg March and rigger Jack Scott bought the “Vanessa Ann”. An expensive reconstruction took place in the years 1984 to 1985 in Padstow (Cornwall): the high forecastle and the bridge structure of the Vanessa Ann had been removed. The deck house beneath it was rebuilt as a deck lounge and chart room and was sheltered with a sun deck which had its wall down to the ship’s sides. All decks were covered with teak wood.
The accommodation (four bunks in forecastle (currently the rope store), two single cabins in the aft section and, behind it, seven bunks at the “Hotel over the propeller”) of the crew stayed in original condition, for the reason that the schooner only should transport day trip guests.
The former fish room was converted to a big temperature controlled disco and barroom.
Using the foundations of the fishing gear, the ship was rigged up as schooner.
The working masts were replaced by steel masts and an additional mast, made of steel, was placed on deck in front of the deck house. The wooden yard, topmast, booms and gaffs are basically the characteristics of the rig of that three-masted topsail schooner.
The length of that ship was extended to 44,2 meter due to the addition of a jib boom, whereas with the expansion of the prow, to take up the jib boom, the hull length enlarged to 34,1 meter.
The middle mast was 27,7 meters high above water, and the entire surface of the 12 sails were 538 square meters in wind – above all that, the ship “Vanessa Ann” should transport 200 day trip guests.
At the first sailing tours in the year 1985, the “Vanessa Ann” has proved itself to be a good sailing vessel. In June of the very same year, the ship set sail towards Antigua (Lesser Antilles) to make day trip tours from there in the next months. This plan was not welcomed within the locally resident tourism companies – these oppositions were reasons to sell the ship.
The “Vanessa Ann” was stationed on Barbados (Lesser Antilles) by her new owners Charles W. Clowes and David Cox in 1986. The ship was the best ship in the whole area, but still could not put across their range with day trip tours without help of her owners in England. Therefore she had been brought home in 1990. In St. Thomas on the US Virgin Islands was she made ready for the passage to England. After a long journey, “Vanessa Ann” reached Plymouth on the 3rd of July in 1990. The vessel was in bad condition – the new canvas were not suitable for sailing anymore, the Hundested – motor was unreliable and the interior furnishing was totally worn out.
The current owner Joe Kelly (Joseph Maria Kelly) bought the neglected vessel in the year 1993. The ship was renovated with considerable effort and costs and partly adjusted to the needs of her new owner, who lived with an extended family. The accommodation was upgraded with teak wood and the bunks extended to 11 at the aft crew’s quarters, nine at bow crew’s quarters and three in the skipper cabin. As part of the renovation, the decks were renewed with new wood cover.
“Vanessa Ann” was used as private ship for sailing, relaxing and advertising purposes and spend a lot of time in Dublin and Cork, Ireland – based on the fact that the “Kelly Family” has its musically origin in the Irish folk music. The ship was registered in her home port of Lowestoft and sailed under the British flag.
After the death of their mother Barbara Anna, the family changed the name of the ship “Vanessa Ann” – she was named “Santa Barbara Anna” in memory of their beloved mother.
The vessel “Santa Barbara Anna” did sailing tours into the Irish Sea, to France, the Netherlands and into the Baltic Sea.
The year 1995 was the first time the ship touched at the harbour of Rostock, Germany and the contact to supporters and teenagers began and expanded.
Due to the fact, that the Kelly Family was very busy and did not have much time to spend on the “Santa Barbara Anna”, the idea occurred to cede the ship for use to teenagers and adolescents of Rostock, who were interested in the sailing sports.
Unfortunately, the city of Rostock had to reject the offer in the middle of the year 2000 for reasons of finance.
Since then the usage and maintenance has been ensued by a charitable and volunteering association which has contact with socially endangered teenagers and is willing to help them.
All the work that on board is done by members of the crew. The crew consists mostly of former seamen, navigators, teenagers and people who are willing to care for a great ship and are interested in sailing – the knowledge is passed on by the older generation and the former seamen to the younger and more inexperienced people (although they are quiet a few experienced young seamen).
Within the annual maintenance work in 2005, the crew made a wooden keel and mounted it to the ships body. Approximately 4000 kilo oak wood has been used to build the keel which gave the ship enormous stability at sailing to the wind.
In the winter of 2006 the work was carried on to the brass scuttles which were cleaned of old paintwork and polished to a brilliant shine.
Since the first of July 2006, the “Santa Barbara Anna” has been sailing under 14 sails and an additional square foresail with 110 square meters which enlarges the entire surface to 667 square meters.
The square foresail was sponsored by one of the volunteering captains, a retired pilot.
The summer berth of the “Santa Barbara Anna” is Pier no. 83 at the harbour of Rostock City.
In wintertime, she is located downstream of the “Warnow” next to the fishing harbor of Rostock.
The first event was an event of historic footage of Fleetwood Town from years past put together by the North West Film Archive. Footage included a number of historic Royal visits to Fleetwood, including the Duke of Kent’s arrival in the 1920s, and newly-crowned King George VI’s tour of Lancashire in 1938, with Queen Elizabeth, better known to most of us by her later title of the Queen Mother. Also there was footage of the Spit Head Review in the Coronation year, in 1953. Where two Fleetwood trawlers the Red Hackle and the Princess Royal attended.
The evening was a great success with well over 400 local people attending, and im sure they all enjoyed the night as much as I did. I would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers involved in the organising of this event.
As Fleetwood turns 175 the town has planned many great events throughout the year. The List of Events can be seen below.
A sad day for the town of Fleetwood as it loses it’s ferry service to Ireland. Click here to watch the video.
1973 – 2010
The video was created by Conwy Castle. Their channel can be found here,http://www.youtube.com/user/ConwyCastle2
CRISIS talks have begun after it was revealed Fleetwood’s ferry service to Northern Ireland is being axed, throwing 141 people out of work and raising questions about the future operation of the port.
Ferry company Stena say they cannot make the Fleetwood to Larne route pay and it will finish at the end of the year.
And talks between dock owners Associated Ports (APB), Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw and leader of Wyre Council Coun Peter Gibson are set to tak place today.
Workers have been left stunned by the shock news just before Christmas.
Of those losing their jobs around 50 are from the Fleetwood and Blackpool area. Others are seafarers who come from various parts of the UK.
Docker Phil Cook of Mersey Road, Fleetwood, said: “Rumours have been flying around for ages.
“We got phone messages to come down here to get some important news: that’s how they told us.
“I have worked here six years but as for getting another job, there is nothing round here.”
Richard Edge of Oxford Road, added: “It’s abvolsutely terrible.”
Colin Burman, of Hatfield Avenue, Fleetwood, said: “I used to be a heavy goods driver. I packed that in three years ago to do this and now I’m going to lose my job just before Christmas. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
ABP described the news as “disappointing”, but said they were still in talks with Stena.
A spokesman added: “We are confident the port of Fleetwood will continue to offer a viable facility servicing the Irish Sea roll-on roll-off market.”
Stena said the Fleetwood to Larne route had been suffering “serious losses.”
A spokesman said: “Even operating with older vessels with low capital costs it has been impossible to bring the service to profit and there is no prospect of improvement in this situation in the future.
“Investment in newer tonnage is regrettably not an option as the higher capital costs combined with the operational constraints of a shallow port in Fleetwood would make the losses even worse.”
Consultations are due to take place with staff but the spokesman added: “With no possible way of changing the fortunes of the route we have to take action to stem the losses which have become impossible to support; no business can continue to carry such losses.”
At the same time Stena announced it has acquired Liverpool to Belfast and Heysham to Belfast routes from ferry operators DFDS.
Mr Ollerenshaw said he had contacted Stena to express his anger at the decision which had come without prior warning.
As well as talks with ABP and Wyre Council, he would be meeting ports minister Mike Penning MP.
He said: “We have to look at every way we can to try to find a way through this.
“It’s going to be very difficult to reverse a commercial decision but there are other things to look at such as the employees.
“The service carried 120,000 units a year: that’s trucks and cars. A lot of these people parked up and spent money in Fleetwood so there is that knock-on effect for the cafe businesses and all the rest of it.”
Click to enlarge image
Fleetwood Development Trust have made a rival bid for a replacement for the burned out pier. The new building will be a Maritime Heritage Centre and will be for the benefit of tourists and local folk alike.
You may have seen the article in the local newspaper concerning the Maritime Heritage Centre that has been proposed for the site that the pier once stood on.
The Trust needs dedicated volunteers to take charge and drive this project forward and provide Fleetwood with a resource that will benefit the town as a whole.
As you will know, Joey Blower (who holds the lease on the site) has proposed building a hotel complex, a proposal that has been rejected by the town on more than one occasion. The Maritime Heritage Centre will be more in keeping with the current surrounding architecture and will celebrate Fleetwood’s nautical past as well as containing modern, forward looking projects.
We need to plan, negotiate and to secure finance to push this vital project forward so that the town’s links to the sea will not be forgotten.
If you are willing to help in any way, please contact Peter Brady at email@example.com (01253 872219)or Jim Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org (01772 452326) for further information.
The mainstay of a series of attractions will include the following.
- A rolling maritime heritage exhibition.
- A planetarium/cinema.
- A debating chamber for the newly formed Town Council (this will also be available to local interest groups for meetings and displays).
- A cafeteria/coffee shop.
- A viewing platform to allow visitors to make full use of the panoramic vista of Morecambe Bay.
- Local schools will have the opportunity to participate in projects such as The Jason Project.
And much more.
Several large corporations have expressed interest in supporting the project and an artist’s impression shows the projected building.
More to follow.
Date and Venue
Saturday 12th December 2009 – Fleetwood Museum
The museum is open from 11:00 – 16:00 with free admission.
The museum will be open from 11-4pm and entrance for all will be free. The purpose is to allow anyone wishing to remember the Red Falcon and her crew or any other boat or crew member, the chance to do so in an area linked with Fleetwood’s Maritime Heritage. The museum has many memorial plaques including one for the Red Falcon and her crew as well as model boats and various artefacts.
The Mayor will lay a wreath on the Fisherman’s memorial on the prom at 2pm and there will be a short service by the Fisherman’s Mission representative.
More information coming soon.
Fleetwood lad Steve Welsh has signed upto the tower to tower cycle challenge, cycling with Adam at Breakfast and the rest of the Rock FM team, 450 miles from the Eiffel tower to Blackpool tower. The challenge starts on 23rd August 09 when they set off from Paris and will take 6 days to complete before they all arrive in Blackpool on Friday 28th August.
Steve runs a small family fishing business that exports fresh shellfish & langoustines to the continent direct from his fathers trawler, the Colinne, which is one of only two remaining large trawlers to operate in the port.
Steve is pictured aboard his Fathers trawler and hoping not to complete the challenge on the bike that he is pictured on, he asks that if anyone out there is kind enough to donate the use of a road bike for a week to complete the challenge, then that will save him having to complete it on the docks communal shopper. Although the staff have pledged to not only double, but triple their donations if he does complete it on the shopper, which may be an option if he doesn’t manage to raise enough sponsorship.
Steve will be completing this gruelling challenge to raise much needed funds for ‘Cash for Kids’ which is Rock FM’s charity that raises cash to improve the quality of life for disabled and disadvantaged children and young people in Lancashire.
Steve would like to ask all local businesses and residents to get behind him and support him. If anyone would kindly like to make a donation to help Steve in reaching his target for Cash for Kids, you can log onto www.justgiving.co.uk/steve-welsh and make donations by credit/debit card and also leave a message of support. Alternatively, donations can be taken in to his Mums shop, Bridal Cottage, which is situated on North Albert Street, Fleetwood.
Good Evening everyone.
We could not have asked for nicer weather today for Lifeboat Day. The sun was shining all day with not a cloud in the sky.
The RNLI put on a great day and was rewarded with a great turnout by the community. From early doors till the stalls was put away the promenade was busy with people having a great day.
As you know we setup a stall for people to come and see us and i have to say it was a delight. We had a great response from everyone who spoke to us. Many memories was shared about the industry from wifes talking about husbands, children talking about fathers and even ex trawlermen talking about there times at sea.
I would like to thank everyone who donated to the RNLI collection box on the stall it was greatly recieved on behalf of the Lifeboat. Also for anyone who purchased a photograph or book, aswell as everyone who stopped by the stall and just looked around. We hope you found the stall interesting.
Last but not least, thanks to Jim, Peter and my father for there help today.
Photos of the day can be found by clicking here.