Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Emotional homecoming for Kathleen and May

PUBLISHED: 09:51 29 August 2014

The Kathleen and May arrives back in Bideford on Staurday afternoon. Pic by Graham Hobbs

The Kathleen and May arrives back in Bideford on Staurday afternoon. Pic by Graham Hobbs

Archant

Full sails and big smiles for return of old friend.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the banks of the River Torridge to welcome the Kathleen and May back to Bideford on Saturday afternoon.

News of the return visit – revealed in last week’s Gazette – drew crowds of people, all keen to see the schooner make the last leg of a two-day voyage from Gloucester, where she has been involved with the filming of a new Johnny Depp film.

Perfect sailing weather meant she was able to do so under full sail.

Marilyn Clarke, wife of late owner Steve Clarke, who died in December, said: “Steve always promised he would bring her home – he couldn’t have wished for a better occasion.

“It was because Steve had the vision and determination to restore her that she remains a recognised national treasure to all the maritime community and the many people who have visited her and supported her.

“We as a family are immensely proud of what has been achieved since the initial restoration and appreciate all the valuable volunteer contributions both in Bideford and Liverpool.

“We are achieving a sustainable future for her and see no reason why she should not continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. Her provenance continues to grow.

“Thank you Bideford for such a warm welcome.”

The iconic British-built three masted top sail schooner – the last of its kind – left Bideford for the Albert Dock in Liverpool in 2011.

Making a happy return to her home port, the magnificent ship was met by two crews of rowers from Appledore Pilot Gig Club, who rowed out to the Fairway Buoy to meet her.

Club press officer Hazel Waters said: “We held our breaths as she headed for the new bridge, it almost seemed like the ship did too.

“She passed under the bridge with what looked like little to spare and then confidently emerged to continue to Bideford Quay, to be met by large cheering crowds, a pipe band, sea shanty singers and the firing of the Bideford cannon.”

Other News Stories

38 minutes ago

A cafe, skate park and performance plaza are among ideas proposed to remodel Pilton Park in Barnstaple if the River Yeo is diverted

Read more

Route 39 Academy has lodged a formal complaint with Ofsted after it placed North Devon’s first free school in special measures.

Read more
37 minutes ago

The Queen’s Theatre will host Bill Kenwright’s Blood Brothers in April 2018

Read more

The man was spotted some distance from rescuers on the cliffside, and had to be winched to safety by the Coastguard helicopter.

Read more

North Devon’s first free school, Route 39 Academy, held an urgent parents’ meeting last night after being rated as inadequate by Ofsted.

Read more

Work on a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A39 in Roundswell, Barnstaple, is set for completion at the end of August.

Read more

North Devon will be hosting the Great Purple Weekend for Over and Above - find out what events are happening near you.

Read more

Join the big beach clean at Saunton Sands, with free parking and a barbecue for all involved.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:51

Pictures from the colourful parade through Bideford to celebrate the first Pride and Diversity Festival in North Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:28

The Voice has opened a brand new studio in Barnstaple - take a look at our timeline of the history of The Voice, and watch the video from the opening event here.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications