Emotional homecoming for Kathleen and May

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


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.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories


The funeral of well-known volunteer Doris Stevens-Munn will be held this week on Thursday, October 8.

Read more

Fire fighters are currently at the scene of a large barn blaze in Combe Martin.

Read more
You can lead a horse to water.... Jessie the horse is pictured in the bar at The Poltimore Inn, North Molton, with landlord Alan Boddington. Picture: Submitted

No long faces as horse walks into North Molton’s Poltimore Inn for breakfast

Read more

Tell us your favourite thing about North Devon by tweeting us using #WeAreNorthDevon.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:36

Police investigate after man found dead at bottom of steep flight of steps onto beach near Ilfracombe.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:31
Captained by OC 22 Sqn Wg Cdr 'Sparky' Dunlop the crew landed safely after their training flight. Today marked the end of operational SAR coverage for the RAF in the UK. Image taken by Corporal Peter Devine,RAF Photographer from SAR Force HQ.

Brand new search and rescue base at St Athan means Chivenor’s 22 Squadron will no longer carry out rescues in North Devon.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:51

North Devon Council will be among those encouraging youngsters to take an interest in politics

Read more
Yesterday, 09:51
Sue Ashmole and Phil Alexander with alpaca and residents at Herons Lea.

Residents of Herons Lea enjoy the attentions of some cute long-necked visitors

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Coroner believes Edward Ireland may have had family in Devon.

Read more
Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fire fighters called out to North Street in Northam last night (Friday).

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 18°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications