Photos: Irene sails into Bideford

The Irene made an unscheduled stop in Bideford on Saturday evening. Pic: Brian Saunders.

The Irene made an unscheduled stop in Bideford on Saturday evening. Pic: Brian Saunders. - Credit: Archant

The sailing ketch made an unscheduled stop at Bideford Quay on Saturday evening.

The Irene made an unscheduled stop in Bideford on Saturday evening. Pic: Brian Saunders.

The Irene made an unscheduled stop in Bideford on Saturday evening. Pic: Brian Saunders. - Credit: Archant

A SAILING ketch made an unscheduled visit to Bideford on Saturday evening to have some routine maintenance work carried out.

Sacha Hall, from Bideford, was skipper on the day when she sailed into the Quay.

He said: “This was an emotional moment for me as I first set foot on this very ship almost 30 years ago to the day, when she used to regularly visit Bideford and was the start of my sailing career.”

Irene was built 105 years ago in Bridgwater and carried out coastal trading around the South West.

She originally carried tiles, bricks, cattle feed and coal, but was badly damaged by a fire in 2003 while in the Caribbean.

Over a period of six years, her owner Leslie Morrish has restored her and now she is still trading, including carrying wine from France and West Country beer to Europe.

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She is now attending major sailing events and maritime festivals around the UK and Europe.

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