Tow to Sharpness, the start of hull works
On the morning of Wednesday 6th July, Freshspring was towed along the river Severn in Gloucestershire from Newnham-on-Severn to Sharpness, the first time she has moved any distance for over 20 years, marking the start of works enabling Freshspring to be saved and be moved to a public location in the North Devon town of Bideford. A fabulous and very significant day in the history of this now unique survivor of the Admiralty's steam-powered water carriers from WW2
The ship will soon enter the drydock at Sharpness, where the condition of hull will be assessed, before some hull replating, the ship surveyed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and then she will be towed to Bideford.
She might look a bit shabby at the moment, but she will emerge from the drydock looking a lot better!
This tow is a significant mark in the restoration to full operational of Freshspring, a next major step is to compile and submit a Lottery bid to return her to full operational condition. In the meantime, volunteers will be working to make the ship accessible for visitors. The tow was undertaken by the Appldore based marine contractors, Keynvor Morlift Ltd, with their tug, New Ross One and Larkham Ships vessel, Riparian.
SS Freshspring has been designated as of national importance as she uniquely represents the small steam coasters which served the nation for over 100 years. She is the only small steam cargo ship with the capability of being returned to seagoing condition.