Steamship Freshspring Trust Update 5

Lockdown has meant a slowdown in activity on the ship, but we are still working on the new mast as it will start to crack – and then become useless - if we do not regularly treat it. We are marking it in readiness for rounding from its current ‘squared’ state.

We are hard at work putting the final touches to the Lottery report following the end of the Our Heritage project and we expect to see these reports submitted later this month, or early May.

The Covid grant fund made available by our bank was oversubscribed EIGHT times and our small application was, unfortunately, not successful. The Lottery has also made a support fund available and we are now having a look at that, but our real interest is to see what shape future Lottery grants may take as our prime objective is to carry out the studies that will determine the ship’s future. We were on the verge of submitting a new application for a grant towards the costs when the Lottery suspended all new applications.

The donors of recently awarded grants have agreed that we can suspend the start date in each case, which is just as well because we are not able to physically carry out much of the work covered by the grants under lockdown.

We are planning for the day when we re-open, though it’s anyone’s guess when this may be! We know we will need volunteers and ship stewards, as we are, correctly we hope, envisaging an upsurge in UK based holidays - and therefore visitors – so we are looking at how we can best develop a recruitment programme. We are working on a secure children’s website – to further engineering and maritime education and interest - and have been offered help with this by the University of the West of England.

Onwards and upwards!