Restored Schooner Visits Dungarvan This Weekend
Waterford News & Star ~ 9th August 2002
There is a treat in store for those who love to watch ships, boats or any craft which can float or sail on the water. Next Friday evening, on the evening tide at approximately 7pm, those who gather on the Quay or at Harbour View in Dungarvan, will be treated to a sight that has not been part of the Dungarvan scene for almost half a century.
The three-masted schooner,Kathleen and May will arrive for a three day visit to the town and will sail majestically into the harbour at just about high tide. It will be a sight worth seeing, for it will be accompanied by many local yachts and boats of all shapes and sizes, as well as the Coastguard from Helvick.
Three local men, Frank Shorthall of Friars Walk, Michael Keane of Cloncoskeran and Tom Walsh of Strandside South have taken the initiative and have invited Capt. Castle and the Kathleen and May to Dungarvan, a town which is proud of its maritime history, reflected in its coat of arms. Kathleen and May’ has been on this side of the Irish sea for several weeks, having spent much of that time in what was once her home port of Youghal She has also visited Cobh, but Capt. Castle and his crew are also anxious to see the town of Dungarvan, a town which has played a big role in the history of the elderly schooner.
The Mayor of Dungarvan, Cllr. Nuala Ryan and the members of the Council will extend a formal civic welcome to the Captain and crew and later on Friday night, the Jazz Train, a local talented jazz band will entertain the crowds. Those who saw them perform at Abbeyside Pattern last weekend will know they have another treat in store.
According to her very own website, Kathleen & May later to become famous as the last merchant schooner registered at a home port in Britain to earn her living at sea carrying cargoes, was built at Connah's Quay on the estuary of the Dee in North Wales. She was built as the Lizzie May for a local firm, Coppack Brothers & Co., at a cost of £2,700 or in today's terms, as much as 400,000 euros.
She was of 136 tonnes gross and just under 100 feet long and she could carry about 250 tons of cargo. She was employed in the general coasting trade carrying such bulk cargoes as coal, china clay, cement, bricks, fertilisers and grain between many ports in Britain and Ireland.
In 1908 Lizzie May was sold to Martin J. Fleming of Youghal and registered at Cork. Her name was changed to Kathleen and May. She sailed from Youghal for twenty three years. In 1931 she was sold again to Captain William Jewell of Appledore in North Devon, who was in partnership with his son Captain Tommy Jewell. She sailed into Dungarvan for the last time in January 1953 with a cargo of coke.
This will be a sight worth seeing and, whether for her arrival on Friday evening, or later in the weekend, everyone should make a point of seeing this fine old ship at Dungarvan quayside. Also there will be the RNLI Roadshow as well as the ship’s own souvenir shop. Kathleen and May will leave again at 9am on Monday morning without doubt having made many more friends over the weekend.