The Trinity Sailing Foundation has received £49,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support an exciting new maritime heritage project, based in Brixham. The 14-month project, worth over £92,000, combines conservation work to the historic Brixham trawler 'Provident' as well as a raft of education and promotion activities, which aim to raise awareness and help people learn more about their rich maritime history.
The project team at Trinity, local shipwrights and volunteers will be undertaking work to the keel, deck and internal wooden structure of Provident in order to conserve this important vessel. Building on the legacy of other recent projects, Trinity will be running an education 'outreach programme' for hundreds of school children from Devon where they will be taught about their maritime heritage through the development of boat design and construction during the Napoleonic, Victorian and more modern eras.
Working alongside Brixham Museum, Brixham Library and Brixham Harbour Authority, Trinity will also mount exhibitions and a permanent display to chart the town's development as a major fishing port and promote its historic trawler fleet to the many thousands of visitors Brixham receives each year.
Provident is a former Brixham sailing trawler, built in 1924 at Galmpton on the River Dart. She is a gaff ketch, 70 feet long on deck and carrying around 3,000 sq feet of sail and is one of medium-sized 'mule' class of sailing trawlers.
Provident was one of the last trawlers to be built for working under sail and was a replacement for an earlier vessel of the same name, sunk during the First World War by a German U-boat. She is one of the last few surviving Brixham sailing trawlers and is included in the National Historic Fleet, a collection of vessels that are considered to be of pre-eminent regional and national significance.
Now fitted out for her modern role Provident spends around 30 weeks each year providing Sail Training experiences for young people and sailing holidays and courses for the general public.
Commenting on the announcement Struan Coupar, Trustee of the Trinity Sailing Foundation said: "We are delighted with the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable us to undertake some essential work to conserve Provident. She has a fascinating past, starting life as a sailing trawler before being converted in the 1930's into a sailing yacht. In 1951 she was bought by the Island Cruising Club and operated out of Salcombe before returning to Brixham in 1999 where, alongside the historic sailing vessels 'Leader' and Golden Vanity', she formed the 'Trinity' of our charity.
He went on to add: "The funding will also importantly allow Trinity to build on the work carried out during the recent 'Leader Project' which has laid the foundations for us to go out into schools and the wider community and spread the message about why our maritime heritage is so important."
Commenting on the grant award, Richard Bellamy, HLF's Head of South West, said: "Brixham has been renowned from the earliest times for its importance as a fishing port, and its role as ''Mother of Deep-Sea Fisheries" helping to establish the fishing industry in many other parts of the country. We were therefore delighted to be able to continue our work with the Trinity Sailing Foundation to ensure that historic trawlers like 'Leader' and now 'Provident' can be brought back into use, helping both the local community and Brixham's many visitors to understand and value the town's unique heritage."