Storylines are excited to be embarking on a new venture and we are now on the hunt for stories of merchant topsail schooners from Cornwall and beyond. We are delighted to be delivering the project in partnership with the Rhoda Mary Project and are beginning with an informal gathering at Devoran Village Hall on Sunday 16 October, 2-5pm. We are inviting anyone with memories, associations, photographs, or stories passed down through the years to come along and share these with us over a cup of tea and cake. A selection of archive photographs will also be on display.
- Ship-building, particularly merchant schooners,in local boatyards.
- The location of boatyards or individual boats.
- Family members who went to sea or commanded a vessel.
- Anyone who owned shares in one of the boats.
During the 19th century, coastal communities throughout the West Country financed, built and operated a great fleet of merchant schooners, creating a golden age of sail-driven transport with far-flung links to North Africa, the Baltic and the Americas. This was a period of booming world trade and brought great prosperity, as well as drama and risk to the local communities involved.
Although the times of merchant schooners are not within living memory, there will be a legacy of stories that have been passed down through the generations. We really hope that people come and share these with us so that we can preserve the memory of these iconic vessels and the people who were associated with them.
We’ve shared it before, but it’s so good and certainly relevant, that we thought we’d share it again… here’s a wonderful bit of archive footage by Humphrey Jennings…