In 2016 we were delighted to be asked to collaborate with the Rhoda Mary Project on a new community heritage project which sought to uncover stories about the Rhoda Mary and other Cornish merchant schooners. We have recently made this short film to tell the story of the project so far…
The Rhoda Mary was a 110 foot merchant schooner designed by William ‘Foreman’ Ferris, built in 1868 at Point, in the Parish of Feock near Falmouth in Cornwall and was renowned for her elegance and speed.
We began the project with a Memory Day in Devoran and people came from all over the South West to share stories, photos and knowledge of the merchant schooners that were once vital to Cornish trade.
We then worked closely with 7 people, conducting oral history interviews to capture stories about the Rhoda Mary and other Cornish Schooners and made a series of digital stories, including one with some of the descendants of William Ferris, the builder of Rhoda Mary and many other vessels.
Finally we undertook a day long workshop with year 6 pupils at Devoran School. By using these
digital stories and with help from some knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers, the children learnt about the Rhoda Mary, built in their parish, and the wider history of the merchant schooners.
The Rhoda Mary Project is a charity seeking to promote traditional maritime skills and celebrate the vanishing history of the Cornish Merchant Schooner.
To find out more about the project and how you can support it, please visit www.rhoda-mary.co.uk.
This project is extremely grateful to the Cornwall Heritage Trust for funding and support.