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News Archive 2014

November 2014

Seafarers UK Supports Shipwrecked Mariners

Society awarded £180,000 grant from Seafarers UK

This grant will support our work alleviating financial need among former fishermen and merchant mariners and their dependants.

Seafarers UK is the premier fundraising organisation that supports mariners.

Click here to find out how this money is spent or click here to find out more about Seafearers UK.

 

Explorer Paul Rose Lends Support To Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society

Paul Rose, renowned explorer and maritime expedition leader is supporting national maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, and is featured in a video encouraging the public to recognise and assist the Society’s crucial work.

Paul Rose, known for his BBC Two documentaries ‘Oceans’ and ‘Britain’s Secret Seas’, is one of the world’s most experienced divers and polar experts. As part of his continuing support for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Paul has filmed a video detailing his experiences at sea and the challenges seafarers face, both at sea and in retirement, and he urges viewers to support the Charity which works to ensure seafarers and their dependants who are suffering hardship and distress receive the assistance they need.

In the video, Paul speaks about his life at sea, from growing up dreaming of being a commercial diver, to achieving his dream. Paul also speaks passionately about the power of the sea and the dangers it poses, vividly recalling a hair-raising experience during a storm on a trip from the Azores to the UK. Furthermore, Paul talks with a great deal of respect about those who risk their lives to provide crucial goods and services to the UK – without which we couldn’t enjoy our standard of living – and how this is of particular importance to an island nation.

On supporting the Charity, Paul said: “Seafarers and the seafaring way of life is absolutely essential to our island nation. As a maritime explorer I know first hand of the dangers of a life at sea. You can’t work in the largest, least understood and arguably most powerful ecosystem on the planet without having a few scary moments – however, life ashore can be equally tough. When you’re retired or unable to work due to injury or illness, the support from a charity like the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society can make a big difference to your quality of life. The Society’s work is as important today as it was 175 years ago, and that’s why I’m encouraging everyone to support that work.”

Over its 175 year history, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has helped hundreds of thousands of people – many during the two world wars. In the last year alone, the Charity has made regular and one-off grants in 2,236 cases, totalling £1.42 million as well as handling 650 new applications for assistance.

Commodore Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, said: “We are delighted to have someone with the deep maritime knowledge and expertise of Paul Rose supporting the Society. Helping retired or injured mariners and their families through difficult times is crucial work and having Paul on board is an enormous boost for the Charity and will help to raise awareness for our cause. Our 175th anniversary celebrations may be coming to an end but our important work goes on, with thousands of seafarers still in need. We are committed to ensuring that we are able to continue to help those from the seafaring community for many, many more years to come.”

The Charity has also recently launched its new collection of Christmas cards featuring both maritime and traditional Christmas designs. It also has a range of correspondence and birthday cards as well as other gift items including a maritime themed calendar.

Watch Paul Rose speak about his experiences and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society by clicking the video below:

 

October 2014

Chichester Mayor Launches Christmas Card Appeal

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chichester, Councillor John and Mrs Cherry Hughes, have helped national seafaring charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, launch its annual Christmas Card Appeal in support of seafarers in need across the UK.

At a reception on Tuesday 21st October Councillor and Mrs Hughes met local volunteers of the Charity who will be running the Society’s Christmas card shop at its premises at 1 North Pallant, Chichester. The Society has been based in Chichester for 43 years. With the Society celebrating its 175th anniversary this year he was also given an insight into the Society’s history and work on behalf of those from the seafaring community facing financial hardship and distress.

This year’s collection of Christmas cards features many attractive maritime scenes along with more traditional and contemporary festive images together with other gift items including a maritime themed calendar. The profit generated through the sale of cards will go directly to help those who have spent their lives at sea or who suffer the consequences of shipwreck – usually single-manned fishing vessels – and face difficult financial circumstances in retirement or as a result of accident or ill-health.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “We were delighted that the Mayor and Mayoress of Chichester were able to launch our annual Christmas Card Appeal. This Appeal is the Charity’s major national fundraising campaign and the support we receive from people both locally and across the country enables us to continue helping those from the seafaring community who are desperately in need. All cards purchased and donations received will make a vital contribution towards our often life-changing work.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s primary purpose is to provide financial support to ex-merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependants in need. Retirement and injury, leading to lost earnings, can prevent mariners and their families making ends meet. In the last 12 months the Charity received 650 new applications for assistance and helped in over 2,200 cases of need, amounting to an expenditure of £1.42 million. Over its 175 year history it has helped hundreds of thousands of mariners and their dependants including 51,000 sailors and fishermen during WW1. Since 1851 it has also made awards in recognition of the bravery of those who risk their lives to rescue others at sea.

To mark its 175th anniversary, the Charity’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, unveiled a commemorative plaque on the quay in Clovelly, where the loss of 21 fishermen during a storm in October 1838 prompted the Charity’s founding.

To purchase cards, either visit the Society’s shop at 1 North Pallant Chichester (open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday (10am – 1pm Saturday from 15th November) or visit the Charity’s website at www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, You can also call 01243 789 329 to request a catalogue.

 

HRH The Princess Royal Presents Bravery Awards

Extraordinary Acts of Bravery Recognised by HRH The Princess Royal at Awards Ceremony.

Outstanding acts of skill and gallantry during air and sea rescues have been recognised at a national annual awards ceremony of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Brave mariners and air crewmen from across the UK were honoured at the Society’s Skill and Gallantry Awards held on 7 October, with the awards presented by the Charity’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has given these awards every year since 1851, highlighting the continuing reliance on the skill and bravery of individuals in rescuing lives and dealing with other emergency situations at sea.

Among this year’s recipients were the helicopter crew of ‘Rescue 193’ from 771 Squadron, RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, that carried out the daring rescue of five French fishermen from a sinking vessel in high winds and near complete darkness off the Cornish coast.

Meanwhile, Petty Officer (Aircrewman) Russell Adams, also from 771 Squadron, RNAS Culdrose, was recognised for his role in a separate incident a few months later, again off the Cornish coast. Despite having to battle thirty foot waves and being submerged himself during the operation, he successfully retrieved all of the fishermen from their vessel before it was wrecked.

Other award recipients were RNLI Helmsman Derek Pusey from Cardigan Lifeboat Station for his part in the challenging rescue of two men who were stranded on a ledge and in danger of being swept out to sea. His colleague, Crewman Clive Williams, also from Cardigan Lifeboat Station, was also honoured for swimming to the casualties, climbing onto the rocks and helping to recover the men to safety.

Finally, RNLI Cowswain Paul Legendre from Newhaven Lifeboat Station was recognised for his outstanding leadership, seamanship and perseverance in leading his crew of seven through challenging conditions during an extensive, six-hour search for a missing boy west of the Newhaven breakwater.
Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “Each year we continue to be humbled and impressed by the incredible feats of skill, determination and courage demonstrated by the recipients of these awards. Despite modern technology, these awards highlight the fact we still very much rely on the courage and determination of individuals in emergency situations at sea.

“The skill and gallantry of these crews and individuals are second to none. They exemplify the professionalism and courageous qualities of all those who risk their own lives to protect those in danger around our coastline and their efforts should never go unrecognised.”

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s primary purpose is to provide financial support to seafarers and their dependants in need. Retirement and injury, leading to lost earnings, can prevent mariners and their families making ends meet. In the last 12 months the Charity received 650 new applications for assistance and helped in over 2,200 cases of need, amounting to an expenditure of £1.4 million.

Over its 175 year history it has helped hundreds of thousands of mariners and their dependants including 51,000 sailors and fishermen during WW1. Since 1851 it has rewarded the bravery of those who risk their lives to rescue others at sea.

Watch coverage from the Skill and Gallantry Awards by clicking the video below:

 

September 2014

The Society has received a MN Fund Grant from SFUK

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has received a MN Fund Grant from SFUK of £14,453

 

Charity’s Winning Sea View Announced

Photography Competition Winners Named By Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The winner of a national photography competition to find the UK’s best sea view has today been announced by one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Entries flooded in from across the UK with the winning image having been taken by Justin Minns, a graphic designer and passionate outdoor photographer from Suffolk. His photo featured the shipwreck of the Steam Trawler Sheraton, on Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk.

The competition, which attracted more than 400 entries, was judged by a panel of experts; Matt Havercroft, editor of Discover Britain Magazine, Kate Westaway, a marine photographer and TV producer, and Commodore Malcolm Williams, the Charity’s Chief Executive.

The runner up images were submitted by Dave Peake from Devon, with his photo taken half underwater in Kingsand rock pool in Cornwall, and Gary Cox from Gloucester with his photo of Porthcawl Lighthouse in Bridgend, Wales.

The competition was run from the Charity’s website and across social media, with participants encouraged to send in photographs of what they believed best encapsulated Britain’s coast, seafarers, and the sea; whether in relation to the work of fishermen, merchant mariners, or wildlife and seascapes – anything which shows and celebrates our intimate connection with and our reliance on the sea and seafarers.

Justin’s prize is a five-day return crossing from Dover to Calais donated by P&O Ferries along with an engraved Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society barometer.

On the winning image, judge Kate Westaway, said: “Justin’s picture was fantastic, it stood out to me when I initially looked at the pictures and it also immediately stood out to the other judges. It really does give you a sense of our relationship with the sea and how cruel it can be.”

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive and competition judge, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “This year the competition has received a great number of entries of a very high standard. There was a huge variety of photographs from all round the country, from coastal views to open sea, fishing vessels and container ships, taken from dawn until sunset, each in its own way reflecting our nation’s intimate relationship with the sea.”

“The work seafarers do to provide us with food and other necessities to ensure our standard of living is extremely important to the UK as an island nation. This competition is a great way to celebrate our commitment to those who dedicate their lives to the sea. I would like to thank all those who took part.”

The Charity, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, provides financial support and information to retired seafarers in need, and also to those injured or too ill to continue working at sea.

In the last year the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society handled 650 new applications for assistance and distributed £1.4million across 2,200 cases of need.

Watch the judging of this year’s photography competition below:

 

Details of the 175th Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society AGM Announced

The one Hundred and Seventy Fifth Annual General Meeting of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society will be held at Fishmongers’ Hall, London EC4 on Tuesday, 7th October 2014 at 1200.

Members and friends of the Society wishing to attend should notify The Chief Executive at Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, 1 North Pallant, Chichester PO19 1TL

 

August 2014

Photography Competition Now Closed

This year’s photography competition has now come to an end.

We have had some amazing entries sent in and will contact everyone who is shortlisted soon. Judging will take place on 20 August.

For more information on the photography competition, click here.

 

July 2014

Reaching The Peak For Maritime Charity

A Portsmouth man has successfully completed the ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ to raise money for national maritime charity, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which provides support for seafarers and their dependants in need.

Jerome Davis, who is an honorary agent for the Charity, battled road works and an injury to a fellow team member to climb the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) in 26 hours and 39 minutes and in so doing raised £380 in sponsorship for the Charity.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, provides financial support to retired seafarers in need, or to those unable to continue working at sea as a result of injury or illness.

On his achievements, Jerome said: “I am proud to raise money for this charity because of the fantastic work it does for ex merchant seafarers, fishermen and their families. The climbs certainly were a challenge, but knowing the money is being raised for such a worthy cause kept me going.”

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Jerome for his fundraising efforts and for also helping to raise awareness about our work supporting those who dedicate their lives to the seafaring professions but may need our support during difficult times in their retirement or following accident or illness which prevents them from following their chosen work”.

The charity is currently holding a sea view photography competition with a chance to win P&O Ferry tickets. For more information, or your chance to win, visit: http://www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/Home/Events/PhotographyCompetition2014.aspx

 

June 2014

The Launch of our annual photo competition

The search to find the best visual portrayal of our nation’s enduring connection to the sea is now on!

As families across Britain flock to the beaches this summer, one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities has launched a competition to find the best visual portrayal of our nation’s connection with the sea to mark Seafarers Awareness Week (21 – 29 June).

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year and provides financial support to retired seafarers in need, or to those unable to continue working at sea as a result of injury or illness, is encouraging entries to the competition which is on the lookout for photos encapsulating the UK’s love of and reliance on the sea.

The competition, which is in its second year, will be judged by a panel of experts: Matt Havercroft, editor of Discover Britain Magazine, Kate Westaway, a marine photographer and TV producer and Commodore Malcolm Williams, the Charity’s chief executive.

Running from this website and across social media, participants are being encouraged to send in their photographs of what they believe best encapsulates Britain’s coast, seafarers and the sea; whether in relation to the work of fishermen, merchant mariners, or wildlife, seascapes – anything which shows and celebrates our intimate connection with, and reliance on the sea and seafarers.

As an island nation the UK relies on merchant shipping for 95 per cent of its imports and 75 per cent of exports. The UK’s sea ports handle over half a billion tonnes of goods each year * with more than 35,000 UK fishermen and merchant mariners employed in shipping.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams, said: “Last year we had more than 200 competition entries and selecting the winner proved to be quite a task. We are looking forward to seeing the different interpretations of the brief this year which we hope will show the full scope of our continuing connection with and reliance on the sea. Through this campaign, marking Seafarers Awareness Week, we want to draw attention to all those who dedicate their lives to the seafaring professions and who may need our help during difficult times in their retirement or following accident or illness that prevents them following their chosen work”.

In the last year the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society handled 650 new applications for assistance and distributed £1.4million across 2,200 cases of need.

The deadline for entry is 5pm on Friday 8th August.

To enter the competition post your photos to our Facebook or Twitter page or for other methods, see our terms and conditions below.

Watch the video below to see how the judges chose last year’s winning pic.

Competition T&Cs:

  • The closing date for entries is Friday 8th August 2014
  • By entering the competition you give permission for your images to be recreated by the charity and any media partner free of charge
  • This competition is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 16 years or over • It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions
  • Entries should be submitted via email to miker@acceleris-mc.com or via the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Facebook and Twitter pages. Entrants should include their own name, address and telephone number. Postal entries may be sent to Acceleris, Town Centre House, Cheltenham Crescent, Harrogate, HG1 1DQ.
  • All entries must be received by the advertised closing time and date
  • All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that any images they submit have been taken with the permission of the subject and do not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws. By submitting images, entrants confirm that the photograph they are submitting is their own work and that they own the copyright to it
  • Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing them for the Competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition
  • Late entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt
  • The winning entry will be that which is judged to be the most visually appealing, original and self-explanatory. The winner will be notified within two weeks of the closing date of the competition
  • The winners will be asked to take part in publicity
  • The winners’ name and hometown may be used for the charity’s publicity purposes
  • All prizes are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

 

Chief Exec takes issue with Francis Maude in The Telegraph

Older People will have to go online or lose access to Government Services. What world does Francis Maude inhabit when he describes older people who do not use the internet as “refuseniks.”

It’s insulting to generations that have not grown up with computers or the internet. 79 per cent of our beneficiaries – average age 75 – are not on line.

When asked, why not, their responses range from, “what’s that” to “cost”. The latter is a major factor when you live on a state pension with no savings.

So is the government prepared to fund laptops for every pensioner and pay the running costs? And do they seriously think a one-off lesson for an 87 year old will be enough. The Government has a responsibility for many years to come to ensure that its older citizens who are not on-line are not marginalised.

Commodore Malcolm Williams
Letter published in The Telegraph 13th June

 

May 2014

175 Years Supporting Seafarers in Need

One of the UK’s oldest maritime charities has marked a major milestone. The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society (Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society for short) celebrated its 175th anniversary this week by returning to the traditional North Devon fishing village of Clovelly where in 1838, during the reign of Queen Victoria, the tragic loss of 9 fishing vessels and 21 men prompted the Charity’s formation the following year.

To mark the occasion the Society’s Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, will be unveiling a special plaque commemorating the Charity’s historic and continuing role supporting UK fishermen, mariners and their dependants in need.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, said: It makes perfect sense to come to the natural home of the Society to remind ourselves of not just its importance and of what it’s achieved in its 175 years, but that there is still role for us to play.”

As well as speaking to the descendants of those mariners originally lost in the 1838 disaster and local fishermen, she met some of the Charity’s supporters and volunteers who play such a vital role in the work of the Society which has helped support hundreds of thousands of mariners and their families in need over its 175 year history.

Cornish singers ‘Stamp and Go’ – famed for their sea songs – have composed a special anniversary song written to mark the occasion, which will be performed for The Princess Royal and guests. The song – entitled ‘In Bideford Bay’ – refers to the terrible disaster in Clovelly in October 1838 – the dangers faced at sea, as well as the devastating impact on those left behind and the wonderful work of the Society.

Still a traditional fishing harbour, the village of Clovelly is one that remains close to the heart of the Charity and its work. On Sunday 29 October 1838 eleven fishing vessels manned by 26 men left Clovelly to fish in the Bristol Channel. Following a dreadful storm, only two vessels returned and 21 men were lost. This prompted Mr Charles Gee Jones a former Bristol pilot and landlord of the Pulteney Arms in Bath to suggest to John Rye, a medical man of the city that something should be done to help those affected.

On 21 February 1839, a meeting was held“for the purpose of forming a fund for the relief of shipwrecked mariners and fishermen, or in the case of loss of life, for the widows and orphans…” and from this the Shipwrecked Mariners Society was born.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Chief Executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “This anniversary is an important landmark for the Charity and we are delighted to be able to share this special day with our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, as well those who have both historic and current links to the Society. We are also very excited about having a specially composed song by ‘Stamp and Go’ and hope people enjoy it as much as we do. The work of the Charity has made a difference to people’s lives for 175 years and as long as we are an island we expect to be providing support to those in need from the seafaring community.”

Over the years, the Society has provided financial assistance to hundreds of thousands of people. During the first half of the 19th Century, when the loss of shipping fleets was a common occurrence, the Charity would help around 12,000 people a year. In 1859 nearly 1,416 ships were lost around Britain’s coast and with them 1,645 lives.

Nowadays, the Society’s prime role is supporting financially those retired seafarers struggling to make ends meet or who are below retirement age and unable to work due to ill health, an accident or for compassionate reasons.

In the last year, the Charity helped in over 2,200 cases of need amounting to an expenditure of £1.4 million and received 650 new applications for assistance.

The Society also recognises bravery and heroism displayed at sea, and since 1851 the Charity has made annual awards for outstanding acts of skill and gallantry to those who risk their lives to save others.

To find out more information about the charity, visit the website, the Society’s Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

 

April 2014

When the wind from the west blows a gale…

The winners of a national limerick competition to find the best poems in celebration of life at sea have been announced by one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

The Charity, which this year celebrates its 175 anniversary, launched the competition to raise awareness of its work providing financial support to ex-seafarers and encouraging those in need to come forward for help. The competition, now in its third year, received entries from across the UK and was judged by poet, broadcaster and comedian, Ian McMillan and supported by The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).

The competition, which ran across the Charity’s social media platforms and website, saw participants penning five line poems about the sea and the men and women who dedicate their lives to the ocean as well the challenges they face.

The winning limerick came from Peter Hamill from Accrington who penned:

When the wind from the west blows a gale
With the waves washing over the rail
Think back on the days
When the sky was a haze
And the sea was as smooth as the sail.

Peter entered the competition after seeing a post from judge Ian McMillan on Twitter and after“visualising a bearded castaway sticking his poem in a bottle and throwing it out to sea”. In his youth, Peter spent time on his uncle’s yacht in Greenock off the west coast of Scotland where he used to listen to tales of the ocean.

In the 18 and under category, the winner was 18 year old Jade Cuttle from Selby, North Yorkshire, whose limerick was inspired by her Grandfather’s stories of his service in the Royal Navy. Her winning entry was:

Through tides that tear the shore to shreds,
And winds that whip and dust the decks,
That rip at rails and sagging sails,
Through gust and gale and hurling hail,
This ship will storm the seas ahead.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Chief Executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams said: “We were delighted with the entries to this year’s limerick competition. Initiatives like this are an important way for us to raise awareness of the work we do on behalf of this vulnerable community and to encourage people suffering hardship to come forward for support. The past 12 months have again shown the importance of our work. We received 650 new applications for assistance and in total paid out over £1.4 million in 2,200 cases of need showing our work is as important today as it was 175 years ago.”

Ian McMillan commented: “I wanted to support this competition because my dad was in the Navy for 30 years and he often talked about friends he had lost at sea so this felt like a very relevant and important competition to judge. There are still mariners all over the country who are in need of support making the work of the Charity as important as ever. The limericks were extremely creative and really captured the feel of seafaring.”

National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, Chief Executive, Barrie Deas, said:“Through our work with UK fishermen, we see firsthand the often life changing support the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society provides to our island nation’s ex-seafarers. We are proud to be supporting this competition and think the winning entries really capture the feel of life at sea.”

The winners will receive a recording of their poems being read by Ian McMillan, as well as an engraved Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society barometer.

For more information about the Society and to view a selection of limericks from this year’s competition, please visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

Notes to editors:

The winner of the adult category was Peter Hamill from Accrington, Lancashire

“Becalm”
When the wind from the west blows a gale
With the waves washing over the rail
Think back on the days
When the sky was a haze
And the sea was as smooth as the sail.

The winner in the 18 and under category was Jade Cuttle from Selby, North Yorkshire

Through tides that tear the shore to shreds,
And winds that whip and dust the decks,
That rip at rails and sagging sails,
Through gust and gale and hurling hail,
This ship will storm the seas ahead.

Highly commended was Alan Eavis from Whitby, North Yorkshire

A salty old sea-dog named Trevor,
sailed to Oz with Cook on ‘Endeavour’.
There a large kangaroo
danced a jig for the crew
‘Well, I never,’ said Trevor ‘that’s clever.’

Highly commended was Jen Larkin from Riding Hill, Northumberland

They sail out again and again
Not fearing the wild wind and rain
They laugh at the storm
Their cabins are warm
But those left at home bear the pain

 

Get on Your Bike to Support Charity

Rotary Club of Exmouth District is proud to announce its support of national maritime charity the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, as part of Club’s Walk or Ride event to be held on the Sunday 27 April.

The Charity, which is this year celebrating its 175th anniversary, provides financial support to ex merchant seafarers, fishermen and their dependents who are suffering hardship and distress, through one-off and regular grants. During the charity’s 175 years, it has helped and made a positive difference to the lives of several hundreds of thousands of people.

Local people are encouraged to choose the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society as their charity of choice for this year’s walk and ride event to help raise money and awareness of this often life changing cause.

Chief Executive of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Rotary Club in what is such an important and exciting anniversary year. The work we do today helping ex-seafarers in need is just as important as it was when we were established 175 years ago and by encouraging local people to take part in events like this to raise much needed funds we are hopeful we will be able to continue helping people for another 175 years to come.”

The Society pays an immediate grant to the widow of a serving seafarer who dies, whether at sea or ashore. Regular grants are paid to former seafarers, their widows and partners, whose circumstances justify on-going support. Special grants are made to meet particular needs in crisis situations. Practical assistance is given to seafarers of any nationality shipwrecked on the coast of the British Isles. In the last year the Charity helped in over 2,300 cases of need amounting to an expenditure of £1.46 million.

To find out more information about the charity, visit the website, the Facebook page or follow on Twitter. For more details about the Rotary Club of Exmouth District and local events visit http://www.exmouthrotaryclub.co.uk

 

Three Peaks Challenger Fundraising for Society

We’re delighted to announce that Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Honorary Agent for Portsmouth, Jerome Davis, is undertaking the gruelling ‘Three Peaks’ challenge on 20th/21st May.

Many of you may know the ‘Challenge’ requires that the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales are to be climbed within a 24 hour period and Jerome plans to start with Ben Nevis in Scotland and finish with Snowdon in Wales. In between training sessions Jerome said of his undertaking: “The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is not a huge charity, some of you may not have heard of it until now, but the work it undertakes makes a massive impact on a largely forgotten section of our society.

“As a former seafarer I feel a particular affiliation to those who have worked on the high seas, which is why I became an Honorary Agent for the Charity and it is why I am taking the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for those in dire straits.”

To support Jerome please visit his fundraising page

For examples of the Society’s work on behalf of the seafaring community visit www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk/Home/HowWeHelp/Testimonials.aspx

In this the Society’s 175th anniversary year we wish Jerome every success with his ‘Three Peaks’ Challenge and to all who lend him their support –thank you.

 

February 2014

Limerick of the Day

Our ‘Limerick of the Day’ comes from Justin Vaughan:

There was a young man nicknamed Dukey
Who launched a new boat out of Newquay
But his dream soon turned sour
In less than an hour
When he found that the sea made him pukey

For more information or to find out how to enter, visit our limerick competition page.

 

Fishing for Limericks

From odes to the ocean and seafarer soliloquies, poetry has long since been a way of expressing man’s relationship with the sea, and in celebration of this one of the UK’s oldest maritime charities is inviting the UK to wax lyrical through a national limerick competition, celebrating the country’s maritime history and its seafarers.

The competition, now in its third year, is run by the Shipwrecked Mariners Society and is being launched to coincide with the Charity’s 175th anniversary. It is designed to acknowledge the nation’s continuing reliance on seafarers, whether fishermen or merchant mariners, and is set to be judged by Poet, Broadcaster and Comedian, Ian McMillan.

The competition is to write an original poem on a maritime subject in limerick form, consisting of no more than five lines, with the first, second and fifth usually rhyming.

Known as the ‘Bard of Barnsley’, Ian McMillan, who previously held the coveted position of poet in residence at the English National Opera, has strong maritime connections, with his father having served in the Royal Navy.

The Society is inviting people of all ages, from budding young poets from schools, colleges and youth organisations across the country and those of more mature years to enter the popular competition.

To mark the occasion, poet, broadcaster & comedian Ian McMillan penned the limerick below to inspire budding poets:

They work on the waves of the sea,
They’re skillful, I know you’ll agree:
They cast out their net
in the cold and the wet
So we can eat fish for our tea!

This year’s competition is being supported by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), the representative body for fishermen’s groups, individual fishermen and producer organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, Barrie Deas, said: “Whether fishermen, armed forces or merchant navy, life at sea is often hard and dangerous. Often ex-seafarers can be left feeling isolated or in difficulty financially so the work of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society is vital in supporting those who have dedicated their lives to the sea. By supporting this competition, we are hopefully encouraging more people to come forward for support and to raise awareness of this often life changing good cause.”

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society Chief Executive Malcolm Williams said: “Our annual competition is a fun way to showcase the many aspects of the maritime industry, whether it is the life of a fisherman, telling the story of those who defend our country or highlighting Britain’s vital reliance on the sea for every day goods.”

“The limerick competition has become a highly anticipated event in the Society’s calendar and last year we saw more than 100 highly imaginative and creative entries from across the globe. We are very much looking forward to seeing this years’ entries and working with Ian to pick a winner.”

Being run across the Charity’s social media platforms and via the charity’s website www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, participants are being encouraged to pen a five line poem about the ocean and the men and women who dedicate their lives to working at sea and all the challenges this entails.

Speaking of his involvement Ian said: “I’m proud to be associated with a competition that brings together two very important skills: sea fishing and writing poetry. They’re both about tight lines and catching something and bringing it home.”

The deadline for entries is Midnight on Friday 21st March 2014 and the charity is offering an engraved barometer and video recording of the wining poem, read by Ian McMillan, as a prize.

To enter the competition, for full terms and conditions or for more information about the work of the Society visit the society’s events page or the society’s Facebook page

 

Society’s 175th anniversary

175 Years of Supporting Fishermen and Mariners in Need.

On Sunday 29th October 1838 eleven fishing vessels manned by 26 men left Clovelly to fish in the Bristol Channel. Following a storm only two vessels returned and 21 men were lost.As a result of this Mr Charles Gee Jones a former Bristol Pilot and landlord of the Pulteney Arms in Bath suggested to Mr John Rye, a medical man of the city, that something should be done to help those affected by shipwreck.

As a result a meeting was held on Thursday 21st February 1839 and it was reported in the following day’s Morning Post that; “Yesterday a public meeting was held at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate Street, for the purpose of forming a fund for the relief of shipwrecked mariners and fishermen, or in the case of loss of life, for the widows and orphans of that interesting class of our fellow subjects …..”

Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable Sir George Cockburn GCB, was in the Chair and became the first President of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Benevolent Society. Known as “the man who burnt the White House”, he and Major General Ross captured Washington on 24th August 1814 burnt the White House and the Capitol Building and then sat down to enjoy President Madison’s dinner.Sir George took Napoleon into exile on St Helena.

Queen Victoria became our first Patron and that Royal connection has continued ever since, HRH The Princess Royal is our present Patron.

Incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1850, the word “Royal” was brought into the title and the Society’s purpose was described as, “the giving of relief and assistance to the Widows and Orphans of Fishermen and Mariners … who should lose their lives by Storm and Shipwreck, on any part of the coast of the United Kingdom, whilst engaged in their lawful occupation and also to render necessary assistance to other poor persons as shall suffer shipwreck upon the said Coasts…”.

Our purpose has remained the same to provide financial help to merchant seafarers,fishermen and their dependants who are in need. We pay an immediate grant to the widow of a serving seafarer who dies, whether death occurs at sea or ashore and sadly shipwrecks continue to occur – usually single manned fishing vessels.Regular grants are paid to retired or permanently disabled seafarers and widows. Special grants are made to meet crisis and specific needs from essential household electrical goods, utility bill arrears and clothes to mobility aids.

The Society’s distinctive flag, a St George’s Cross, with a crown in the centre and the initials S, F, M, S in the quadrants was introduced in 1844. A distinguishing number was placed in the centre of the cross to identify the vessel to which it was assigned.Arrangements were made through private telegraph stations and then the coastguard to report the numbers of the flags displayed by vessels passing their stations and these in turn were reported in the “Shipping & Mercantile Gazette”. This was later extended when homeward bound vessels would report en route sightings upon arrival at a UK port.

From 1851 the Society operated lifeboats at Lytham, Rhyl, Porthmadog, Tenby, Llanelli, Teignmouth, Hornsea and Newhaven but it was subsequently agreed that it would be wiser if one organization concentrated on rescuing lives at sea while the other helped the survivors or their bereaved families, so in 1854 the Society transferred its lifeboats to the RNLI.

Losses from shipwreck in the 19th Century were staggering. Typically in the middle years of the 19th century the Society would be helping 12-13,000 people a year: 7- 8,000 widows, orphans and aged parents and 3- 4,000 from shipwrecks.

The scale of the ship losses just around our own coast is difficult for us to comprehend. In 1859 a particularly bad year 1,416 ships lost on our coasts and with them 1,645 lives. In 1882, a not untypical year, 445 British owned vessels– fishing vessels and merchant ships – were lost on our shores.
During WWI the Society assisted some 51,000 sailors and over 8,000 parents. In WWII we assisted over 60,000 seamen, over 6,000 widows, 8,000 orphans and 4,000 aged parents. Of the 60,000 seamen, 35,000 were survivors from convoys landed at UK ports and we would provide clothing,accommodation and rail warrants.

Over our 175 year history we have helped and hopefully made a positive difference tothe lives of several hundreds of thousands of people.

With a volunteer network of over 200 Honorary Agents throughout the British Isles the Society handles several hundred applications for assistance each year and distributes over £1 million in dealing with over 2,000 cases.

The Society relies on, legacies, an annual Christmas appeal, investments and grants, principally from Seafarers UK and Trinity House, and donations to meet its commitments. You may also have seen our large red collecting mines on the seafront.

Our title now is more of a metaphor for what we do although there are sadly still shipwrecks these are normally single manned fishing vessels. The majority of people we assist – over 2,300 last year – are retired and finding it difficult to make ends meet or are below retirement age unable to work as a result of an accident or ill health or for compassionate reasons or cannot find employment in their 50s after a life at sea.

The only physical manifestation of our existence are the large red-painted WWII Mines which act as large collecting boxes, on many sea fronts.Grants from SFUK and Trinity House and generous donations from our Christmas and correspondence card buyers.

Since 1851 the Society has made annual awards for outstanding acts of “Skill and Gallantry at Sea” and this continues to this day with the Edward & Maisie Lewis Award for an outstanding Air Sea rescue, the Emile Robin Award for an outstanding sea rescue and the Lady Swaythling Trophy for an outstanding feat of seamanship.

In our archives we have a unique record of heroism at sea. An interactive map on our website enables visitors to find out the stories behind our awards.

If you want to know more please contact us at; 1 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1TL or visit our website www.shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

Malcolm Williams

 

The Story of Submarines and Submariners

Underwater, Underhand and Damned Un-English

Friday, 28th March, St Paul’s Church Hall, Churchside (Metro House Roundabout), Chichester PO19 6FT7pm for 7.30pm.

In this, the Society’s 175th Anniversary year, we would be delighted if you could join us for a one hour illustrated talk to be given by Rear Admiral John Lang.

John, a submariner in his Royal Navy career, tells a story of valour, enterprise, comradeship, tragedy and triumph, and how men manage to work in the silent and unforgiving world that lies beneath the waves.

John was the Society’s Chairman of Trustees for a number of years and being a seasoned and very interesting speaker on things ‘maritime’ the evening should be informative and very enjoyable.

Admission is by advance ticket – £12 per person to include refreshments – Tel: 01243 789329 general@shipwreckedmariners.org.uk

Please note seating numbers are limited.

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