2004 Christmas Update

Date Posted: June 28, 2004

The above painting of the Mary Gordon on Brayford Pool is by my wife Vanessa. We are planning, with help from Henry Ruddock, to produce some prints and post cards for sale, please let me know if you are interested.

Progress continues to be made with the project. Steve Mills, who we hope will be undertaking the restoration, has been over to have a more detailed look at the boat and has confirmed that he does not see any major problems although the quote has increased slightly with inflation to 161,000 pounds.

Lincoln Sea Cadets have agreed to look after the boat on a day to day basis. Their unit is based on Brayford Pool and there is a suitable mooring available, which could eventually be covered over to give all weather protection to the boat.

They propose to utilise a surplus parcel of land they own adjacent to their headquarters and build a two story extension. The ground floor could be used as a small visitor centre and allow public access to the Mary Gordon.

We have met with senior educationalists from the County Council. They suggest that as part of primary and secondary schools local studies curriculum, an hour cruise with audio visual commentary on board the boat would form an attractive proposition for organised school parties as part of a visit to other local history centres in Lincoln such as the new museum.

The project can dovetail into the National Curriculum, possibly at Key Stage 3 (General History, Technology and Transport, Local History).

There are three areas which we hope will be attractive to schools.

  1. Heritage. To show Lincoln children the historical importance of the waterways in its development as a commercial and industrial city. This would be done using contemporary photographs, audio commentary and identification of landmarks.
  2. Environment. As a way of showing the environmental advantages of electricity as an alternative to petrol and diesel power.
  3. Wildlife. Giving children the opportunity to appreciate the wildlife on the waterways. Electric boats are almost silent and allow close approaches to wildlife such as kingfishers not normally available using motor boats.

Now that our plans are complete, all the information has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund and we have had a positive response from them. They do not see any reasons why we should not be successful with a bid and a full application will now be submitted hopefully during January.

A professional standard CD ROM has been made by Andy Blow of Blow by Blow productions. This includes the short piece of film discovered by Steve Baxter of the MG motoring on the FosseDyke in full colour! The clip is on the website, if anyone would like a copy of the CD Rom they are available from me for a suitable donation.

Several people who remembered the Mary Gordon have been interviewed on film, as part of a living history project, and some of these reminiscences are included on the CD, which we will be using as a prospectus to sponsors etc. The rebuilding and eventual re-Launch of the boat will complete the project.

Open Day

Sunday 26th September at the Pyewipe, Fosse bank, Lincoln.

This was a great success with many visitors taking advantage of the sunshine to view the MG and take a trip on the electric launch Bonnie Lass.

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