Plans to make the most of Fleetwood’s priceless heritage fishing vessels

The fishing vessel Harriet is now settled in her new accomodation behind Fleetwood Museum.'Dick Gillingham at the stern of the Harriet. PIC BY ROB LOCK
The fishing vessel Harriet is now settled in her new accomodation behind Fleetwood Museum.'Dick Gillingham at the stern of the Harriet. PIC BY ROB LOCK

Efforts are being made to ensure Fleetwood’s precious heritage vessels are displayed to maximum impact.

There are three heritage craft in Fleetwood relating to the fishing industry– deep sea trawler Jacinta, 19th century fishing smack Harriet and a smaller sailing craft, Judy.

With tourism and heritage becoming even more important to local economies, it is recognised the town’s historic vessels are precious commodities.

Last week Fleetwood MP Eric Ollerenshaw said Jacinta trustees were looking to move the vessel from the Fish Dock to a more accessible mooring and he has discussed a possible location with landlord 
Associated British Ports.

Mr Ollerenshaw added: “It could also result in the release of land to display more of our fishing heritage.”

As well as this, Fleetwood Museum is holding a consultation event next week, on Tuesday from 11am to 2pm.

Then the public and members of the fishing community are being invited to pay a visit to Harriet, on display in the museum’s boat hall to the rear of the building.

Admission will be free and volunteers will talk to visitors about the future of the vessel and ways in which she could be displayed to the public.

Museum trustee Dick Gillingham said: “We hope the public will visit us on the day, not only to see our largest and perhaps most famous exhibit, but to offer their ideas and opinions about Harriet and how she may be displayed in future.

“Many local men have served as crewmen or helped maintain the vessel over the years.”

Alongside Harriet at the museum on Queen’s Terrace, are artefacts relating to Fleetwood port history and a fascinating collection of old photographs, illustrating how the port developed.

Harriet has for some years been on the National Register of Historic Vessels, but in 2012 joined the elite Fleet List alongside HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, Cutty Sark and other world famous exhibits.

Harriet, Fleetwood’s last remaining fishing smack, was built in 1893 at Singleton Brothers boatyard by Wyre Dock, for Richard Leadbetter and Partners.

The museum is also host to another heritage vessel, Judy.

Readers interested in Harriet should turn up or ring (01253) 876621 for more information.