Fleetwood heritage trawler Jacinta can't be saved - but legacy will live on

Sadly, a campaign to try and save Fleetwood's heritage trawler Jacinta faced insurmountable odds.
Sadly, a campaign to try and save Fleetwood's heritage trawler Jacinta faced insurmountable odds.

Hopes that Fleetwood's heritage trawler Jacinta could be saved from the scrapyard have been sunk.

At a public meeting on Monday night, members of the Jacinta Trust spelt out why the

Jack Harrison, ex-trawlerman Dave Morley and Blake Walker plan to look at ways to keep Jacinta's legacy alive

Jack Harrison, ex-trawlerman Dave Morley and Blake Walker plan to look at ways to keep Jacinta's legacy alive

practicalities of saving the deep sea fishing ship were simply to stark to overcome.

But during the session at the Marine Hall, campaigners who had hoped to save her vowed that the 142ft long ship's vivid history will live on.

They plan to set up a group to collect priceless stories, photos and memories which will keep memories of her fishing legacy alive.

Jack Harrison, who organised the meeting, said: "If we can't save her, we'll make sure we give her the best send-off and help to keep Jacinta's memory and legacy alive."

And artifacts from the ship will also form part of a display at Fleetwood Museum.

The Jacinta Trust first towed the trawler to Fleetwood from Hull back in 1995 and established the vessel as a floating museum, keeping her shipshape for the last 24 years.

But David Pearce, chairman of the Jacinta Trust, explained that the vessel was at risk of sinking and that massive costs would be needed to make her safe.

But this wasn't the only problem.

He said: "Even if we did find the many thousands of pounds necessary, who is going to look after Jacinta in the years ahead?

"As a Trust, we have just five members left and we're all getting on in years.

"We don't run it as a hobby, we are a registered charity and as such it is a legal thing.

"We have to behave in a prudent way asnd resolve things in a way acceptable to the Charities Commission."

Any work needed on Jacinta would have to be done out of Fleetwood, but as she was not fit to travel, a seemingly insurmountable Catch 22 situation had arisen.

Additonally, at 47 years old, the vessel is three years too young to benefit from any potential Lottery funding, as vessels abler to receive funding must be a minimum of 50 years old.

Canon John hall, who chaired the meeting, said: "We've got this ship, Jacinta, which means so much to many people in Fleetweood, but it's clear everything possible has been done and that we have to lay her to rest, and it's how we do it that matters."

It is now likely the vessel will be scrapped, although that is not likely to happen until after the new year.

At the meeting with Jack Harrsion was 18 year old Blake Walker, of Fleetwood Road, who only recently discovered that his grandfather, Bernard Birley, was a skipper of Jacinta, once a top earning Icelandic trawler for J Marr & Son.

He said: "I've been inspired by him and the story of Jacinta, it is part of my family's history - and the town's history.

"I would be happy to help keep that memory alive."

Anyone interested in working with the group can contact Jack on 0748 5008177 or by email at jackharrison707@yahoo.co.uk