Historic Bridlington sailing coble celebrates 100 years

The Three Brothers sailing coble celebrates 100 years - Mike Salisbury, Brian & Sarah Parkin, Albert Brownhill and Betty Salisbury.
The Three Brothers sailing coble celebrates 100 years - Mike Salisbury, Brian & Sarah Parkin, Albert Brownhill and Betty Salisbury.

A SOCIETY working to preserve a piece of Bridlington’s maritime history have renewed their plea for donations and volunteers as they gear up to celebrate the centenary of a sailing coble.

This weekend the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society will hold a special celebration event down on the harbour to mark the 100th birthday of Three Brothers, a vessel that is the last of its kind and a part of the town’s fishing heritage.

But the coble is currently unable to sail as it is in urgent need of repair work - estimated at £45,000, a figure which could rise to £67,500 if additional work is identified and VAT included, an amount which Society treasurer Mike Wilson has described as “terrifying”.

The Society are in the process of applying to the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) for a possible 60% grant, but the remaining £27,000 is way beyond what the Society has in the bank, according to Mr Wilson.

“For safety’s sake, we need to raise that money this year to make the venture possible. There is also the remote possibility of needing additional revenue if the shipyard find further damage which has to be attended to,” Mr Wilson said. The Society has already received a number of donations, including £1,000 from an anonymous man in Norwich, but need more.

But even with the grant the Society would have to foot the bill for the boat’s renovation, then claim the money back via the grant on completion.

“Members of the Society are mostly elderly, giving their free time to staff the Bridlington Harbour Heritage Museum, right on the harbour side, our only way of creating revenue,” Mr Wilson said.

“We have neither the wisdom not experience to know how to find all this money,” he added.

But the Society feel it is important to secure the funds and preserve the vessel for future generations.

“If we finally get the money together and it was finally done the society would be able to say we have preserved that and have helped it get to 100 years old and now it’s up to other people to take it forward for the next 100 years, we need younger people to come in for us,” Mr Wilson told the Free Press.

Residents and visitors to the town have been invited to attend the centenary event outside the Bridlington Harbour Heritage Museum at 2pm this Sunday, June 17 when the town crier, David Hinde, will declare the vessel to be 100 years old. The town mayor, Councillor Michael Charlesworth, has also been invited to attend.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Mike Wilson on (01262) 609228. Donations can be made by cheque, payable to BSCPS, and sent to BSCPS, Harbour Office, West End, Bridlington, YO15 3AN or a payment can be made via Paypal to Mike Wilson at michael.wilson@tesco.net.