The Blyth Tall Ship Project

“Exploring Our Future, Inspired by Our Past.”

Project Background:

200 years ago Captain William Smith, raised the funds to build a state of the art sailing vessel to embark on a voyage to trade around the world from Blyth. He rounded Cape Horn (the most treacherous seas in the world) traded the west coast of South America, avoided buccaneers and French blockades and famously discovered the Southern Shetland Islands in the Antarctic Ocean. How was that for enterprise, adventure and the use of renewable energy?
A message from our Patron, The Duchess of Northumberland: ‘Tall ships, adventure, saving the planet and active learning, all aimed at getting young people in to new jobs. This is an inspirational project for Northumberland and we should all back it’.

As it is today:

Today Blyth is suffering 3rd generation unemployment after the collapse of the coal and ship building industries with many young people struggling to identify with their future and aspire to the opportunities that are developing in the port.

What’s happening now:

The light at the end of the tunnel is the emerging Off Shore and engineering industry that is growing in the area, including Clipper (Wind turbine Company), Alnmaritec (Aluminium Boat Builder), MTL (Bespoke Steel Manufacturer). Tharsus (General Engineering Company) and The Port of Blyth all of whom are growing and taking on more people.

Blyth – The future for employment:

Sadly, there is a skills gap between those leaving formal education and these emerging businesses and we believe that the Blyth Tall Ship project is a catalyst and inspiration for change, by promoting an awareness of Blyth’s maritime tradition and creating pathways to future jobs in the maritime sector.

A positive beginning:

“We are committed to assisting people with training to help them get into work and the Blyth Tall Ship project will help us to inspire those hard to reach groups” – ‘Colin Bassam’ Head of Port of Blyth’s award winning Port Training Services team.

Want to be part of it? :

Why not join our ‘Friends of Blyth Tall Ship’ group? The Friends of Blyth Tall Ship come from all walks of life and have a broad range of skills. They meet regularly and currently help with the maintenance of the workshop, fundraising, course support and finding and delivering boats for refurbishment to our site.
We are currently looking for retired engineers who might be interested in teaching skills to the next generation and sharing their thoughts and enthusiasm with them as well as working on traditional boat restorations in our workshop.

Why not get involved, help us with our funding or join the Facebook page, ‘Friends Of Blyth Tall Ship’. The project is also looking for volunteers to be trained in archive research and the creation of oral histories from July 2012, that will result in a review of the Port’s Archive and a mobile museum and video histories about ship building in Blyth.