The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a grant of £58,000 to restore Severn, a yacht built in Arnside in 1912. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the grant should help ensure Severn is back in the water as a symbol of Arnside’s Maritime Heritage by 2023.
Severn was one of 10 yachts built by Crossfields in Arnside for the Royal Mersey Yacht Club in the 1910s. Severn and Crossfields featured in a recent BBC Villages by the Sea programme about Arnside. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund the project includes funding for volunteers, children and young people to learn wooden boat building skills and how to sail traditional boats such as Severn. The work includes replacing her internal framework which holds the boat together.
A feature of the project is funding to build a Gaffling 4.1 dinghy which is designed to teach children and adults how to sail a traditional sailing boat before moving onto bigger boats such as Severn. Gaffling 4.1 dinghies were designed by Andrew Wolstenholme a leading boat designer who grew up in the Morecambe Bay area and are available in kit form from Fyne Boats at Gatebeck near Kendal.
Crossfields of Arnside were leading builders of Morecambe Bay Prawners and yachts from the 1840s to the 1940, including Arthur Ransome’s Swallow. Arnside has a long maritime heritage. The estuary was the port to Kendal. The Victorians held regattas.
The grant has been awarded by the Friends group that has set up as a small charity by Arnside Sailing Club to help maintain and sail Severn. Alasdair Simpson, chair of the Friends Group said “We are delighted to have been awarded the funding thanks to the support of National Lottery players. The grant means that we should have Severn back on the water within the next two years.”