Harvest Moon, Plymouth

Plymouth Emigration Depot

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Harvest Moon 27.09.2018

The theme of this painting is emigration, it measures 76 x 121 cm (30″ x 48″), oils, £4,000, ex studio, ex frame.
This painting surprised me, the location is one I’d long wished to paint, I knew it intimately and was to discover much more.
A one off and very intimate painting, my original intention was to paint a ‘harvest moon’ as we often saw it rising over Jennycliff, Mount Batten, and Plymouth Cattewater, luminous moonlight.
A view I’d see hundreds of times when returning to my car,  of an autumn evening after sailing, racing, with my family, from the RPCYC [Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club].

Little did I realise just how much history I was standing on and looking at… or how many souls had emigrated via Plymouth. 

Plymouth Cattewater

At Plymouth Cattewater

Emigration, Plymouth Cattewater, the painting, little did I realise when I started on this voyage, the painting would become a part of Plymouth’s legacy, being the only accurately detailed representation of this part of Plymouth’s lost history.
My life has moved on, I shan’t be painting another like this one, complex, authoritatively researched and including a famous emigrant clipper, the  “Samuel Plimsoll” …

The surprise was I discovered a forgotten great story, my hope is it surprises and delights you too.

Emigration: Not so long ago Plymouth played a central role with the best migrant depot in Britain .

Click on the image above or the images below to see more detail. 

Harvest Moon [detail] 27.09.2018

The clipper “Samuel Plimsoll” was noted for her record runs.

A classic full rigged ship built in Scotland, she was named for and launched by the great man Mr. Samuel Plimsol MP, known as “the sailor’s friend”, campaigner for sailor’s rights, innovator of the ‘Plimsoll Line‘, a mark protecting seamen, which today appears on the ships of 164 countries world wide.

For 17 years, annually,  “Samuel Plimsoll” was specially prepared to sail from Plymouth with emigrants to Australia and New Zealand.

I even discovered diaries and log books …  

Harvest Moon [detail] 27.09.2018

Plymouthians can be proud of this, not so long ago Plymouth played a central role ‘exporting’ migrants, a lost history.

This marine painting is available as a signed numbered print,  to make an order visit www.frickers.co.uk/artpayment page.

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In days long gone, my family and I were members of the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club  which to this day has two of my paintings, commissioned, in pride of place in their lounge.

I was aware of some of the Cattewater’s history, the Phoneticians, Saxons, Francis Drake, Frobisher, Hawkins, of the Mayflower and Pilgrim Fathers, James Cook, Nelson, American D Day shipping, solo ocean races, …

I chose to show the scene much as it would have looked mid second half of the 19 th century in part because parts of that view are still clearly recognisable but under threat from careless redevelopment.

Plymouth, the port, the city, has witness the start of far to many famous voyages to recount here many being voyages that have changed lives and our world, beyond measure.

Plymouth was an assembly point for emigrants Plymouth was for centuries, thanks to the kindness of its people a preferred departure point.

The Plymouth Emigration Depot, custom built,  demolished during the 1930’s was for  many years the most advanced of it’s kind.

This painting shows you the clipper “Samuel Plimsoll” loading emigrants for Australia summer 1884.

Via our further reading section you can discover one of the diaries kept by an emigrant who sailed on the Samuel Plimsoll.

Today we may justifiably take pride in our city of Plymouth, Devon, England.


Enjoyed the above? Don’t miss further reading  it reads like a short sea novel!


Credit where it is due: My particular thanks to Bob Brennan for tireless research and encouragement, to David Folley for the use of his facilities, Captain Tim Charlesworth of / and the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, Ian Criddle of Plymouth Naval Reference Library, Nigel Overton Heritage Officer of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Alan Collie in New Zealand who provided information unknown in Plymouth from the 1884 WESTERN FIGARO newspaper including drawings, David Meale who’s ancestor Richard James Stead who emigrated in the Samuel Plimsoll and kept a diary which includes a drama, a collision at sea during the voyage; and by no means least, to the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

All helped enormously and willingly, giving authority to this magnificent painting “Emigration, Plymouth Cattewater“.

 ~ ~ ~ ~

Contact US ~

You can E me: artistfrickers@nullgmail.com, T:+ 44 (0)1865 52 2435 M: + 33 (0)6 10 66 19 26

or Skype ‘gordonfrickers’ or whatsapp, or phone

E~ Important ! please substitute ‘@’ for ‘at’: artistfrickersatgmail.com

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Gordon Frickers © 02.03.12 Updated 20.03.2014, 19.03.15, 27.10.15, 04.01.16, 02,02,2017, 06.04.17, 30.05.2017, 22.08.2017, 27.09.2018, 28.09.2018


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Marine Trades Association

Member of The Marine Trades Association

Gordon Frickers, the only artist member of British Marine

Gordon Frickers, the only artist member of British Marine



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