Storm damaged in the English Channel, “Ferriera” had put into Falmouth, Cornwall, in distress. Her crew self repaired her and we see her outward bound having, as you can see from the wave pattern, just cleared Carrick Roads into Falmouth Bay. As “Ferriera” crowds on more sail, Saint Anthony’s Head is in the background and in the foreground, a Falmouth Working Boat heading for Helford Passage and a day of oyster fishing. All details were carefully checked, for example, for the oyster boat Frickers checked for period rigging etc with his good friend Patrick Selman who has worked working boats, crewed the Falmouth Lifeboat and still makes very good sails in Cornwall for traditional boats.
To further digress a touch for those who love a yarn, in the 1970’s Patrick built, even to felling the tree used as a mast, his own “Agnes“, his own Falmouth Working Boat. Locally “Agnes” is known as “the Flying Brick“. She is the only Ferro cement working boat. She was a frequent winner of summer regattas, despite being a ton heavier than the other working boats. Some of you will know, the Falmouth Working Boats are the last engineless fishing boat fleet in Britain and there is not much Patrick does not know about them.
The artist first visited “Cutty Sark” at Greenwich as a small boy on a school outing. He has frequently sailed these waters having lived for some years at Falmouth and was very surprised to find some old rare photos of “Ferriera” at Falmouth in a Photographers shop called Osborne’s, going unrecognised for sale for a few pence.
To continue, in Falmouth, the old tea clipper was immediately recognised and the subject of much attention during her stay. A direct and happy outcome of unscheduled call was she was seen by Captain and Mrs Dowman. Many years before, the young Dowman had seen her roaring up Channel under full sail in her glory days and said he would love some day to buy her. Their interest in her was rekindled and the following year they realised the ambition and had her towed to Falmouth for restoration in the docks, and use as a boys training ship. As such she never sailed again but was used as regatta committee boat at both Falmouth and Fowey.
We also have a painting of “Ferriera’s” “Last Arrival“!