Project puts heart and sole back into fishing vessels

A project that is transforming three decommissioned fishing vessels into educational attractions is well under way at The Stade.

Local trainees and volunteers, aged 18-24, have been working with Hastings’ last specialist boat builder on The Stade, Steve Barrow and fishermen to restore three decommissioned fishing vessels, which date back as far as 1956, to be conserved and transformed into educational attractions.

14/1/15- Groundwork South restoring old fishing boats in Hastings.  Gary Leach paiting the Mandy Anne SUS-150114-120404001

14/1/15- Groundwork South restoring old fishing boats in Hastings. Gary Leach paiting the Mandy Anne SUS-150114-120404001

Managed by environmental charity Groundwork, supported by Hastings Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society, and AmicusHorizon, the project enables young people to gain personal motivation and learn woodwork, conservation and transferable skills to enhance their employability.

The first two vessels, the

Steve said the project offers a unique opportunity for skills and knowledge to be passed on to a new generation.

He added: “It is important to restore the old fishing boats as there will not be many around like this in the future and for people to see the history and importance of the fishing industry.”

In addition to boat building skills there is an opportunity for volunteers to gain construction skills by building a fisherman’s machinery store.