Nostalgic return for rejuvenated boat

A REJUVENATED ship is today enjoying a nostalgic return to Ipswich, where it once took shelter before its transformation.

A REJUVENATED ship is today enjoying a nostalgic return to Ipswich, where it once took shelter before its transformation.

Visitors flocked to see the Picton Castle at the Waterfront over the weekend, where it will be moored until tomorrow before she continues on her fourth round-the-world tour.

The former Second World War minesweeper was falling into a state of disrepair until captain Dan Moreland took her under his wing.

He employed a crew to sail her from Norway to Canada, where she was converted to sail, and it was during that journey in 1993 that they stopped in Ipswich for the winter while Mr Moreland raised more funds for the trip.

Mr Moreland said: “It has been 15 years since we were here last and it is wonderful to be back. It is a bit of a homecoming.”

The crew endured a rough ride across the North Sea on Friday and it was touch and go whether they would be able make their scheduled stop.

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Legendary knot-maker Des Pawson MBE, said it was a great relief to see the boat in the dock.

Mr Pawson, the chairman of Ipswich Maritime Trust, said: “The weather in the North Sea was horrendous. It is a compliment to Ipswich that this crew took the risk to get across here during a difficult voyage.”

Built in 1928, the tall ship started out as a motorised trawler but was used as a minesweeper during the Second World War before becoming a freighter.

The crew includes 11 professional sailors plus paying trainees and the boat even has a resident cat, who has lived on board for the last nine years and is now completing her fourth world tour.