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THE NATIONAL TRUST

Tamar barge ailing in lockdown

The National Trust is hoping to raise £120,000 to save a rare 1899 Tamar sailing barge after major rot was discovered during repairs. The project has stalled since the start of the pandemic and now observers fear for the future of the boat.

During the UK’s first lockdown, the lead boatbuilder was put on furlough and volunteers were sent home. A blog updating supporters on the project reports: “Shamrock was left sat in her cradle on the slip at Cotehele Quay. With the crew’s return in late August, Shamrock was checked out and found to be drying out with her elm bottom hull plank seams opening up. Her cover had also taken a battering, particularly the aft section. This has now been covered with a new tarpaulin.”

The National Trust – a conservation charity that owns parts of the English countryside and numerous historic buildings – has owned Shamrock since 1974, when the boat was last restored. The trust has kept the boat at Cotehele Quay, on the River Tamar in Cornwall, where she has been open to the public and occasionally sailed.

The Trust says: “Time has marched on for the grand old lady and the National Trust hauled out of the water nearly two years ago, secured her on a cradle above the tide with all of her hull accessible, and began a programme of major repairs to ensure her

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