I think I am just about to do possibly the most exciting thing in my life: apply to list Elizmor on the National Register of Historic Vessels.
A certain special someone brilliantly suggested it to me the other day, as a boat neighbour mentioned that he could apply for a grant for his old wooden boat because it was on the Register.
Until this moment, it had never occurred to me – I didn’t really know how ships ended up on this prestigious historic list, but I thought they had to be… I don’t know… ancient, with strong ties to UK history, worthy of preservation, and… well, thinking about it, that’s exactly what Elizmor is. But I never would have thought I might be the guardian of a boat eligible for it.
Excited, I researched the eligibility criteria, which state that a vessel must:
- be at least 50 years old
- have demonstrable and significant associations with the UK
- be based in UK waters
- be more than 33 ft in length overall (length OA) measured between the forward and aft extremities of the hull overall excluding any spars or projections.
- be substantially intact
Well, I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but Elizmor meets each of those criteria. She:
- was built in 1948 so is 65, nearly 66 years old
- built and fished around Scotland & Ireland for her whole working life
- has been ashore in Preston, England for the last 10+ years and will soon have a new life further down south
- is 53ft long – 20ft more than the minimum requirement
- she is most certainly intact, ready for her launch, and will soon be capable of her sea journey
So, err… hang on a minute… does that mean… she’s eligible? Elizmor, on the National Register of Historic Vessels? Let’s not get carried away; it looks positive, but I need to apply, and then they will consider my application.
It also feels like quite a turning point, because I realise this has all come from inspiration I have taken from you. Jonny first mentioned the idea, and then I began to take it seriously when I started to hear from you, my wonderful readers and followers.
Over the past few weeks and days, I have heard from a handful of people who at some point in their previous lives, were also a part of Elizmor’s. It is amazing to hear from so many of Elizmor’s old crew, and their families today, who used to make a livelihood aboard her, back in Scotland and Ireland in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s.
It’s awesome to think that Elizmor has touched so many lives, left so many stories for people to tell, and it would be the least I can do to give her some official recognition and open the doors to further support to keep her spirit alive for decades to come.
Here’s to Elizmor. I will keep you updated on progress.