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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Ulverston boat’s 100th birthday celebrated with Walney Channel sail

AN historic boat celebrated its 100th birthday with a sail alongside an 118-year-old vessel.

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LANDMARK: The 100-year-old Hearts of Oak, the last boat produced by the once-famous Ulverston shipbuilding industry, follows Ruby, an 1894-built vessel near to Piel Island. SUBMITTED

Hearts of Oak, the last boat produced by the once-famous Ulverston shipbuilding industry, reached the landmark last Friday.

She was put through her paces in Walney Channel on Sunday afternoon, but was 18 years the junior of Barrow man Neil Morrison’s 1894-built vessel Ruby.

Jennifer Snell, chairwoman of the Hearts of Oak Boat Trust, which received a £49,500 Heritage Lottery grant to restore the 34ft prawner in 2005, said: “It was a brilliant day.

“Hearts of Oak will be around for good now, God willing. She’s in top condition and good for another 100 years.”

As part of the celebrations, around 60 people enjoyed a buffet at the Ship Inn on Piel Island.

Eighty-nine-year-old Jean Wharton, whose mother launched the boat in 1912, was also in attendance.

The boat was built for her grandfather Peter Butler, the former over sands guide.

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