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Daphne du Maurier

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Plans to build a replica of the Jane Slade

A meeting took place at the Russell Inn, Polruan, Cornwall today to discuss a plan to build a replica of the Jane Slade.  The original ship was a fruit schooner, built at Slade’s shipyard in Polruan in 1870, named after the shipyard’s owner and immortalized in Daphne du Maurier’s first novel The Loving Spirit.

The plan is to create a community project centered around a working, sailing schooner.  The project is being started by Nikki Alford who owns another historic vessel, Bessie Ellen, and Sean McLaughlin.  They explained that the Jane Slade will not be a museum piece, she will be a low carbon cargo ship, will carry passengers and be available for events and film/media.  Building her will reinstate traditional values and skills along with maritime education for Fowey Estuary and St Austell Bay.   Ships are built to travel but this one’s home will be on the Fowey river providing a focus for the local community.

Like the centrepiece of Daphne du Maurier’s novel the Jane Slade will be fast, economical and efficient.  The ship’s hull will be built by C Toms and Sons on the same site as the original vessel and local boat builders and engineers will play their part in fitting her out.  She will be a truly local ship.

The ship will cost between £1.5 and £2m so the first big joint community effort will be to raise the money!

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