Celebrating the Shamrock on Cotehele Quay

The Shamrock on Cotehele Quay by John Hartland
The Shamrock on Cotehele Quay by John Hartland

Head over to Cotehele Quay for a fun-filled family day on Saturday 30 April.

The day marks a momentous occasion, as the ownership of the Shamrock, the world’s only fully restored Tamar sailing barge, will be fully transferred from the National Maritime Museum to the National Trust.

The handover celebration is being organised by Cotehele National Trust and the Tamar Valley AONB Heritage Guides. The events will run from 11am until 3pm with an official Shamrock handover ceremony at 2pm.

Activities will include treasure hunts, face painting, guided walks, an opportunity to learn the art of knot-tying and a sea-shanty sing-a-long. Visitors will be able to board Shamrock and learn about her history and have their photo taken in the pirate ‘peep board. Plus, the Westcountry Rivers Trust will be there to collect stories about the river Tamar.

‘Not many people know the National Trust has been in joint ownership of this 1899 barge with the National Maritime Museum since her restoration in the 1970s,’ says Joe Lawrence, Lead Ranger at Cotehele. ‘All of her shares will now be transferred to the National Trust and we will continue to look after her here on the river Tamar at Cotehele Quay.’

The Heritage Guides were recently trained through the Helping Hands for Heritage project. Sam Barnes, Helping Hands for Heritage Project Officer, says: ‘The eight-strong team have been learning skills over the past nine weeks, under the guidance of local Blue Badge Guide and Shamrock volunteer Chrissie Le Marchant. This special day gives them the chance to put into practice all that they have learnt, as they become ambassadors for the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’

Joe Lawrence adds: ‘It’s fantastic that a boat like the Shamrock, who worked so hard in her life and has survived so many ordeals, can still give so much pleasure to so many people. She’s 116 years old and she’s still here and still going strong. If that’s not a reason to celebrate then I don’t know what is.’

Admission is free and dogs on leads are welcome. The Edgcumbe tea-room and the pasty- ice cream kiosk will also be open. For details on all Cotehele events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele and for Tamar Valley AONB events visit www.tamarvalley.org.uk.