Boleh’s unique quadruped mast

Generous Support For Boleh’s Birdham Upgrade

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Boleh is back at Birdham Pool for her first major upgrade and deep maintenance since her total restoration and re-commissioning over 5 years ago.  Thanks to the generosity of our major donor, the Nuffield Trust for the Armed Forces of the Crown, Boleh is being fitted with a state of the art Fischer Panda generator to power her twin electric motors.  We are also very grateful to other donors – the Foyle Foundation, The Army Central Fund, the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, and the Garfield Weston Charitable Trust – who have enabled us to undertake a full package of work this Winter.

Picture shows Boleh’s unique quadruped mast on the jetty at Birdham awaiting transfer to Tim Gilmore’s shed for refurbishment.  Construction of this complex mast structure at Birdham in 2014 was one of the triumphs of Boleh’s restoration.  Tim and his team worked with Naval Architect Graham Westbrook to replicate Robin Kilroy’s original 1949 design – for which there were no detailed drawings – with complete success.  This Winter’s enhancements will ensure Boleh is ready in all respects for the charitable sailing programme we long to deliver once conditions allow.

Boleh To Benefit From Farewell Gift

Boleh To Benefit From Farewell Gift

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We are sad to say goodbye to one of our longest serving Trustees, David Knight, who steps down after playing a key role as Chairman of Boleh’s restoration Design Group.  David has always wanted Boleh to have the full suite of sails depicted in this extract from Robin Kilroy’s 1951 lecture portfolio but other funding priorities have stood in the way.  Now, as a farewell to Boleh, he has taken it upon himself to gift a new full size Genoa to the Trust.  We are extremely grateful for this generosity and for David’s time as a Trustee.

As David steps down, we are delighted to welcome a new Trustee, Simon Springett, to the Boleh team.  Simon, a Commando trained Naval Chaplain, is an Ocean Yachtmaster and one of Boleh’s first  volunteer Skippers.  He will be closely involved in helping us fulfil one of our important charitable obligations: providing opportunities for members of the Armed Services and their families to sail in Boleh.  We look forward to achieving this in our 2021 sailing programme and to benefitting from a full set of headsails!

Pupils from All Saints School, Weymouth

Our Hopes For Boleh Next Year

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The clocks have gone back, the sailing season’s nearly over.  Boleh’s 2020 programme, so exciting at the start, has been darkened and disrupted by COVID-19.  But, despite this, the ‘can-do’ spirit has helped our volunteers and Halcyon partners make something of the year.  Boleh passed her major 5-year MCA survey, was commissioned for a limited Covid-compliant sailing programme, trained new Skippers and crews, gained new volunteers and made important contacts with ‘client’ organisations for 2021.

Now we are looking ahead.  Firstly, to Boleh’s winter maintenance where some upgrades are planned, and then to a sailing programme next year free from restrictions.  Boleh, with her ‘can-do’ history of challenges confronted and overcome, is standing by to provide an antidote to people’s 2020 experiences of isolation and deprivation.  So our hope is that 2021 will see plenty of young people enjoying sunshine and sea breezes onboard Boleh – as in this picture of pupils from All Saints School, Weymouth in happier times.

Roger and Wendy Angel

A Poem For Boleh 1985 – And A Bit Of History

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In 1985 Roger and Wendy Angel set off in Boleh on their ‘big adventure’.  Before leaving England Lesley Brown – widow of ‘Buster’ Brown, one time shareholder in Robin Kilroy’s Boleh – gave a farewell party for them in Falmouth.  Among the guests were Roger’s friends John and Liz Cynddylan who had witnessed Roger’s restoration of Boleh in Rye harbour.

John was an adventurer himself and, on hearing reports of Boleh’s passage South, including loss of the topmast, penned this Poem of encouragement to Boleh and her crew.  After many adventures, recorded by friend and helper Dave Sully in ‘Arising from the Ashes’, the Angels and Boleh finally settled in their Majorca base.  Picture shows Roger and Wendy in the sunny Med, enjoying the fruits of their considerable labours!

Boleh, September 1950

Boleh Snapped At Rest After Epic Voyage

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We are grateful to Andrew Hill for these 2 photos, taken by his father shortly after Boleh’s arrival from Singapore in September 1950.  Andrew read the article about Boleh in May’s edition of PBO, (see our 6 April news item) and recalled seeing her in Salcombe as a child.  Later, reviewing the family photo albums, he chanced upon these pictures of Boleh resting up the Bag in Salcombe.

Thinking they might interest the current owners and also add to the records of this unique vessel, Andrew kindly passed them to PBO’s editor who forwarded them on to us.  Thank you all round.

Boleh Survey

Boleh Now ‘Good To Go’!

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To complete Boleh’s transformation in 2015 from hulk to licensed sail training vessel, she had to pass a rigorous Maritime and Coastguard Agency survey.  Like an MOT, Boleh’s licence to operate is renewed annually but, at the 5 year point, another major survey is required.  Thanks to the sterling efforts of the Boleh Team, we’re delighted to report that she has again passed this testing exam and is now all set to go,  fully coded for Cat 2 and Cat 4 sailing.  Picture shows Boleh lifted out at Haslar for the final stage of the survey.

Back to Work for Boleh!

Back to Work for Boleh!

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We’re happy to report that Boleh is taking the PM’s call for a return to work seriously.  The Boleh team have at last been able to carry out sea trials and at the same time assess the feasibility of using Boleh within the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.  The trial was a complete success and we are now planning a limited autumn programme with no more than 4 persons onboard.

Picture shows our lead Skipper, Richard Metcalfe, taking the lines on completion of the trial, as newly ‘inducted’ Boleh Skipper, Glenn Upton, guides her safely alongside in Haslar Marina.  Richard and Glenn (who works for our partner, Halcyon Yachts) are hoping the programme can take Boleh as far West as Salcombe to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of her arrival there from Singapore.  Watch this space!

Ascension Island

Boleh and Ascension Island

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70 years ago on 4 July 1950 Boleh called at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic during the closing stages of her journey from Singapore to the UK.  The Island was discovered by the Portuguese Navigator Joao da Nova on Ascension Day 1501, and is now a British Military Base and a link to the Falkland Islands.

 

Chapter 23 of Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’ describes the visit and the warm hospitality offered by residents of this tiny Colony, many of whom worked for Cable & Wireless.  Among those looking after the Boleh crew was Michael Miles whose son, Jinx, kindly sent these pictures from Australia – note top picture of Boleh at anchor with ‘tradewind rig’ booms spread.

Link to Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’: https://www.bolehproject.com/book/BolehByRobinKilroy.pdf

New Trustee ‘bowled over’ by Boleh

New Trustee ‘bowled over’ by Boleh

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Its not often our website features a cricketing icon!  This photo by David Rowe shows England paceman Jofra Archer with our new Trustee, Jon Surtees, showing off the ICC World Cup Trophy to crowds at the Kia Oval last year.  Jon, who regularly mixes with giants of the game, is Head of Communications, Media and Community for Surrey County Cricket Club and author of several books on cricket.

 

We are delighted to welcome Jon to the Boleh Trust. He brings networking and journalistic skills to help raise Boleh’s profile, and experience of inner city schools and institutions to develop our charitable offering.  Jon has yet to sail in Boleh but is excited at the prospect and quipped “I’m sure I’ll be bowled over by the experience”!  We hope circumstances will allow him to get afloat as soon as possible.

Keeping Boleh Ready For Sea

Keeping Boleh Ready For Sea

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Boleh should have been down in Portland again this week, starting her sailing programme with Dorset Schools.  Instead, COVID-19 has her locked down in Haslar Marina, yearning for the open sea.  We want to be sure Boleh is ready to get underway as soon as Guidelines allow.  Who can tell when that will be but, in the meantime and with Haslar now open for business, we’re able to work onboard with social distancing.  Mark’s picture shows Jason sprucing up Boleh’s starboard skylight.