MENAI STRAIT'S HERITAGE SAILING
A truly unique fleet
SUPPORTING HERITAGE, CREATING OPPORTUNITY, EMBRACING SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
A Unique Vintage Fleet
Menai Strait Heritage Sailing (MSHS) is an innovative and inclusive community and heritage initiative project focusing on The Menai Straits Gallows Point, and the wider local community around Beaumaris on Anglesey in North-West Wales; a place steeped in Maritime and local Heritage.
We are aiming to engage with and involve a wide group of people in what we believe to be a unique, local heritage project, with the potential to build, extend, and share the many benefits of being involved in the local community.
As a group of people who sail, we saw the many values of sailing but more inclusively of being part of a Project which offered a facility where people could come to meet and work on boats, in whatever capacity they are able, so joining a long tradition of men and women who have occupied the sheds at Gallows Point and maintained boats since the 19th Century.
The idea for the Project germinated during the Covid 19 pandemic when the number of people experiencing social isolation and poor psychological health such as depression vastly increased, and at a time when many support services were unable to cope with the referrals for support.
So, in 2021, after extensive consultation, we elected trustees and began to work towards our goal of creating a socially responsible, not-for-profit organisation which addresses local needs while securing aspects of local heritage.
We chose to base the project around a local yacht -The Menai Strait One Design. We did this as they are a fleet of boats designed by a local naval architect and all built on Gallows Point between 1937 and 1952.
Remarkably they all still exist, ‘live’ locally and are probably the oldest complete fleet of 17 or more One Design yachts in the world. The key activities are associated with ongoing work to preserve, renovate and sail this unique heritage fleet.
From the ‘off’ we have been remarkably well supported by local and national organisations, and crucially, by individuals who donate on a monthly or annual basis. This has allowed the project to develop well ahead of our initial time. We had optimistically hoped to secure a couple of the boats requiring renovation, have them on the water in 2023/24 respectively and to have secured a shed as a ’hub’ by 2024.
Remarkably, we now own 3 of the boats, one of which was restored and on the water for 2022 with a 2nd one set to join it in 2023. We were able to take people sailing in 2022 and this will increase in 2023. We have also secured the use of a large shed from 1st May 2023 so will commence its use as a community facility later in the year.
Additionally, we have assisted in funding an apprenticeship in Marine Engineering to support the longer-term objectives of the Project.
Please see our volunteer page for more information on how to become involved. We look forward to welcoming you to the shed or a boat on the water.