Progress update plus

I feels a bit like the project has been going for ages, but in fact it's really only one month since our first meeting.

We have three web presences at the moment, this website, a Facebook page and a JustGiving page. This website gives us a place for a structured view of the project, it's need, aims, progress and so on. The Facebook page is a more responsive place, where people browse and where one is encouraged to 'like' pages which gives an indication of exposure, and also to 'share' pages ... copy a link to friends and acquaintances. It's also a place to look for other related organisations.

That dynamic aspect of Facebook allows us to draw the attention of similarly minded people to our pages and our project, and also to go and find those people.

I can't sensibly give a list of such connections here, but I can give an idea. We now have links with a number of organisations operating classic vessels in various ways and for various purposes. We aim to learn from them the good ideas and the not-so-good ideas to further Tally Ho's prospects. We have people like Sir Robin Knox-Johnstone, Dan Houston, WoodenBoat magazine and many others, at least interested in what we're doing. Fundraising is progressing, but remains slow ... As I write, we're 25% into our schedule but only 6% of our ideal target of £30,000 to Bring Her Home. Please help us to do that, directly or via JustGiving.

However, with funds that the Association has in addition to the fundraising, we are pretty sure that we can at the least get to our worst-case fall-back position of moving her to another site on the west coast of the USA.

But ... the west coast of the USA is not the best place for her. There's some interest in classic boats, but the interest is much weaker than in the UK or on the north-east coast. There we have places like Mystic Seaport, Marblehead, Portsmouth, Boston, Martha's Vineyard and Jamestown, as well as a number of deep-water ports for shipping. We do however have a good contact in the San Francisco area with a major maritime museum that may help.

If or when we get her back to the UK, we have an offer of a site for her in Barton-upon-Humber for five years, free of charge. That is a potentially brilliant location for her as it's on the southern shore of the river Humber, close to the bridge. The Humber, of course, is the home of the Humber Yawl Club (HYC) where many of the ideas for the canoe yawl gestated, and where Albert often sailed. It's almost directly across the river from Kingston-upon-Hull ("Hull") and as Tally Ho's first owner, Charles Hellyer, had one of his fishing fleets based there, the city also has a cultural connection with her.

In the centenary of the passing of Albert Strange and with the recent passing of Mike Peyton, this seemed a good time to reprise this cartoon drawn for us by Mike

AGM weekend

We held tow meetings this year. In the morning, prior to the AGM, the committee met to try to better distil exactly how and where we shall go with Tally Ho. As you will appreciate, there is much more to the whole project than just the rescue from immediate danger. We also need a final target ... an endgame. Precisely what that will be is still under consideration. We are still considering what kind of end-use she could have and by whom.

What is clear, though, from both that meeting and the AGM, is the membership's and committee's desire to rescue her.

Two of Albert's great, great, grand-daughters came to the AGM this year, Laura and Amy. They took a great interest and made excellent contributions, including Laura's variation on our tag-line:

"Bring Her Home"

And a book of Albert's pencil sketches brought by Amy.

Ideas discussed included uses like sailing for disabled servicemen and the possible use of a professional or semi-professional fundraiser to help us achiev the whole job of rescue right through to a future.

Watch this space.

Gordon.