21 Jan 2008

The Purton Hulks

As a councillor I just heard from an enthusiast - Paul Barnett - he has embarked on a privately funded course of research in order to locate, chart and identify as many of the Purton hulks as possible. Indeed he won the 2007 Award from the Nautical Archaeology Society through its Adopt A Wreck initiative.

Apparently from the waste weir in the north to the Sharpness New Dock entrance in the south, there are some 81 vessels - steel, timber and concrete constructions - the largest collection of this type of craft any where in the U.K. Read Gazette here. He has after 9 years of study identified 76 vessels and is now correlating individual histories for each. This includes overall dimensions, cargoes, trade routes, owners and crew, personal anecdotes and the eventual date and method of abandonment on the wind swept foreshore adjacent to this sleepy hamlet in Gloucestershire.

Paul also has in excess of 600 photographs which chronicle the life and death of each vessel and are catalogued to represent individual vessels afloat/in use, during earlier stages post abandonment and pre decomposition/vandalism/arson/ trophy hunters and finally as they look today. Furthermore and with the use of several sources and modern surveying techniques, he has produced a schematic diagram, which locates each vessel by scale and heading. He hopes to keep the research at the Gloucestershire office of the Sites & Monuments Record - see Pauls' photos of wrecks here.

This is all a fascinating look at life on the Severn - Paul's efforts to document this are to be applauded. Slide show presentations and tour details from 07833 143 231

1 comment:

barnadillo said...

Dear Phil

2008 - What a year,
Following the presentation of the Nautical Archaeological Societies Adopt A Wreck Award the site has continued to draw mass attention of the great and good. Furthermore this in turn has lead to several items that have adorned local radio, T.V. and even the national press in The Times. Watch out for an interview in August’s edition of Cotswold Life and the fourth Channel Four series of Coast.

As many of you will know the site tours are proving very popular, whilst the Purton Hulks slide show continues to be in such demand that I am rarely at home.

For those of you who attended the 1st Peoples Archaeological Academy my sincere thanks to all for your hard work and efforts. To this end I am very pleased to advise that the weekends proved to be a great success with 6 vessels being comprehensively surveyed by the NAS and Friends of Purton volunteers. Coupled to this, Wessex Archaeology with the use of ground penetrating radar, obtained images of some 5 vessels one of which had never been recorded before. Furthermore Anglo Danish Maritime conducted a DGPS survey of the vessels with the view to updating the previous schematic survey conducted by Dr A. J Parker in 1996.

On the back of this the Purton Hulks went on tour and recently exhibited at the Lister Steam Rally from which several hundred signatures were added to the petition which now stands just short of 1400. This in turn will be issued to Andy Barnham MP by Stroud MP David Drew.
Date for you diary
1st – 3rd August 2008 Kemble Steam Rally

2008 has also proved a mile stone year for Purton as we now have 8 interpretation plaques in situe with 5 more in production. My sincere thanks to all sponsors and individuals who have made it happen.

Heres looking forward to a productive and rewarding 12 months for the Purton Hulks

Furthermore nows your chance to help in protecting this this wonderful site. Why not join the action group The Freinds of Purton

For further details or an application form kindly email barnadillo@aol.com

With fondest regards