In the Sea Breezes of January 2011, The Pride of Bristol Trust (POBT) published a short article detailing the aims of the Trust and those who crew their vessel MV Pride of Bristol.
The vessel is the ex Royal Navy Fleet Tender HMS Messina and is run by the POBT as a charity which provides opportunities for young people to experience life at sea in the Bristol Channel areas. Voyages are provided free of charge where possible, or at heavily subsidised rates which cover just fuel and/or food.
In 2014, the vessel completed a 5 yearly out-of-water survey in Sharpness Dry Dock with all major work being undertaken by the volunteer staff of the Trust with costs contained within the budget. Well, we are still here and operating within our constraints and being able to sustain most of our charitable aims. The vessel is due for her next 5 yearly out-of-water survey in 2019 and, not unexpectedly, finance will be tight.
The constraints of maintaining a vessel to the required MCA standards and to those expected of what is becoming a maritime heritage asset, one of a few remaining vessels of its class still in operation, are taking its toll on the finances of the POBT. Some extensive work may be required, some of which may be beyond the capacity of the POBT and the volunteers who run it.
In any event, there are several members of the POBT who are ex MN/RFA sea goers and I thought readers may appreciate an update on what some retired members do with their time.