January 2012 – Martin Knowles
This month’s OTS Gallery exhibition is an homage to the vessel ‘Cap Pilar’, and includes rare newspaper clippings, letters, and a detailed model of the ship hand crafted by Martin Knowles.
Martin became a life-long fan of the Cap Pilar after reading Adrian Seligman’s book, ‘The Voyage of the Cap Pilar’, as a youngster.
The vessel, built in 1911 as a 295-tonne Newfoundland cod-fishing schooner, set sail on a 32,500-mile round-the-world voyage from London on September 31, 1936, bound for Brazil, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Panama Canal, New York and Nova Scotia.The three masted barquentine was the last square rigged ship to sail under the red ensign.
George Battersbury joined Adrian and Jane Seligman as Navigator, and his letters to Esme Wailes written during the voyage, her notebooks and the many original newspaper articles these contain form the basis of Knowles’s book ‘Round the World with the Cap Pilar’.
On return to the UK, the ship, which had no engine, eventually ended up in a mud berth at Wivenhoe. For many years she lay derelict until in 1966 she was floated into the Dry Dock, her hull set on fire and her remains buried there. A sad end for a fine ship.
Martin Knowles will also be giving a talk on the ‘Cap Pilar’, details below:
CAP PILAR REMEMBERED
7.30pm 10th February