Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Podcast: Shackleton Autumn School, Maritime Heritage & Much More

1st November 2016
Unsung hero Tom Crean Unsung hero Tom Crean

Hello and welcome aboard this week’s edition of your maritime programme Seascapes – prolific writer and broadcaster Hugh Oram brings us the story of Jacobs Biscuits from their earliest days in Waterford port in 1853 ; we talk to Lye Ogunsanya about the Migrant Offshore Aid Station limited edition bow ties marking their 2nd Anniversary and Bow Tie Day .......we hear about last week’s Maritime Heritage Conference in Belfast on Resources , Research and Restoration where we met several long term Seascapes listeners and contributors including Betty Armstrong ; Fiona Hicks ; Geraldine Foley and Peter Maxwell of “Mithril “ fame and Pat Murphy of “Aldebaran “ we’ll be hearing from Robin Masefield and Hannah Cunliffe - .......we preview the 16th Shackleton Autumn School in Athy Heritage Centre with a wide range of speakers and the launch of several books thats all happening this weekend and we have the winners of our An Post / Commissioners of Irish Lights 1st Day Covers packs ; .............. first here on Seascapes to the CEO of House of AKI-NA – Lye Ogunsanya who was in Cork earlier this week at the launch of Bow Tie Day in Cafe Velo supported by Provision Photography / Sail Training Ireland and yours truly as Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training Ireland , we talked about Migrant Offshore Aid Station and their role in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean ......

Lye Ogunsanya , CEO of House of AKI – NA , talking to Seascapes.

Well from Bow Tie Day to last weeks Maritime Heritage Conference in Belfast which focussed on Research , Resources and Restoration , the 3 R’s and had a full attendance with over one hundred attendees ........the gathering took place in the magisterial Public Records Office of Northern Ireland building in the Titanic Quarter .......we hear first from one of the organisers Robin Masefield .......

From Robin Masefield one of the organisers of the Maritime Conference with Gerry Brennan of Silvery Light lets hear next from Hannah Cunliffe of National Historic Ships ......

Hannah Cunliffe from Southampton one of the keynote speakers at last weeks Maritime Heritage Conference in Belfast , we’ll have more here on Seascapes next week about the Carrickfergus built vessel “The Result “ and we talk to Commander John Gray of The Royal Navy .....

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) Kildare will host it’s now annual Naas Canal Festival from Friday October 28th to Monday 31st. A large fleet of boats is expected to assemble in Sallins Harbour on Friday followed by a parade along the Grand Canal, up through the flight of five locks into Naas harbour. The parade will leave Sallins at 10am on Saturday 29thand all boats should be in Naas harbour by 5pm.

The travelling boats will be assisted through the locks by staff from Waterways Ireland, IWAI Kildare volunteers and members of the 23rd Kildare – Sallins – Scouts, who are eager to put their lock training skills into practice. If you have never seen a lock in operation or never seen a boat cruise the canal, this weekend will not disappoint.

Next to writer and broadcaster Hugh Oram whose latest book “Charmers and Chancers” has just been published by Trafford Publishing ...Hugh has this tale about the production of Jacobs Biscuits , the early life of the company began in the shipbuilding and port city of Waterford making ships biscuits in 1853.....

An Post recently issued four new stamps honouring the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The new 72c stamps, a special first day cover envelope and booklet feature Irish Lights staff working on a buoy; a helicopter near Fanad Head Lighthouse; Irish Lights technology and the Irish Lights Vessel Granuaile. Designed by Dublin’s Vermillion Design, the may be viewed and purchased at all main post offices and online at

As well as maintaining more than 60 lighthouses around the island of Ireland, Irish Lights also provides and maintains specialist aids to navigation using advanced technology, protects the environment and supports the marine industry and coastal communities.

We asked you to answer this question in which county is Fanad Head Lighthouse located to win one of these fine sets courtesy of An Post and Seascapes, the correct answer was County Donegal ...

The winners are ....

Jean Duggan , Baldoyle, Dublin , 13

Peter Tiernan , Mohill, Co Leitrim

Fiona Moloney, , Dublin 18

Catherine Cooke, . Waterford.

Colm O Fatharta ,Inishmaan Aran Islands Co


Eileen Farrelly, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

On Tuesday night of this week Seascapes attended a special evening hosted by Cloyne Literary and Historical Society at which Polar author and Shackleton and Crean biographer and distinguished journalist Michael Smith spoke about Edward Bransfield of Ballinacurra and the plans by Cloyne Literary and Historical Society to honour the seafarer and explorer from East Cork .........

Michael however was honoured himself by a legion of fans and friends with Polar connections which included Brendan O Brien and his sister Carol from Annascaul grandson and grandaughter of Tom Crean; wildlife guide and naturalist Jim Wilson ; actor Aidan Dooley ; John O’ Reilly of The Shackleton Exhibition ;

Jonathan Shackleton ; Joe O Farrell of Athy Heritage Centre ; Eugene Furlong ; Moses and esteemed publisher Con Collins of The Collins Press , artist Medbh Gillard , and actor songwriter and poet Cliff Wedgbury ...who recited this ............

The Ballad of Michael Smith.

"The old man said to the younger man, I wouldn’t be alive, If my father’s life had not been saved,

On his struggle to survive, When scurvy laid him on the sledge, In that wilderness of ice, When Crean and Lashly toiled each day,

With their selfless sacrifice. Michael wrote of a hero, But he’s a hero too, For bringing Tom Crean back to life, In a book for me and you.

Michael listened to the words, Brooke Evans had to say, About his father long ago, Marching day by day. Teddy Evans came back home, Scott’s second in command, Saved by Crean from death’s dark door, His lucky life was charmed.

Michael knew he had to write, A bold and unique tale, And tell the story of a quiet man, Who came from Annascaul. “An Unsung Hero,” hit the shelves, And a legend soon began,

To thrill the readers with a tale, Of a tough courageous man. Michael Smith researched a life, Of an unknown Kerry man.

The journalist from Fleet Street, With a very special plan, To sing the unsung hero’s praise,

To people far and wide, So we would know the story of, Crean’s bravery and pride. Michael wrote of a hero, But he’s a hero too,

For bringing Tom Crean back to life, In a book for me and you.

The Ballad of Michael Smith by Cliff Wedgbury, we’ll be hearing from Michael Smith on next week’s edition of Seascapes.....and more about that special night in Midleton

This weekend the 16th Annual Shackleton Autumn School is taking place in Athy Heritage Centre which houses the Shackleton Museum and in the square you can see the magnificent sculpture of Sir Ernest Shackleton erected in August , the Cabin from The Quest – is due to be installed in the Museum next year...

Speakers include John Killingbeck ; Frank Ngent ; Meredith Hooper; Kari Herbert and Dr Huw Lewis Jones ; Dr Rusell Potter on “Finding Franklin – The story of the 165 year search” ; Simon Stephens on the conservation and travels of The James Caird”; Mick Conefrey on what makes a successful explorer...more detail on .

"The Road to Rio Paralympic Sailing"-An illustrated lecture by Dr Austin O'Carroll will take place onThursday 3 rd November @ 20:00hrs at the Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club, Ringsend, Dublin 4. There will be an entry fee of €5 in aid of the charity organisation, Safetynet......thanks to Seamus Mac Gearailt for this notice.....

“ That’s it for this week here on Seascapes next week more on that conference in Belfast and the story of “The Result “ built in Carrickfergus we’ll be talking to Christopher Kenny we’ll be hearing from Trevor Edwards and Brian Harvey ......we meet Commander John Gray of the Royal Navy in Northern Ireland alongside the graving dock which is home to the Nomadic and the last surviving vessel from the Battle of Jutland –HMS Caroline both of which may be seen in the Titanic Quarter and Chris Corken of Belfast Metropolitan College ................we’ll also be featuring Polar expert and distinguished author Michael Smith who was honoured in Midleton this past week in a This Is Your Life style event engineered by Eugene Furlong ....and the latest edition of SUBSEA – Ireland’s Only Diving Magazine..all that and much more , until next Friday night , tight lines and fair sailing.”

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