74 years ago ML1085 and her brave crew formed part of the DDay invasion fleet at Normandy, the greatest amphibious invasion, from which so many brave souls did not return.
Having survived herself so well over the years since, ML1085's future is now looking very bleak unless the funds can be secured to bring her to safety. When this campaign started, it was only four weeks before the UK's oldest surviving 72 foot Second World War, Harbour Defence Motor Launch, ML1085 would and did loose her mooring in Scotland, and had to be moved to be saved, or suffer the worst fate. The campaign as you can see she is yet to reach her goal, at the last minute a temporary safe haven was found for her, by no means ideal, she has a reprieve to get the funds together, to move her on for restoration.
Until the funds are raised and she is moved, she still remains at threat from the breakers, a vessel that is in such good structurally unchanged condition from new, and shows minimal signs of her 77 years of age simply should not be broken up! ML1085 is the oldest surviving HDML in the country, she is a valued historical vessel, she has a longer tail to tell though, as she served in the Royal Navy after the war as a survey vessel until 1959 (as A324) and was then refitted to become a ferry named Pembroke Shearwater, and later Etive Shearwater, then serving as the Hebradean small Isles ferry for a further 29 years until 2001, as a lifeline to the islanders, and transporting tourists over her many years service. With such a long history in service, military and civilian, she has earned her place on the Nationsl Historic Ships Register.
She must be transported from her current temporary anchorage in Scotland to a location, to make her condition stable, this stabilisation has already begun in situ, but she must come ashore for this to be completed and for her to be fully restored to her WW2 appearance, a location near Ely Cambridgeshire is available, but would see the restoration take a long time, putting her at further risk, it is hoped to take her the extra distance to Portsmouth, where she can be stabilised and restored, far quicker preserving as much of her original fabric as possible, with a larger team of experts and willing volunteers nearby, to achieve this to a far higher standard, and ready sooner for her to tell the story of her past to the nation.
For this first phase to save her and get her running again we need to raise £18,000 to move her in time to the preferred location, to make this happen this crowdfunding campaign continues, and is slowly getting us to our target. She is still afloat in Scotland and in a good structural condition, although in need of a few repairs to make her seaworthy again these need to be done urgently to prevent her deteriorating to a point of not being viable! Help us bring ML 1085 safely back to Portsmouth, where she can and will be saved.
What for? - This is not just about saving an old wooden boat - Once back running she will be used as a first point of refuge to help homeless ex service personnel, who have come back from the front line service, having experienced some horrific sights some are unable to cope, leaving the forces, loosing that lifeline and then abandoned by society they find themselves on the streets, ML1085 will be able to provide them with a bunk hot meal wash and clean clothes (and theirs cleaned). Because experience has shown ex service personnel, even reduced to living rough, are to proud to continue taking a free handout, to stay a second night, we would ask for a day's work from them onboard, cleaning, painting etc to maintain the boat, for further meals and a bunk. Then working with other service charities rehabilitate them back into society, finding them work housing etc and able to notify immediately of the most serious in need cases, her gangplank will be open to other catchments of unfortunate homeless such as teenagers etc, the finer points of all that are in the future for now, as right now it's saving the boat and bringing her from Scotland down south and a few immediate repairs that need to be done, that is essential for this to happen!
Donate Now, and make a difference!
To show appreciation for your generosity, we can now offer these great tiered gifts generously provided to the cause, to be offered as keepsakes and experiences, for you to cherish and represent your vital part in making this project possible!
Every donation of £10 or more will receive an E-certificate to acknowledge and show appreciation for your support.
Every donation of £20 or more will receive a signed certificate to acknowledge your kind donation, and you will also receive an illustrated history of ML1085 from Launch to present day, as a thankyou and reminder for your help in saving this unique piece of national heritage.
Donations of £50 or more will receive an illustrated history of ML1085 from Launch to present day, accompanied with a ML1085 illustrated coffee mug, and a signed certificate which will acknowledge their names addition onto the board of benefactors to be displayed in the Fwd Messdeck onboard.
Donations of £100 or more will receive a Half size limited edition Signed print of the oil painting of ML1085, as portrayed by a local Portsmouth artist, showing ML1085 in action during the Normandy invasions, the print to be signed by both the artist and the Captain of ML1085
Donations of £500 or more will receive a Full size Signed limited edition print of the oil painting of ML1085, as portrayed as portrayed by a local Portsmouth artist, showing ML1085 in action during the Normandy invasions, the print to be signed by both the artist and the Captain of ML1085 and the benefactor will also be made a honorary life member in the Wardroom of ML1085 - HDML Shearwater with their names engraved on the Wardroom members board, to be displayed in the refurbished Wardroom.
Donations of £1000 or more will receive a signed limited edition print of ML1085 and an invite to a day aboard HMS Medusa with a guest, to for a day at sea aboard the only seagoing HDML to experience life onboard as it would have been in WW2, to include a voyage to the Isle of White for refreshments before return and tour abound Medusa of Portsmouth Harbour.
Donations of £3500 or more will receive an invite to a full day aboard HMS Medusa with up to eight guests, a signed print of ML1085 will be presented to the benefactor by the artist, the guests will each also receive momentous of their experience. The vessel will be at the benefactors disposal for use as above, under the supervision and discretion of her Captain, for passage to any practical destination within a days range, for the enjoyment of the benefactor and his guests. The benefactor will also be invited to be onboard for ML1085's maiden voyage after refit, or her first revisit to Normandy for the DDay commemorations following her refit, as the benefactor prefers, who will also be invited to be a trustee of The Shearwater Trust, being formed to safeguard her for the future.
Please note once you have donated please email Martin.Weston@ML1085.org
Simply to provide your email address, forward your postal address or other contact details as appropriate, to enable us to send your gift or arrange the relevant experience, Stating your name how it appears on the donation, for clarification.
Your email address and details will in no way be forwarded or sold etc, purely for the reasons stated! Please note the prints of ML1085's oil painting are expected to be ready in August . All other gifts are currently available and ready to be sent to you.
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