OLD SHIPS COMPANY

The wake of the

MAY QUEEN

Documentary - Maritime History

Presented By: Chris Wisbey

Duration: 56 mins

 

SYNOPSIS

In the winter of 1867 the May Queen shuddered off a rough bush slip into the calm waters of the Huon River in southern Tasmania. She was built for the harsh bush conditions; a unique design that allowed her and her sister fleet to do things and go places that most sailing boats could not. Against all odds, 150 years later, she is still afloat, a unique piece of living history.

 

A live stream copy of The Wake of the May Queen is now available for purchase - just click on the video link below and follow the prompts to Sign Up and enter your payment information. You are then able to Log In to your account and view  The Wake of the May Queen on any of your devices.

HISTORY

 THE MAY QUEEN

May Queen was launched in1867 - at the pinnacle of trading ketch design. These ketches, or barges, were the lifeblood of the developing Tasmanian colony, hauling timber, produce and vital supplies in and out of remote southern waters.

May Queen was the last one working in the southern waters when she retired from service 105 years later, and now she's the only one left, and the oldest sail-trading vessel in Australia. She was also a speedy ketch, with an unbroken record over 80 years for winning more Royal Hobart Regattas than any other trading ketch.

 

 RESTORATION

IN HER WAKE

Over 8 years the tireless restoration team, using detailed knowledge of traditional methods and some island ingenuity, slowly uncovered the beautiful old May Queen and brought her back to life. In 2003, in global recognition for the outstanding preservation and restoration effort, she was awarded the prestigious Maritime Heritage Award by the World's Ship Trust.

 

MUSIC OF
THE
 M
AY QUEEN

Composed by STEVE GADD

Steve and Marjorie Gadd are keen researchers and revivers of traditional country dance music, particularly relishing composing music specific to their home ground - the Huon Valley.

The Valley's music is unique, and was influenced by the exotic confluence of early settlers from distant lands.

This almost 'lost' and distinctive music would have echoed within the halls and apple-shed dances throughout the area, and was played on folk instruments: fiddle, cello, viola, tin whistle, bodhran drum and mandolin.

The Players

Steve Gadd              Guitar, mandolin & banjo

Marjorie Gadd          Violin, cello & viola

Jeremy Sibson          Bodhran drum

Emily Wolfe               Violin

Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble

The Wake of the May Queen - MainTheme - Steve Gadd
00:00 / 00:00
Awakening - Steve Gadd
00:00 / 00:00
Fiddling by the Shore - Steve Gadd
00:00 / 00:00
Reefs of Betsy Island - Steve Gadd
00:00 / 00:00

(c) All images, video and music remain the property of the Old Ships Company and may not be reproduced without written permission. 

 

INTERVIEWS

 

MAKING THE WAKE

IN ALL HER GLORY

Our production team followed the rare occasion of the May Queen being towed up the river for vital maintenance work and also to be spruced up for her 150th birthday celebration. Chris Wisbey interviewed folks involved in this special occasion, and reminisced with others about history and restoration.

 

A live stream copy of The Wake of the May Queen is now available for purchase - just click on the video link below and follow the prompts to Sign Up and enter your payment information. You are then able to Log In to your account and view  The Wake of the May Queen on any of your devices.