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21 January 2005
Replica Bronze Age boat makes maiden voyage

Students from Hull University in the north east of England this week launched a replica Bronze Age boat.
    The boat, named Oakleaf by North Ferriby schoolgirl Katherine Imrie, set out on the River Humber not far from where three Bronze Age boats were discovered. The oak timbers of the boats were excavated by amateur archaeologist Ted Wright between 1937 and 1963.
    The replica was built in Southampton and was partly funded by Mr Wright's family. Mr Wright died three years ago, but his son travelled north to see the boat's launch, and said "It was his life's hobby and he was still going when he was in his 80s. For the first time there was a puddle of Humber water in the boat when it came out of the river."
    John Davis, a former chairman of Hull's Sail Training Association, has worked to bring the replica to Hull as part of SeaBritain 2005, a celebration of the UK's maritime heritage. He said: "The weather was great, the tide was right and the crowds turned out. Everybody had a great day. We were a bit worried as she hadn't been in the water for a year."
    It is hoped that a full-size replica will now be built, possibly at Dunstan's Shipyard in Hessle, near Hull. The only earlier similar planked boats found so far were ceremonial vessels belonging to the Egyptian pharaohs.

Source: Yorkshire Post (17 January 2005)

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