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JST founder joins Lord Nelson for her anniversary
Jubilee Sailing Trust vessel Lord Nelson celebrated the 25th anniversary of her maiden voyage on 17th October 2011. To mark the occasion, a PR day was held on board the two ships, with a number of reporters, photographers and supporters including the Mayor of Southampton visiting the ship.
The picture shows BBC South Today’s cameraman Paul Martin (UKCameraman) interviewing Captain Barbara for a piece that went out on the 17th.
In the evening, Lord Nelson welcomed on board around 80 people, many of whom had been involved with the conception and realisation of the vessel, including her designer, Colin Mudie, her first captain, Mark Kemmis Betty, her first Medical Purser, Clare Bridge, and her first cook, Nikki Stuttle.
Very special guests for the evening were Christopher Rudd, whose vision led to the founding of the Jubilee Sailing Trust and Dr Tony Hicklin, who was a co-founder of the organisation.
Emotions ran high that evening as old friends met up for the first time in years, and memories were shared. Needless to say there was a hard-core left in the bar long after most of the guests had gone home.
Here’s what some of the guests said that night:
Peter Moore, the first relief cook on Lord Nelson
"I have a real feeling for the ship and its continued development; I want people to carry on getting same enjoyment that I have derived from it over the years. I am also pleased to see how many people stay involved for so long."
Ian Shuttleworth, JST Vice-Chairman, wheelchair user
"It was a complicated business bringing Lord Nelson into world, but we never doubted it would work. 25 years later, although the world has advanced in its approach to inequality, we still feel we are proving something everyday that is relevant, we are the only ships to offer what we do. Our voyage crew develop self confidence, self image and positive results. This is still relevant and still important and is still learned on board. Disabled people are not a novelty for us, they are watchleaders, sailors, they help with maintenance of the vessels, they are all accepted straight away and work alongside the able-bodied voyage crew as equals.I am very proud of what has been achieved by the Trust and all the people associated with it and I feel privileged to be a part of it."
Clare Bridge, First Medical Purser
"I was on an underground train after nightshift and saw on the back of someone’s newspaper an ad for an art exhibition in aid of JST. I went along to it to find a gallery of expensive art but a nice lady asked me what I did for a job. I said I was a nurse and she suggested that I should go sailing with the JST. As I had hurt my knee badly in the past I felt empathy for disabled people and so I went for an interview for a permanent position on board – and got the job. I feel so emotional coming on board, I remember meeting the man who became my husband, and the people I have mentored into jobs with JST and how I learned independence and the ability to cope with nursing in an environment without full hospital medical facilities."
Ann Goodhall, Voyage crew maiden voyage
"I am in tears to be back amongst so many dear friends"
Nikki Stuttle, the first cook on Lord Nelson.
"I loved every minute. Coming back on board is like coming home".
Rosemary Mudie, involved in fundraising for and design of Lord Nelson
"It is amazing to meet so many people today that we sat on committees with in the past discussing all the details and now here we are all together again with the ship having had 25 successful years of sailing".
Caroline Robins, Bosun’s Mate on maiden voyage
"I first got involved because I was working as a PE teacher with very intelligent but very disabled young people with cerebral palsy and I wanted them to get a chance to go sailing. I took a group of five of them on a JST voyage and was amazed by the end how their disablities were accommodated and they were involved and integrated with all the able-bodied crew – I could see the JST magic working. I was hooked after this and I am really excited about being here today because I have realised that I have spent half my life closely involved with JST and I think it is wonderful that they have made the effort to get in touch with us and bring us together today. It is fantastic to see everybody and relive old times."
Barbara Campbell, Captain, Lord Nelson
"It is brilliant to see so many people from the early days here. I remember the challenges of the early days but we have carried forward the ideals and continued with the correct spirit. It has been so inspiring to see how much people with disabilities can achieve in many far-flung places in the world. I would like to thank everyone who has kept the organisation afloat over the years and kept alive the spirit in which this ship was built."
Mark Kemmis Betty, Lord Nelson’s first Captain
"There were certainly challenges in the early days. We had to make a lot of new ideas on the ship work and the Department of Transport were initially reluctant to give us certification, thinking that it wouldn’t be safe to sail a ship partially crewed by disabled people. But they worried unnecessarily – we have an excellent safety record. Personally I wondered at the time if enough disabled people would want to come sailing but I also have been proved wrong and 25 years later over 25,000 people have sailed on Lord Nelson – and many of them keep on coming back year after year. My favourite memory is of a girl with no arms who could steer Lord Nelson with her feet and send a text message with her big toe. I can’t even send a text message with my fingers let alone my toes!"