- Press Release - In a first for the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), Laura Bolton and Rob Johnston are spending the morning of their wedding day aboard Lord Nelson, one of two very special tall ships owned and operated by Southampton based charity, Jubilee Sailing Trust.
The couple, who are heavily involved with the charity, will be joined at Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays by 40 family and friends for a very special morning of sailing. The wedding party ‘crew’ will join the ship at 8.30am before setting sail around 9.15am on Sunday 16th May. They will return at around 2.30pm so that the bride can head off and get ready before the ceremony itself takes place in the Spinnaker Tower at 5pm.
Rob says the following about their decision to spend the start of their day on board Lord Nelson:
“We met in Marchwood on maintenance April ’07. I was doing something or other and Laura was on watchleaders course.
“Laura had sailed before I did with her brother, I found the JST because my local pub’s named the Lord Nelson and has got an old, old poster of Nellie on the wall.
“Interestingly, we have never actually sailed together even though we have both been on voyages since we met none of them have coincided, ( We have done quite a bit of maintenance together in the last 3 years) so this will be the first time.
“We both have a great deal of time for the JST, the permanent crew and everyone involved. It’s made an enormous difference to my life, not just meeting Laura but before that. Meeting the people helped make my mind up to change direction of my life and I’ve found encouragement from them both onboard and onshore.
“Seeing as the Lord Nelson played such a big part in bringing us together and we spend many a cold day and night onboard for maintenance we felt it was fitting to include the sailing. Originally we wanted to get married onboard but the logistics weren’t going to go our way so we did the next best thing. Andy helped us enormously getting things arranged and we’re happy we have the best possible day booked.”
The ship is one of only two tall ships in the world that had been designed and built to enable able bodied and disabled people to sail as equals, the other being Jubilee Sailing Trust’s second ship Tenacious. The charity achieves complete integration through the challenge of being a member of a tall ship crew, no experience necessary.
Rob,34, has sailed 8 times, he is trained as a JST Watchleader, which enables him to lead crew members during their voyage, ensuring that everyone get’s to participate fully. He is also part of the ‘2-6 Heavers’; the London volunteer Branch of the Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Laura, who will shortly turn 25, has sailed as a Bosun’s mate and a Watchleader. They have both also volunteered for maintenance duties in 2009 -2010, which involves working onboard either of the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s ships to carry out routine cleaning and upkeep.