Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay Area - an illustrated talk

Historical Talk on ‘Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay area 1800-1880’
The barque Josephine  577 tons
Built at Summerside by John LeFurgey in 1875.
Owned by John LeFurgey and Joseph Read of Summerside.
     Dr. Doug Sobey, a Research Associate of the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, will give a fully illustrated talk on ‘Shipbuilding in the Bedeque Bay area (including Summerside) from 1800 to 1880’. 
     He will be especially linking the industry to the timber resources of the area and incorporating his recent research into the survey reports of the Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping. Lloyd’s Register (not to be confused with Lloyd’s Bank or Lloyd’s Insurance) still exists as a business (it celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2012) and has kept all of the original survey reports of the vessels they inspected, including several thousand Island-built vessels dating from between 1816 and 1880. In fact between 1856 and 1885 there was a Lloyd’s surveyor based at Charlottetown who visited and surveyed ships built all over the Island at three different stages during their construction.
     Sobey spent several weeks at the library of Lloyd’s Register in London, England as well as in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, examining the original reports for vessels such as the barque Josephine (shown above) built in Summerside in 1875 by John LeFurgey, and he especially noted the different woods that went into each part of a sample of Island-built ships. He says that given a Lloyd’s report for a ship it would be possible to make a replica of the same dimensions and timbers – the reports are that detailed. 
      In his talk Sobey will concentrate on the ships built in the Bedeque Bay area between 1800 and 1880 and he will be considering the timber resources that were available in the watersheds of the Wilmot and Dunk Rivers, as well as in areas to the west, which is another area of his research.
     The talk is sponsored by the Bedeque Area Historical Society, and will take place on Monday July 22 at 7 pm in the Bedeque United Church.  The Society’s AGM will take place after the talk, and all are welcome to stay on for the meeting if they wish.  Admission is free.

1 comment:

  1. I own a model of the Barque Josephine in the way of a ship in a bottle. Thanks for the extra details of this Barque.