In October 2022 the Education and Charity Committee of the Shipwrights’ Company awarded a grant to Worcester Merchant Navy Cadet Scheme which has been used to support Cadet Ella Smith.  Ella has written the following report:

‘Embarking on a journey to sea as a cadet has, so far, been a transformative experience filled with challenges, rewards, self-discovery, and personal growth. An experience of which I am extremely grateful to be able to partake in thanks to The Shipwrights Company, Worcester Merchant Navy Cadet Scheme and Trinity House. In this article I will delve into my training so far, from College to my recent and ongoing contracts at sea.


February soon approached after having been accepted for my Cadetship, and it was time to begin studying at Warsash Maritime School. The lessons and learning started immediately and although fast paced, it was extremely rewarding to be broadening my knowledge and learning new things! My classmates, and I were well supported by our lecturers who prepared us in time for our first exams. Once we had received our results, we knew the time had come and that sea appointments were on the horizon.

I had previously mentioned that I wanted to sail on board a Tall Ship as part of my cadetship. To my delight, my first appointment was onboard the magnificent SV Tenacious and I was to join on the 11th of May. I had booked the earliest train ticket and made my way to Portland, with copious amount of luggage, ready to join at 9am. The experience I gained from my time on this ship has been invaluable and really shaped me as a cadet. There was no job that I wasn’t given an opportunity to try. This included partaking in and leading navigational watches and anchor watches, to taking charge of anchoring operations, and mooring manoeuvres. I was even given the opportunity to hold the con whilst we sailed off the anchor, under my command. I was under the supervision of some amazing mentors, who ensured the bridge felt like a classroom more than anything else and were keen to pass on the knowledge they possessed. The end of my contract on board Tenacious was approaching, and so I was informed I would be joining P&O’s Class 1 Passenger Vessel, Aurora on the 25th of July.

Joining day for Aurora was, as you can imagine, polar opposite to anything I had experienced on Tenacious! I was overcome with nerves and excitement. Since then, I have gained commercial experience, worked with, and been guided by some amazing seafarers, and seen some of the world’s most beautiful places. I have gained experience on the bridge, partaking in Arrivals and Departures, and have been given the privilege of holding both the nav, and the con of a 270m Vessel. We have dealt with urgent emergency procedures and had high quality training for dealing with these situations too. There has of course been highs and lows, and I can definitely say I will be ending 2023 as a completely different person. I am looking forward to resuming my studies in February and developing the knowledge I have learnt here within the classroom.

I would again like to thank my sponsors for making this opportunity possible, and I look forward to continuing my journey next year.’

I am emailing on behalf of George Green’s School to  thank you and the Shipwrights for supporting another wonderful weekend at UKSA for 18 of our Year 8 students and 2 Year 9s.  We had a really fantastic time last weekend and UKSA just seems to get better and better each time we visit.

The brilliant UKSA leaders  got them on (and in!) the water as soon as we arrived on Friday afternoon.  We then proceeded to have a truly memorable weekend on keel boats, dinghy sailing, paddleboarding , kayaking and crabbing. For many of the students it was their very first time away from home and, apart from a few tears on the first evening,  (which disappeared miraculously overnight) they all rose to the challenge admirably and had an incredibly good time.

UKSA were, as always, totally FANTASTIC in every way.

I am attaching a lovely picture of a rainbow over the dinghies for you to use on your website if you wish. We were very lucky with the weather too, as you can see.


Opportunities like this for our students really do create wonderful memories, build teamwork, confidence,  co-operation and a whole host of other life skills. And in some cases, spark a lifelong love of all things maritime (one student, a year 9 girl, had her RYA booklet with her and is a keen candidate for the Seachange programme)

Thank you and the Shipwrights for this support. It is very much appreciated.

best wishes



In June 2023 the Education and Charity Committee approved the annual grant of £4,000 to the Scouts in order to assist them support young people on the water.  This continues a long-standing arrangement between the Shipwrights’ Company and the Scouts Association as originally the grant was made to support the Sea Scouts.  The report, which is here starts with the following:

All young people in Scouting have the opportunity to enjoy water activities, but in Sea Scouting, considerable emphasis is on these activities, and many aspects of naval and nautical traditions are incorporated. Without the funding from The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, many young people would not have the chance to gain these valuable skills on the water. In 2023 we remain exceptionally grateful for the opportunities you’ve given young people to explore and experience the thrill of being on the water.

Last year, we identified three Sea Scout groups who deliver meaningful on-the-water experiences for young people. The groups nominated for the funding have a track record of delivering high-quality seafaring activities for young people.  As you will see, the funding has been used in different ways by the groups.  The funds supported groups in Colchester (Adventures Offshore), Lancing (3rd/5th Lancing Sea Scout Group) and Hampshire (Discovery Sailing Project) with grants totaling £10,000. Each group had a specific need for funds across training, maintenance, repair and accessibility.    

Read more!

In June 2023 the Education and Charity Committee awarded £2,000 to ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations).  Kerry McMillan, the General Manager has sent the following message.

I’m pleased to be sending you the Event Report from the 2023 ASTO Cowes Small Ships Race.

We were exceptionally blessed by the great weather and sailing conditions on the day which meant that the young people were able to challenge themselves and build their confidence as well as having a great time.

The report on the 2023 Cowes Small Ships Race is here is and some additional photographs are below.

The Prime Warden, Nick Shaw, attended the annual Sea Cadets Trafalgar Day Parade yesterday, SUND 23 October 2023 and writes:

I was delighted to represent the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights at the Sea Cadets event at Trafalgar Square yesterday in beautiful sunshine. There are over 14,000 Sea Cadets around the country and the Shipwrights are keen supporters of the work that they do to help train young people around the country. After the event they processed down the Mall to Buckingham Palace and Wellington Barracks .

Fantastic! Yet another fabulous afternoon at the Annual Shipwrights’ Lectures organised by the Lectures Team.  A great discussion between Paul Harris and apprentices from Berthon, BHG and Pendennis was followed by fascinating presentations from Sean Dempsey of SunseekerBlueHorizons, the team from Women in Boatbuilding, Matthew Sheahan, Adam Sobey, John Chudley and the Prime Warden, Nick Shaw.  Thanks to our sponsor Pendennis Shipyard and also to the University of Southampton for its support and congratulations to our Prize Winner, Nefelie Hemlich.

Very well done and thank you Michael Derrick, Simon Crawford. John Puddifoot, Keith Longman, Paul Harris and Kate Murray for putting together an amazing and enlightening afternoon. As one Shipwright said, the best yet!


At its meeting at Ironmongers’ Hall on Thursday 5 October 2023 the Court awarded retired Court Assistant Mr Eric Shawyer CBE the Shipwrights’ Medal of Honour for his outstanding and continuing service and support.  This was only the sixth time the medal has ever been awarded.  Before presenting Eric with his medal the Prime Warden gave the address at the following link: Eric_Shawyer_MOH .

Please find the latest Press Release about the Shipwrights’ Lectures at MAST Studios Southampton on Tuesday 17 October at: TWO WEEKS TO GO

The following comment comes from another participant in the King’s Silver Medal Competition which ran from 2-8 September 2023 at Hawkhirst, Kielder Water:

I would just like to thank you, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend the course it was such a great experience.  It provided me with an opportunity to learn about myself and to grow as an individual and develop a new skill set. My confidence has grown massively as result of the course. I surprised myself throughout the week, and the things you can do on no sleep is astonishing. 

The week was so well run and I would highly recommend it to anyone within the industry. Not only as a competition but as a life experience. It was also a good way to top off finishing my apprenticeship. 

Again, please extend my gratitude to all involved for what was one of the most challenging however incredible experiences. 

Navigate – Magazine of London Nautical School

The London Nautical School (LNS) has sent the following message with a copy of ‘ Navigate’ the school magazine Issue 10 – October 2023, which can be found at the link below. Dear families and supporters of our school. Please find attached the latest edition of our school magazine Navigate here. Thank you all for your […]