Billmeir Award to Stirling & Son Apprentice, Fin Murphy

The facet of the Shipwrights charitable giving that has the most direct connection to the origins of the Company is the Billmeir Award Scheme under which grants are awarded for technical education and training and comes from a Trust set up in 1957 by the late Jack Billmeir CBE, a shipowner and Prime Warden of the Shipwrights Company in 1962.  Grants are primarily made to individuals to support them in their training at one of the schools teaching modern (e.g. GRP) and traditional timber ship and boat building, or to universities and colleges teaching naval architecture, and marine engineering.

One such grant was made in June 2023 to Finghin Murphy, an intern with Stirling and Son in Plymouth, who was awarded £1,000 to purchase tools.  Sara Stirling, one of the Directors, has sent the following notes of thanks from Fin and herself:

“One of our shipwright interns, Finghin Murphy, was lucky enough to receive a grant to purchase tools from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights in July last year.  He has now spent all of his grant funds and attached are the receipts for the tools that he has purchased.

I have also attached a photograph of Fin working on the historic vessel, Vigilance of Brixham, which we are currently restoring.

We are extremely grateful for all your support of our Traditional Shipwright Interns.

Sara Stirling”

A message from Fin;

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for the grant you awarded me. With this money I’ve been able to purchase a wide range of new and second-hand carpentry tools, which I’ve been able to put to immediate use at the slip. I’m also currently making a tool tote from the douglas fir deck planks we had to remove from Vigalance of Brixham. Over the past year I’ve been fortunate to be involved in Vigilance’s overhaul and managed to learn and practice essential skills such as making frames and fitting planks.

Many thanks again,

Fin Murphy”