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Oakleaf arrives back in East Yorkshire

The half scale reconstruction 'Oakleaf' is to arrive in North Ferriby on Saturday, 16th February, 2008. Press/photocall at 9.30am, The Riverside Walkway (alongside the boat pavement)

The replica Bronze Age boat which has become an international celebrity after featuring in the BBC's widely-acclaimed 'Coast' documentary series marks the start of what is planned to become a major attraction in East Yorkshire.

The Ferriby Heritage Trust, the charity set up to protect and promote the 4000 year old boats found in the Humber mud 70 years ago, has won the support of two local family shipping companies in raising the funds needed to buy the half-scale reconstruction.

The John Good Shipping Group, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, has provided the final cash needed to buy the boat and bring it to the Humber. The company becomes a major sponsor alongside Andrew Marr International, who funded the first visit to Hull to mark the start of the national SeaBritain 2005 Festival.

Co-sponsors are Edwin and Joyce Gifford, John Coats and Rod Wright. Edwin Gifford and John Coates are leading naval architects and Ed's wife Joyce the archaeologist who partnered Rod Wright's late father Ted in personally financing the building of the replica. As they have recovered only a proportion of the materials' cost in the sale, the Trust has been gifted a time and technical input of immeasurable value.

Wendy Dobbs, chairman of the Heritage Trust, said: "Ferriby's Ted Wright, who discovered the first boat in 1937, carried on a tireless, 50 year campaign to gain recognition of the immense historic significance. He always had the support of the village. He gained the support of the nation's most prominent naval architects and archaeologists and would have been delighted that local family shipping companies should bring us to the point where we can now seriously plan to meet his greatest ambition. Which is to build a full-scale reconstruction to sail across the Norht Sea."


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