Old ships sail into uncharted waters

A PARADE of old ships will steam and sail its way from Tower Bridge to Greenwich in London this afternoon to herald the launch of Heritage Afloat, an organisation which aims to raise the profile of the relics of Britain's marine history, writes Richard D North.

Among them will be Vic 56 which was built in 1945 and was one of nearly 100 wartime Victualling Inshore Craft built on the model of the classic Western Isles 'Puffer'.

David Morgan, chairman of Heritage Afloat, intends that some of the skills learnt by the Association of Railway Preservation Societies, of which he is also chairman, be transferred from track to wave. The new organisation is also keen to develop a lobbying role to head off the unintended effects of European Union safety regulations.

Heritage Afloat says some ships have to meet modern standards designed to prepare vessels for the most hazardous weather and conditions. Heritage Afloat believes some of these regulations are misapplied to historic ships.

(Photograph omitted)