Historic Tall Ship Bessie Ellen to call at Ramsgate for Commemorative Round Britain Tour

Historic Tall Ship Bessie Ellen will be calling into Ramsgate

One of the last remaining Westcountry ketches, the Bessie Ellen, has set sail from Gloucester, embarking on the first leg of her commemorative Round Britain tour which will include a stop at Ramsgate.

Hoisting her original flag from 1904, the vessel set sail for a celebration of a by-gone era.

Starting at Gloucester, Bessie Ellen’s Round Britain tour sees her call in at 14 ports around the UK, including the Orkney Islands, Newcastle and Ramsgate. One of her final ports of call will be Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, where Bessie Ellen was built in 1904 and from where she used to deliver cargo from 1907-1940.

Prior to Plymouth, Bessie Ellen will cross the channel to attend esteemed Brest Maritime Festival, joining in with the 30th anniversary celebrations. As the largest maritime festival in Europe, over 1000 vessels gather here to honour traditional sailing, showcasing an incredible range of vessels in one single place.

Bessie Ellen skipper, owner and guardian Nikki Alford said: “We are excited to set sail for our Round Britain tour, celebrating this beautiful ship and enabling numerous communities around the United Kingdom to enjoy access to Bessie Ellen and see first-hand why she is so special. I’m touched by the massive response to this old girl big birthday year, and the crew and I look forward to welcoming friends old and new aboard this historic adventure!”

Listed on the National Historic Ships register, Bessie’s heritage has seen her witness the changing tides of history quite literally. Nikki Alford has owned and sailed Bessie Ellen for 24 years, lovingly restoring it from the shell of a hull in Denmark to building a successful charter business in the UK.

Bessie Ellen is due into Ramsgate on June 28, leaving on July 3 for leg nine of the journey to Brest.