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Friday, 09 October 2009
With the 48 foot sailing boat built by pupils approaching the end of its first full season as part of the timetable, Bolton School offers thanks to the community who made the project possible.
The project began in 1998 as the Technology Department strove for an original concept to celebrate the millennium. Now, 5 months after the boat officially went on timetable for boys and girls, the School would like to acknowledge the large number of local people and firms involved in making the project a success, a credit to the spirit of Bolton!
Michael Whitmarsh, ex-Head of Technology at Bolton School and Director of the Millennium Ketch project, said: "We are now approaching the end of our first full season and are already planning the winter maintenance in readiness for next year. In this first season she has sailed over 2000nm in the Irish Sea taking pupils from the age of 12 to 18 to Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and the North West Coast of England in all weathers. It is difficult to comprehend, when you see her sailing out of Glasson Dock, that we actually built her in school with pupils in Technology lessons, aided immensely by the volunteer parents, staff and friends of the school over a period of nine years.
The experience of the project created opportunities for pupils, way beyond the normal curriculum of the school. Manufacturing a hull, cabins, fittings, systems and components gave a different dimension to Technology lessons where students could deal with problems and calculations in a real life situation, in the full knowledge that they were creating something which would benefit themselves and many others in the years ahead. It is very difficult to find a project which can offer so much to a school both in the construction and the sail training side of the venture.
There is no doubt that none of this would have taken place without the support and effort of so many people. From the volunteers to the donations of parts, advice, cheap deals and genuine enthusiasm we can only be eternally grateful as a school. One only has to read the letters from the parents of the 12 year old sailors to realise just what we have given these children. After a week of sailing offshore, young lives are often changed forever. It is thanks to the support of so many local businesses, and friends and family of the school, that Tenacity of Bolton will be taking Bolton School pupils and other children from the region on leadership and sail training courses for many years to come."
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