Thank you for coming by the Shed today. It was nice meeting you. As promised here is our latest newsletter - out this week.
There is much to tell in this first newsletter for 2019!
There is great progress to report from the Shed. If you are able, you should come by and take a look "Behind the Scenes".... we have volunteers on hand every Tuesday from 12noon to 2pm. Thanks to Tom, Rod, Peter and Colin. Also Daryl, Robin, Andrew, Tim, Joanne and others who have made time in the past to show people around. Do you know we are over 65,000 volunteer hours?
Framing Stage Complete
This is the last piece of the old frames to be removed. This was removed mid February, meaning the last bit of frame removal has been completed. Shipwrights worked hard to build and install the remaining frame components which were completed first week of March.
Standing in front of their work to best show the profile are Shipwrights Laurie, Christian and Tom. On the starboard side (R) you will see the battens being placed along the hull for the fairing stage.
The next stage is the fairing of the frames - to remove all the uneven surfaces in order to create a smooth profile for the planking stage. Here you can see battens being attached to the hull in order to mark out frame positioning and fairing requirements. If you missed seeing the framing process - don't miss the next stage because the hull will start to take shape in readiness to have her return to the water. The shipwrights and Peter Harris are doing an unbelievable job in restoring Alma back to sailing conditions and a return to Youth Sail Training.
What is this?
It is not a steam shovel bucket or a dunking seat. It is, in fact, the rudder heel fitting or Pintle. When the rudder is refitted prior to putting Alma back in the water, provision has been made in the design of the pontoon (on which Alma sits) for an access hole for the rudder to drop below the level of the pontoon so it can be attached to Alma. Forward planning that is! There is a lot of that going on to make a project of this complexity run smoothly.
What caught my attention is that once Alma is back in the water, sights like this will not be visible to enquiring eyes. This is the time to take a look, because once Alma is completed you won't see this again.
Tuesdays 12-2pm Behind the Scenes Tours at Shed 2!
Tours of the Shed
A great day was had at the Alma Shed on Saturday 9 February. From 8am to 5pm we hosted the Federation of Veteran, Vintage & Classic Vehicle Clubs Inc for their meeting of the clubs.
Lunch was provided by the Federation and Alma Volunteers turned out to guide the delegates through the restoration. Feedback is that everyone enjoyed the day, it rained in the morning but the sun came out in the afternoon – and the day went off very well.
Graeme and Val Webb, long time supporters of the Alma Doepel, invited the Morris Car Club and the Federation of Veteran, Vintage and Classic Vehicle Clubs to Shed 2. As part of the day Alma Volunteers turned up to take delegates on tours of the restoration followed by a fabulous BBQ lunch. The ladies of the Federation worked very hard preparing food and feeding the multitude – there were between 80 and 100 delegates! I reckon a sterling effort!
Thanks must go out to Andrew Cohen who came very early and helped set up the BBQ, arranged for a second BBQ when he realised the cooks were under pressure, and for helping the hard working Morris Car Club ladies who did all the food preparation and cleaned up after. Andrew and Val stepped up and hastily organised a raffle that raised $145. Thank you Andrew and Val, your efforts were very appreciated.
The volunteer guides who came along to show the delegates round the shed – Peter Harris, Peter Van Duyn, Darryl Brooks, Tom Parks and Joanne Liddell. You guys did a great job and very much appreciated. Joanne, you know how to work a crowd and you did a great job with the merchandising!
Most of all, we wish to extend our thanks to the Federation of Veteran, Vintage & Classic Vehicle Clubs for supporting the restoration with a generous donation of 2 planks. Seen here is Neil Athorn (right) President Federation of Veteran, Vintage and Classic Vehicle Clubs and Tim Christie (left) President Morris Car Club of Victoria, Vice President of the Federation of Veteran, Vintage and Classic Vehicle Clubs presenting a cheque to Peter Harris (centre) Project Director of the Alma Doepel Restoration.
For our Tours and Exhibitions, Peter Van Duyn has organised four great looking new feather banners with the help of Karin Otto who did the graphic design. They look sensational!
In the first three months of 2019 we have seen many people drop in for a tour "Behind the Scenes". With support from the Library at the Dock and City of Melbourne we have conducted our Summer Series of Behind the Scenes "Meet the Maker Discovery Tours". Thanks to our volunteer force of Rod Alsop, Tom Parks and Colin Lill who turn out regularly to show visitors through the Shed.
We have hosted the Mission to Seafarers who came by to see what we are doing, and we exploring ways we can collaborate with the Mission at future Open Days.
We enjoyed a morning with the Dragon Masters, who are our neighbours. They came by to say hello and take a look behind the scenes.
This week we hosted the Dingley Mens Shed (pictured above) and later in March the City of Melbourne Guides will conduct a "Famil" at the Shed.
At the end of April, Alma will host the annual Heritage Festival Open Day on
Jenny McConachy has sent us this short story she wrote about a relative, Keith Ratcliffe, who served on Alma AK82 during WW2.
High Seas by Jenny McConachy
The young engineering student and keen yachtsman watched in awe as the Alma Doepel; all 12 sails billowing in the breeze, glided over the waves as she made her way to dock near Port Melbourne. He could only dream of the exhilaration to be experienced by sailing on the three-masted top sail schooner. 1
Keith Ross Ratcliffe, born 1921, named after the famous Australian aviators Keith and Ross Macpherson-Smith. He was destined for a life of adventure as he followed in the steps of his forefathers for a life on the high seas. 1
In 1941 Keith enlisted in the Army, was posted to Darwin. where he plied his trade in the workshops
Circa 1943, he volunteered and was posted to the 13 Australian Small Ship Company crewing as Engineer on the Alma Doepel.2
Between 1943-1946 Alma Doepel was requisitioned by the Army’s Australian Water Transport Group. 2 She was stripped down, refitted with engines and renamed Army Ketch 82 (AK82), then put into service delivering supplies and ammunition to troops stationed across New Guinea and the south- west Pacific, this right under the noses of the enemy!
Warrant Officer Class 1 Keith Ross Ratcliffe was discharged in 1946 and returned to Tasmania, commencing work as a shipwright at the slipyards off Battery Point. Sailing remained his passion; he purchased a Derwent class yacht “Wendy” and experienced some success in local pennants and regattas.
In 1947-1948 Keith crewed on the “Westward” competing in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. This being the only Tasmanian built yacht to win the race consecutively “on handicap”.3
In 1949 Keith skippered the motor yacht “Coongoola” on its 20,000-mile voyage from Brisbane to South Africa and return.4
Currently the Alma Doepel is undergoing restoration at Melbourne’s Docklands, and Keith is named on a plaque honouring “ SOLDIERS AT SEA” which hangs in the adjacent museum.
Bibliography 1 Trove-- Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin NT 1873-1927 Saturday 13 Dec 1919 Page 5 The Great Flight
2 Trove—The Mercury (Hobart Tas 1860-1954) Saturday 6 July1946 page7 Alma Doepel Back From War.
3.Trove—Advocate (Burnie.Tas: (1890-1954) Mon 3 January 1949 Page 3. WESTWARD’S DOUBLE TRIUMPH HOBART-SYDNEY RACE..
4 Courier Mail 25 August 1949
5 Conversations with Pat Daley
6. Conversations with Robert Ratcliffe
7 Conversations & e-mails Bill Reid and Jessica Curtain (internship on tall ship Alma Doepel) and Alma Doepel Restoration Project.
The Alma Doepel experience is listed on TripAdvisor. If you have enjoyed a "Behind the Scenes" Tour and would like to make a nice comment, please do so by clicking here.
Your reviews will encourage others to come on one of our Behind the Scenes Tours, and help raise money to see Alma sailing again.
The fridge at the shed is reaching it's use by date. The freezer compartment is frosting up, the seals have gone and we could use a better one.
If you are upgrading your fridge and your old fridge is in good working order, has a top mounted freezer and is around 300l capacity, we would love to have it.
Our fridge is used to keep milk and lunches cool for the workers and the freezer to keep a supply of frozen goods handy. If you can help, please contact us by Email.
Alma Doepel Supporters Club
Join the Alma Doepel Supporters Club today
Click on this link to the ADSC Application Form
Remember, join up for 5 years, and you only pay for 4!
Fill it out and follow payment instructions.
You can email to me or send to the PO Box indicated.
Every dollar raised goes towards the restoration.
See you on board the Alma Doepel Supporters Club!
Ways you can help raise money for Alma
There are a number of ways you can help.
Why not get a group together and come on a "Behind the Scenes Tour" of the Alma Doepel. If each member makes a small donation - say $10 - we will provide a tour with morning tea. You will see up close the work that is going on and learn about the 115 years of history including service to:
Eastern seaboard of Australia,
Hobart and Melbourne,
the Army in WW2 in the Pacific Islands
and her new role providing Youth Sail Training for young people equipping them for success in their lives
Make a donation today of any amount, and remember a donation of $500 or more buys a plank and immortalises you or your group on our Plank Honour Board.
If you are considering a mortgage in the near future - you might want to have a look at this opportunity. As an example a $250,000 mortgage at 4.09% might deliver Alma Doepel approximately $1,300 a year.
A Strategic Partnership between Alma Doepel and AWA Alliance Bank has been established.
Through this partnership you can support Alma Doepel’s restoration by considering AWA Alliance Bank for your banking needs..
For more details click here