Saturday, 12 July 2014

Meeting and Greeting

Being a Shamrock meet and greet volunteer brings with it some different challenges from the normal duties of a National Trust volunteer.

Weekends are the most hectic with the need to arrive at least half an hour before opening to manhandle the gangway into place, not so easy if it's a high tide, open up the forward and after hatches, remove the forward starboard cargo hatch board and reinstate the guard rail. Then the bilges need to be checked and pumped out if required, we can't have the visitors getting wet feet and finally, notice boards need to be placed to inform visitors that Shamrock is open and they are welcome on-board. The notice about what hazards to watch out for whilst on board and the need for parents to accompany children, is of particular importance.
From Shamrock’s perspective the most important piece of equipment is of course, the collection box, this needs to be strategically placed before removing the keep off notice.
After having welcomed the first visitors on-board, with the usual "do mind your head" greeting, is when it is realised that the raising of the ensign has been forgotten!

Some of the questions visitors ask, in no particular order.

  • Does she ever sail? Best answered after the first trip of the year.
  • What did see carry? Originally manure, best answered after they have visited the hold.
  • Where's the engine? The information board shows an engine but even though Shamrock was restored to as she was in the 1920's no engine was fitted during the restoration.
  • What does she weigh? Approximately 32 tons.
  • How much can she carry? Up to 50 tons.
  • Can people take trips on her? Not at the moment, due to prevailing Health & Safety and insurance.

At the end of a hopefully successful day a quick check for stowaway children is required before finally securing everything and shutting up for the night.

Shamrock's information board.


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