Friday, 10 August 2012
THE LADY OF SAINT KILDA
On Tuesday 2nd August 1836, Exmouth held its annual regatta. This was the usual beano with funfair on the beaches and sailing and rowing races up and down the Channel and round the Warren but this year there was to be an extra treat in store for the Exmothians thanks to the opportune arrival from the sea in his yacht of a local worthy. The Western Times of 6th August reported:
"During the day the "Lady of Saint Kilda" arrived having on board Sir T D Acland and family who had just come from Lisbon. On her entering the harbour she saluted with eleven guns; she took her station in the Bight where she speedily appeared splendidly attired in all her numerous colours, forming a most prominent feature in the attractions of the day."
The "Lady of Saint Kilda" was built in Dartmouth as a trading schooner but was bought by Sir Thomas (new?) in 1834. Certainly it was the Aclands who gave her her name and who reconstructed the interior of vessel so that she became a luxury yacht. Some years before the family had made a voyage in another yacht to the remote Hebridean island of Saint Kilda, hence the name. Her salute of eleven guns (What kind of gentleman's yacht carried guns and what kind of guns would they have been?) must have made the locals jump.
She was a famous ship and lives in history not least because Saint Kilda, the sprawling suburb of Melbourne, Australia, was named after her. There can't be many places in the world that are named after a boat but such is Saint Kilda. The Aclands sailed her from 1834 to 1840 and she was well known on the Estuary. Where she was moored or berthed I do not know.