Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture, has moved the ‘Peggy’, the earliest example of a British yacht, and the only surviving shallop*, from her cellar within the Nautical Museum in Castletown to a storage unit in Douglas.
Following a 24 hour delay due to high winds, the boat was lifted by cradle and then crane on Thursday 29th January and transported to a climate-controlled conservation facility in Douglas that was recently purchased by the Manx Museum and National Trust using their charitable funds. The Peggy will now be stabilised, examined and conserved.
Christopher Weeks, Objects Conservator, Manx National Heritage, commented:
“The Peggy is a highly significant vessel and the progenitor for any yacht you’ll see in any harbour in the world. It is one of the most important objects that we are responsible for on the Island.”
Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage, commented:
“I want to congratulate everybody who has been involved with the successful move of the Peggy. This project exemplifies Manx National Heritage’s creativity in tackling complex problems and the enthusiasm and determination required to be successful. The team has used their unique skill set and local knowledge, often in difficult conditions. I’m particularly proud that the move was carried out by an entirely Isle of Man based team.”
“We are now working on the next stage of the project and this is only the end of one chapter in the Peggy story. The Museum will continue without her and will tell her story and that of her owner in a new way while we look to stabilise and repair the boat.”
The Peggy was ‘rediscovered’ in the 1930’s, entombed in her original boat cellar, where she had lain for over a century since the death of her owner George Quayle. She was built in 1791 and was fitted with sliding keels, one of only a few with this eighteenth century innovation.
The Nautical Museum will now undergo partial redevelopment and refurbishment to improve the entrance and shop area with a new ‘Quayle Gallery’ telling more of the personal story of George Quayle and his family as well as the Peggy.