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A Sail with a Tale

To mark the courage of Dunkirk, Tilby decorated this historical sail with over 100  votifs and relics (a global tradition of dedications, wishes and desires)made from recycled materials.  A tribute to  lives lived and lost at sea and to echo the belief and trust in something greater than ourselves when pitted against the elements.

Searching for an old canvas sail to paint, I came across this sail in a shed, close to where I made my first sailing dinghy, with my father fifty-four ars ago, in Essex.

I thought the red-brown sail was from a familiar Maldon barge, but on further investigation, discovered that its origin had a far more romantic history and was from The Angele Aline.

Launched in 1921, this fishing ketch was to be a fortunate ship, destined to have a dramatic life. In her youth, she sailed around Newfoundland and later, was part of the Dunkirk Evacuation, rescuing three hundred and fifty men. 

Although sunk twice and used as a blockade ship during the war, the Angele Aline went on to take part in the Tall Ship Races and won prizes.

Lovingly restored by several owners, she was lived in as a home and traveled the world. She is still sailing today.​ This sail is even older, used originally on a larger boat, it was repaired & re-purposed by hand for the Angel Aline. The splicing method used pre-dates 1900, may be done by an elder bosun on the crew.

The colour is residue from the tar preservative used.

You can almost smell the history in its canvas.

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