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Swan volunteer and talented artist Gilly B details her experience with The Swan Trust, and how Swan has inspired her work. During the years she has sailed with Shetland primary school children; older youth trainees taking part in Nordic Sail, Shetland - Denmark - Sweden - Norway - Shetland; and with American knitters on a charter for Shetland Wool Week. She is also a regular at our maintenance sessions, caring for and maintaining Swan.

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Last year the Swan Trust identified an urgent need to replace three of Swan’s five sails – the Jib, Staysail and Mainsail. With all of these sails in use for many years, time and UV exposure had taken its toll. To date they have raised funds to replace the Jib and Mainsail from a variety of sources, including Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Fishermen's Trust, The Shetland Fishing Fleet, Grieg Seafood and People's Postcode Lottery. They have also secured partial funding for the Staysail, and are looking to fund the balance.

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Continuing our What Swan Means to Me features, we hear from Ewan Hutcheson and Liam Slater, two teenagers with a passion for boats, music and The Swan, and some of the Swan Trust’s youngest volunteers. As accomplished musicians, their volunteering has included playing aboard the Swan for visitors to the boat.

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Bowsprit Repair Complete

25 September 2020

Every year volunteers come together over the winter to help maintain Swan, consisting of both traditional boat maintenance and one-off tasks. Over the past couple of years these have included re-caulking the coach roof and dismantling and overhauling the capstan. Here Swan Trust Trustee Brian Wishart, tells us about repairing the Bowsprit.

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In the next instalment of our personal stories of Swan, Maggie Adamson tells us about her history with Swan and life on board as a crew member of this classic sailing boat. As an accomplished sailor, and world class musician, Maggie has travelled the world, but her passion for Shetland and the Swan has seen her crew the Swan for the past four seasons.

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Unst lass Heather Gray tells us about her sailing experiences with The Swan, including how she progressed from Trainee to chaperone and her travels around the UK and Norway

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The Swan Trust is among 16 charitable organisations which have collectively received over half a million pounds from the Shetland Charitable Trust, with the Swan Trust receiving £14,000. This funding will be used to ready The Swan to offer life changing sail training opportunities in 2021.

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In 2021 The Swan Trust will mark 25 years since The Swan was relaunched. In the lead up to this anniversary, we will be featuring personal stories from those who have sailed on The Swan and worked with The Trust. In the first of these, Andrew Manson, The Swan Trust’s Sail Trainee of the Year 2019, reminisces about his trips on Swan and what this means to him.

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One of the Swan Trust’s main objectives is to celebrate and keep our heritage alive. Swan Trust Trustee, John Goodlad, looks back at Shetland’s Herring Fishing heritage, and the important part Swan played, and is still playing, in this story.

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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resultant government restrictions and event cancellations, the Swan Trust has cancelled all 2020 sailing trips. It is hoped many 2020 trips will be rescheduled to next year, which will be advertised on their website as they are confirmed. To protect its volunteers, the Trust also cancelled maintenance sessions and regular meetings for the time being, but hope to resume these as soon as restrictions allow.

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The Swan Trust and Shetland with Laurie are working together for the first time to offer guided tours of Lerwick Harbour aboard Shetlands traditional boat, The Swan. See Jimmy Perez’s house from the sea and hear tales of smugglers, Dutch fishermen and the rise of Lerwick to Shetlands capital.

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Sail Training Shetland seeks trainees for Adventure Sail North aboard Swan, Ullapool to Shetland - applications close 27th March 2020

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