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Shackleton Scholarship for ship research.

Tuesday, November 27th 2001 - 20:00 UTC
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An expert from one of the United Kingdom's most famous maritime museums is to visit the Falkland Islands next year to carry out extensive research on the wreck of a celebrated American ship, on which he helped to carry out a survey more than 20 years ago.

Michael Stammers, the Keeper of Merseyside Maritime Museum, has been awardeda Shackleton Scholarship to complete his research on the American packetship Charles Cooper. The remains of this vessel lie close to the centre ofStanley and are a tangible and important link to the days when the Americanmercantile marine was a dominant force in world shipping. American woodensailing ships, from the early 19th century until the onset of the AmericanCivil War, were among the biggest and best designed anywhere. Theydominated the Atlantic trades in such commodities as cotton and in thecarriage of passengers, including the many people who emigrated to theUnited States from the 1840s onwards.

The Charles Cooper is a late example of the packet ship design which was launched in 1856. She traded between Antwerp and New York and later became a general trader before storm damage forced her to take refuge at Port Stanley, where she was condemned as unseaworthy. She subsequently had a useful career as a store ship for the Falkland Islands Company. Michael Stammers was part of the South Street Seaport Museum's research teamwhich carried out a survey of the Charles Cooper in 1978. He is building onthe data gathered in 1978 to produce a complete account of the ship and hercareer.

His programme of research in Stanley between February 16th andMarch 2nd 2002 will concentrate on filling a number of gaps in the measuredsurvey, together with taking samples of wood from various components. Thisfieldwork will be complemented by work in the archives to establish aclearer picture of her arrival in Stanley, her condemnation and hersubsequent use as a storage ship. All this data will be used towards writingup a monograph on the ship. He hopes to complete this sometime in 2003.

Michael Stammers has extensive experience of ship surveying in the Falklandsand was the author of an earlier monograph on the Liverpool built sailingvessel, the Jhelum, which also lies in Stanley Harbour.

Harold Briley, London

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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