Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...
There was a Man o'War, built in Delfshaven (then a shipbuilding town, now a neighbourhood in Rotterdam) in 1783 -1789, called the Delft.
She sailed to protect the Dutch merchant vessels, and had a crew of 375 men and 60 canons on board. She sank in 1797, after a battle with the British navy near Kamperduin. (The Brits tried towing her to England as a spoil of war, but after 3 days a storm hit, and the ship went to the bottom)
For centuries she was lost.
Until she was found again:-) Now, enthusiastic volunteers are building a replica on a wharf in the Lloydkwartier in Rotterdam.
The council had promised to pay them one million Euros a year, for ten years. But due to the financial difficulties of the Rotterdam council, the money dried up after a couple of years, and the work was delayed. Fortunately the volunteers haven't given up, and the shipyard has been turned into a museum.
We went there on a typical Dutch December day (today, in fact), when the sky is pressing down on your head, and it is damp, and windy.
Perfect weather for visiting a shipyard. For the skeleton of the Delft is far more impressive when viewed under these conditions, than on a sunny day. Inside it was nice and warm, and it smelled of wood and glue and linseed oil.
The work outside may have been abandoned. But inside woodworkers are still slowly carving the most amazing things.
If you come to Rotterdam, and you find yourself at a loose end, or if you actually have come with the purpose to get yourself acquainted with her harbours, you must visit this wharf!
It's a wonderful piece of Rotterdam and shipbuilder's history.
I was told that when they want to actually finish building this replica (with the original estimates), somewhere, somehow another 20 million Euros will have to be found.
Wouldn't it be lovely if they were?