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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.



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Malcolm McKeand - the 2013 Award Winner!


2013 Preservationist of the Year Malcolm McKeand Kindly Light originalThe Preservationist of the Year award for 2013 goes to Malcolm McKeand for the 18-year project to restore the 1911 Bristol Pilot Cutter Kindly Light.

Malcolm's interest in traditional boats and sailing started very young, and in his twenties he became fascinated by the old sailing Bristol Channel pilot cutters that had worked that dangerous stretch of water before the First World War. He started extensive research into their history and tracked down the surviving examples which eventually led to him jointly founding the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Owners Association some 15 years ago. He is probably the most knowledgeable man alive on Bristol Channel pilot cutters.

2013 Preservationist of the Year Malcolm McKeand Kindly Light workBy his early thirties, he had decided that he wished to own and sail a Pilot Cutter. Since almost all the surviving examples had undergone drastic changes during their lives the only way to experience one of these magnificent craft was to restore one himself. He was approached by the former owner of Kindly Light who had sold her to the Maritime Trust who had put her on static display in a dry dock at the Cardiff Industrial & Maritime Museum some twenty years earlier, and who was very upset that she had fallen into a poor state of repair. After a year persuading the Maritime Trust, owners of the famous tea clipper Cutty Sark, that he was the right person to take on this enormous undertaking, Kindly Light eventually became his in 1993 and her 18 year restoration began.

2013 Preservationist of the Year Malcolm McKeand Kindly Light RestoredKindly Light was moved to Gweek at the head of the Helford river in Cornwall and a local boat builder, David Walkey was engaged. She has been restored to her original pilot cutter specification after years of detailed and painstaking research. All traditional materials and skills have been used with no engine or modern electrics installed. Kindly Light is now unique in that she is EXACTLY as she was when she sailed before the First World War, whereas all the other sixteen surviving Bristol Channel pilot cutters have been converted into yachts. Malcolm worked alongside the boatbuilder for the first six months in a sixty foot shed that he built himself before running out of money for the first time; almost nothing has been done on the boat without his research, his overseeing it and in many cases doing it again if it was not to his liking. The project has been funded by Malcolm alone with no grants or other external funding - he sold his home to keep the restoration going.

2013 Preservationist of the Year Malcolm McKeandShe was re-launched in time for her 100th birthday in 2011 and a wonderful re-naming ceremony took place alongside the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth with in excess of 300 people present to wish her well. Her new sails are being completed at this moment and it is hoped she will sail again this August 2013 for the first time in 40 years.







The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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