Felled trees from Brighton park to help refit historic ship

Elm trees felled in a Brighton park are making history aboard one of the world’s most famous ships.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 1:08 pm

Elm wood from Preston Park is being used to make ‘deadeyes’ for the Golden Hinde, a replica of the 14th century ship captained by Sir Francis Drake as he circumnavigated the globe.

The ship is currently docked near London Bridge and is undergoing a major refit.

Toby Millinder, head shipwright, was looking for elm wood to make ship components, including some of the 92 ‘deadeyes’- thick wooden discs featuring several holes though which lanyards or lines are run.

The Golden Hinde, moored near London Bridge

Elm wood is ideal for this as it does not split during use.

Toby contacted Brighton and Hove City Council about the trees, which were felled after becoming infected with elm disease, and arrangements were made for the timber to be sent to the Golden Hinde workshop.

“I’m very pleased to have sourced the elm from Brighton,” Toby said.

“Elm is a timber with unique characteristics, which are utilised for traditional ship building. We used around 1.5 tons and this made 70 deadeyes.”

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the council’s environment committee, said: “Elm disease has had a devastating effect on many of the city’s precious elm trees, which means we have to remove them when they show signs of disease to save the remaining healthy elm trees.

“It’s wonderful that these trees are now being reused, taking their place in maritime history, and bringing a little piece of Brighton and Hove to the world famous Golden Hinde.”