A stunning replica of Lord Nelson’s famous messenger ship from the Battle of Trafalgar has sailed into Hartlepool.
HMS Pickle is a recreation of the schooner that delivered the news to England of Nelson’s famous victory against the French and Spanish, and also of his death in battle.
Her arrival in Hartlepool aims to cement the link between the ship and town after visiting last year.
It also coincides with Saturday’s Marina Fest event, with lots of on water activities, and to celebrate the bicentenary of Hartlepool’s own HMS Trincomalee.
Pickle skipper and owner Mal Nicholson told the Mail: “The people of Hartlepool made us so welcome last year that we promised we would come back.
“There’s a huge support for the Pickle here in Hartlepool and we as a group and everybody who sails with us fell the same way.
“It’s great to come to Hartlepool.”
This weekend, visitors to Hartlepool Marina will get the chance go on board and learn more about the original’s fascinating history, as well as find out about the replica’s restoration.
The real HMS Pickle was formerly a pirate ship called The Sting, and at the request of Nelson himself took part in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Mal added: “She was the vessel that famously brought home the news of the winning of the battle and the sad loss of Admiral Lord Nelson, making her place in history.”
Mal, who owns Historic Motor and Sail, bought her in Gibraltar in 2014 and Mr Nicholson sailed the vessel to the UK from Gibraltar, where he bought her in 2014.
Today she is used for sailing and training, takes part in events and hosts regular events and parties on board.
Mal said: “The original Pickle was lost in 1808 in Cadiz Bay. This vessel was built in 1995 and was used for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 2005.
“It’s living history. She is an iconic vessel that’s known the world over.”
Among the crew is 14-year-old Mason Wild, from Hull, who has been given time off from his school to sail on Pickle as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Mason said: “It’s brilliant. It is a chance you won’t get anywhere else.
“I’m learning sailing, navigation, cooking and life skills.”
Pickle is be to view at Hartlepool Marina on Saturday and Sunday until dusk.
Groups of up to eight at a time will be welcomed on board.