Seaglass festival coming to Trinc could be a UK first

HMS Trincomalee is celebrating 25 years in Hartlepool. Manager David McKnight.
HMS Trincomalee is celebrating 25 years in Hartlepool. Manager David McKnight.

A HISTORIC ship will be the setting for a festival and exhibition of highly sought-after sea glass.

HMS Trincomalee, at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, will host PEBLSFLOAT, a festival of Seaham seaglass, which is expected to attract exhibitors from as far as the USA.

Seaham seaglass is highly collectable.

David McKnight, general manager of HMS Trincomalee Trust, said: “Back in the 1850s, there was a massive glass factory in Seaham that had six or seven kilns, it was one of the biggest in Europe.

“At the end of the day, when they were finished making glass, the offcuts were thrown off the cliff into the sea.

“Over the years, the action of the sea and the weather has tumbled and polished the glass and it has been washed up on the beach.

“It’s not as collectable in this country, but it is further afield and hugely popular with the Americans.

“When you clean and polish it and put it on a lightbox, that’s when you see the beauty of seaglass.”

The trust was approached by Paula Newman, from Seaham, who runs a company making jewellery from seaglass, and she wanted to hold a festival on the ship.

It was agreed that the Trinc, the second-oldest warship afloat, would host the event, which is thought to be a first for the UK.

Mr McKnight added: “ We have had a lot of interest.

“It’s a perfect marriage of a ship of the era with glass of the era, both of which have a special place in people’s hearts and minds today and we are really proud and delighted that the two organisations can come together to hold the first UK PEBLSFLOAT Seaglass Festival.”

The festival, which also includes auctions, takes place from noon-7pm on Saturday,May 18 and Sunday, May 19.

Tickets are £6 per day or £10 for the weekend.

Call (01429) 223193 for tickets.