We have had a great start to the season with three events so far: our free National Lottery Open Day (Sunday 26th March), our Sea Shanty and Pasties event (1st April) and our first ‘official’ Freshspring open day to the season on Easter bank holiday Sunday (9th April), where we had plenty of Easter themed activities onboard for children and families to enjoy.
As part of the National Lottery Open week, we offered any Lottery ticket holders the chance to visit SS Freshspring for free on Sunday 26th March. We were part of a national event taking place in numerous venues across the UK and the idea was simple: anyone who visited a National Lottery supported project and showed a National Lottery ticket, could take up this special offer.
We wanted to be transparent on why we were opening our steamship for free – it’s the support of National Lottery players who help fantastic projects and organisations (like us) to continue to make a difference to people and communities – and National Lottery Open Week is the perfect way to say #ThanksToYou.
We had a lot of ‘first time’ visitors including many who were walking along the Bideford Quay. They all had the pleasure of seeing our newly refurbished galley as well as many children (and secretly adults) enjoying the teddy bear hunt. The pesky teddies were hiding all over the steamship on this particular morning, so it was no mean feat to find them all! There has been a lot of time and effort spent restoring the galley and we appreciated the feedback from visitors (which we made sure to pass on to our hardworking team of volunteers who continue to make our project possible!)
We officially opened to the public on Easter Sunday and enjoyed a steady stream of visitors with plenty of children partaking in the Easter chick hunt; the chicks had snuck into all the nooks and crannies of the steamship including the Captain’s desk and on the life buoy!
The Easter weekend also saw our chairman, John, have a presence at the Tarka Valley Railway’s naming event for their new locomotive with John’s infamous steam engine rides and a Freshspring marquee. The steam engine rides were a big hit and many a delighted child (and adult) enjoyed a short ride around the event venue. Thank you to Tarka Valley for inviting us to attend.
If you haven’t visited us yet this year, or before, then please do come on down and pay us a visit. Our knowledgeable volunteers can tell you more about the history and workings of our steamship.
We are open every Sunday (11am – 4pm) until the end of the season though please check our website and social media pages for the latest opening times and event programme.