The old pirate ship was very popular, but the metal frame had been exposed for many years to the salty weather at this site and this caused it to corrode and become unsafe to use despite regular maintenance (below).
Following the decision to close the ship many local school children wrote to the Council asking for a replacement as soon as possible. As a result, a brand-new pirate ship has been specified and will be ready to use towards the end of February, following construction which starts at the end of January. The ship and associated features will be funded through the Council’s Capital Programme at a cost of £60K.
Appledore Ward Councillor Peter Hames said: “It is a shame that we had to close the old pirate ship at short notice but when the rust and corrosion was identified we had to act quickly to make sure no one injured themselves. I’m sure the new design will make up for the lost ship and will become as much loved by future generations of children.”
Appledore Ward Councillor Len Ford said: “We hope to invite some of the children who wrote to the Council to the opening of the new ship and look forward to celebrating its completion. We will also be inviting a retired Sea Captain who really was captured by pirates in Somalia to the event as well. Thanks to everybody for their patience while the work has been underway to launch a new and much improved pirate ship at the playground.”
Appledore Town Councillor Barry Edwards said: “We are extremely pleased that this project is now going ahead as it is something that we have been asking for, for a long time. We are very grateful to Torridge District Council for working with us to achieve this and I know that the Children have missed this feature from the park so its reinstatement will be very welcome.”