PRESS RELEASE – THE WHEATCROFT COLLECTION ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HAVE ACQUIRED THE HISTORIC RICHMOND DRY DOCK, WHICH WILL BECOME THE PERMANENT HOME OF OUR SCHNELLBOOT S130 ONCE HER RESTORATION IS COMPLETE. FURTHER UPDATES TO FOLLOW.
One of North Devon’s historical gems has been sold by specialist Commercial Property Consultant Kevin Underwood, acting jointly with local agents Morris and Bott, with offices in Bideford and Appledore. Once famous for being the largest dry dock in the Bristol Channel and at the centre of the area’s formerly thriving shipbuilding industry.
Richmond Dock Appledore N Devon was originally built in 1856 and is an impressive dock measuring approaching 100 metre long, and was a key marine asset within the Bristol Channel and a key part of the village’s rich history over generations.” explained Kevin Underwood, who continued “Now a Grade II* Listed Building the dock is an integral part of this highly popular village standing on the Torridge estuary.”
“Inviting interest around at around £1.2m, we were overwhelmed with initial enquiries, producing a variety of visions and plans.
Respecting the importance of the dock to the village we were delighted when we were contacted by The Wheatcroft Collection, who uniquely wanted to acquire a significant dock for the purpose for which it was built!
Driven by the passion of the The Wheatcroft Collection’s owner, Kevin Wheatcroft, his search took him to all parts of the UK and indeed on to the continent.
He commented, “We discovered Richmond Dock and after initial talks with the local authorities and Historic England, outlined our plans for Richmond as a working home for some of The Wheatcroft Collection’s historic boats, so returning Richmond Dock to its original intended use.
However, there is much work to do using local companies. Our first priority is to ‘make safe and clean the site’ of the detritus left by the previous owners’ activities”.
“This major investment in the region is a significant signal of the continued appeal and confidence in the region, with this project hopefully adding to the vibrancy and economic viability of the village and Torridgeside more widely” added Adam Bott Director of Morris and Bott.
S-130 – The Last Survivor
The only known, surviving and seaworthy S-boot, S-130, was built at the Johann Schlichting boatyard as hull 1030 in Travemünde, on the Baltic Coast, and commissioned on October 21st 1943.
Her Commanding Officer was Oberleutnant zur See Gunter Rabe and she was assigned to the 9th S-Boot Flotilla (commanded by Korvettenkapitän Götz Freiherr von Mirbach, one of the most famous S-Boot commanders of the war) to reinforce their presence in the Southern North Sea.
They operated out of Rotterdam until mid-February 1944, when they re-deployed to Cherbourg in order to reinforce the 5th Flotilla (under Korvettenkapitän Bernd Klug) in their operations throughout the Central and Western Channel area.
Throughout her service, her radio callsign was “Rabe” (Raven), her dashing Master was known by all in the 5th and 9th Flotillas as “The Raven” and she wore a ship’s crest incorporating a raven in addition to the usual 9th Flotilla sign. The two Flotillas in Cherbourg were directed from his HQ on the French mainland by Kapitän zur See Petersen (later to become Commander of the whole German Schnellbootwaffe) – www.bmpt.org.uk
The Wheatcroft Collection in the United Kingdom is a large and important collection of historical softskin and armoured military vehicles. It is one of the largest private collection of military vehicles in the world.
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