nineteenth century shipwreck

Shipwrecked painting returns to Scilly

Derek Kemp presents the painting to museum curator, Amanda Martin

By Andy - Scilly Today

A painting that was salvaged from a nineteenth century shipwreck has been returned to Scilly.

The picture of the Eric Rickmers, the same ship that was wrecked on that foggy October night in 1899, was yesterday presented to the Isles of Scilly Museum by Derek Kemp, the grandson of the Bryher resident who found it.

79-year old Derek, who is related to the Jenkins family of Bryher, says his grandfather pulled the painting from the water after the wreck. It’s thought to have been owned by one of the ship’s officers and painted in Bangkok.

Derek said the painting went to the mainland with his father when he moved to Kent looking for work. He said he wants it to hang in the Museum in Scilly along with other artefacts from the Eric Rickmers.

The German-registered, three-masted barque was on her maiden voyage from Bangkok to Bremen, carrying a cargo of rice when she hit Scilly Rock in thick fog off Bryher. All her crew managed to get to shore safely.

Museum curator, Amanda Martin, said the wreck is well known for the amount of valuable canvas that was salvaged, at some personal danger, by the residents of Bryher.

She says the bell from the ship was installed in the tower at the old Carn Thomas school site.