Port boat set to feature on stamp

One of Fleetwood Museum's favourite paintings - the Falcon pilot ship - has been chosen to feature on a set of stamps. 'Museum Manager Lynne Asghar with the painting and stamp set.
One of Fleetwood Museum's favourite paintings - the Falcon pilot ship - has been chosen to feature on a set of stamps. 'Museum Manager Lynne Asghar with the painting and stamp set.
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A painting of a pilot boat which worked out of Fleetwood in the late 19th century is the subject of a new Royal Mail stamp.

Falcon was a traditional pilot boat, and was built in 1894 by Nicholson and Marsh at Glasson Dock, Lancaster.

The original artwork, by 
local artist John William Green, is now proudly displayed at Fleetwood Museum.

The Falcon painting is one of six stamps, entitled ‘Working Sail’, and are the first to be launched in the Royal Mail 2015 Post & Go series, celebrating the importance of these ships to local coastal areas.

Lynn Asghar, manager at Fleetwood Museum, said: “I’m so pleased that this local artist has had his work recognised.

“We know that he was employed as a foreman painter at Fleetwood Docks.

“In his spare time he was a keen amateur artist, working in pen and ink, watercolours and oils and had a particular interest in painting and drawing the working boats he observed at Fleetwood.

“He was a typical folk artist whose work has captured for posterity the many types of traditional vessels working at this time.

“He was a well-known and well-respected character in the area.

“Fortunately, work by John and other artists like him has been preserved in local and community museums around our coast.”

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesman, said: “The UK has a rich maritime heritage, especially the working sailboats which served their communities throughout the 19th and into the 20th centuries.

“Whether for fishing or for carrying cargo or guiding larger vessels into port, these vessels were the workhorses of the sea, captured forever by the ‘pier head’ painters of the era. These stamps are a reminder of this proud heritage.”

Pilot boats were used to guide ships along the channel safely to port. The Falcon was a coasting schooner and was commissioned in 1894.

A man called George Grimshaw, of North Church Street, Fleetwood, became the managing owner in 1909. The vessel was eventually registered in Belfast as a pilot ship.