New Brighton rebuild the Black Pearl

There was a period once, when every cover of In Style magazine resulted in terrible things happening to the cover star. Kate Winslett carping on about how in love she was, only to get divorced a month later, Victoria Beckham gurning away about her beloved David, only to read ‘those’ text messages the next month. The curse of In Style Magazine was born.

New Brighton rebuild the Black Pearl

So, SevenStreets launches its debut Almanac, with a stunning Pete Carr cover shot of New Brighton’s clinker-and-driftwood built Black Pearl, only for the pirate ship to be burned to the sands the day after we hit the streets. Are we going to suffer the same fate?

Whatever, we better chose our next issue’s cover carefully. We’d hate to deliberately chose something we wanted to be reduced to a pile of charred cinders…

New Brighton rebuild the Black Pearl

Anyway, the boat is back. A concerted effort by locals and SevenStreets readers

The ship was the result of a month’s hard graft by artist Frank Lund and Major Mace, who spent every waking hour working on the ship, which grounded not too far away from where the Wirral’s infamous privateers’ inn, Mother Redcaps once stood. The inn’s basement was, allegedly, riddled with secret tunnels used by pirates. Well, it is New Brighton.

“I’d love for these ships to be dotted around the coast,” Lund says. “It just takes time and it’s reliant on the right materials washing up.”

Lund’s been here since last summer, creating a Christmas nativity scene, and pods of dolphins breaking the sandy shores, all from driftwood, rocks and reclaimed flotsam and jetsam.

“I never expect these things to be permanent, it’s all about the fun of making them, and the community gathering together,” he says. “I was trying to move a massive tree trunk that had washed up, but I couldn’t shift it alone. Then a woman with a broken wrist came to help. She was from Oregon, and said they know how to move wood over there!”

New Brighton rebuild the Black Pearl

It is, Lund says, all about bringing people together. Nevertheless, last week’s inferno did unsettle him; momentarily.

“Yes, it was sad to see it go up in flames, but it just made the community stronger. If it wasn’t for the fire people wouldn’t have come out to enjoy rebuilding the damage. Getting people to create something, together, was my aim from the start. I wanted to show the good a community can do instead of the bad…”

Pics and reporting, Pete Carr