The lovely ketch IRENE was possibly the last vessel to be built at Bridgwater and was completed for Clifford Symonds who named it after his daughter Irene.
Bought by Hugh in 1922 he felt felt proud to own such a new vessel (just 15 years old)
Skippered by his brother in law Ira Aldridge it traded around the ports of the Bristol Channel and Southern Ireland With the decline in trade in the late 1920's Hugh sold IRENE back to Colthurst Symonds and company and Hugh's son Kenneth became her captain.
The IRENE ceased commercial trading in the 1960's
On 23rd May 2003 in Marigot Bay St. Maartens the IRENE was gutted by a major fire and sank.
However the remains were returned to the West Country and has been subject to a total rebuild and is now in a fully seaworthy and operational condition.
A detailed history may be sought at:
F.J. Carver and Son, Bridgwater, 1907
Reference to Hugh Shaw's period of ownership of IRENE may be found in his book Schooner Captain.
Irene in Barry Dock
photo: Norah Shaw