Long journey for local model ship

Long journey for local model ship

Heart and Soul Men’s Shed founder Terry Thompson and his dog Lou Lou with the model Endeavour. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A large model ship built to the exact specifications of the Endeavour will soon have a new home after gathering dust in a Forrestdale shed for the best part of the last five years. 

Made out of the timber from the main mast of the replica Endeavour and a brass screw that was previously used in the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the five metre by four metre model was built to a 12-to-one scale of the famous ship, which was once sailed by British explorer Captain James Cook. 

Ex-shipwrights who made a replica of the famous ship constructed the model, which was made at Heart and Soul Men’s Shed in Forrestdale, over a three-year period. 

Men’s Shed founder Terry Thompson said the group had chosen to donate the model to the people of Cooktown in Queensland, as they are mad “Cookites” over there. 

“It is only going to be ruined in our shed,” he said. “We keep having to move it and people don’t know how to handle it so they grab something to shift it and it breaks.” 

The crew onboard the Endeavour replica during its journey from Fremantle to London from October 1996 to March 1997. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Mr Thompson said the group had previously offered to sell it to the Western Australian Maritime Museum but they didn’t want it and they hoped it would end up at Pioneer Village School in Armadale, however, it wouldn’t fit through the doors of the classrooms.

The model has previously travelled across the Nullarbor to Ballarat for a men’s shed conference, but its upcoming trip to Cooktown will be its last journey. 

“I have to wait until the last cyclone gets out the way as it is no good trying to get across Australia at the moment… although it is a boat, I need to get the truck across also,” he said.

We will go straight across the Nullarbor then up to Coober Pedy, up to Alice Springs, up to Three Ways and then across to Townsville, through Cairns finishing up in Cooktown.” 

Mr Thompson said the model will finish up at James Cook Museum in Cooktown and its arrival will serve as great timing for the upcoming 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage to Australia in 2020.