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Wednesday, 18 April 2012


What feels like, a lifetime ago, I completed a transatlantic crossing (Cadiz to Bermuda) aboard the Lord Nelson, a ship run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  

What was great about this experience for me (other than the amazing voyage!) was that the ship was designed specifically to be used by both disabled and able-bodied people.  

During the voyage, you noticed people's disabilities less and less.  One gentleman was able to move around the boat unaided through the whole voyage, as he could grab onto everything.  When we went ashore at our destination, Bermuda, he could not cope, and had to be in a wheelchair.  When we tried to go as a crew, to the pub, we were hugely restricted to choices, due to stairs etc.

There where lifts everywhere on the ship, and audio navigation system (incase you wanted to steer the boat, but blind!) and other concessions to disabilities, which basically made it a lot easier for everyone to use the ship.

The experience on that voyage has stayed with me, and I try to incorporate systems for disabled people when I can, in design.

Let's face it, we all might end up in a wheelchair! Might as well design for all of us, at the same time.

Anyhow, I bring this up now, as the sister to the Lord Nelson, the Tenacious, was in Bermuda last week.  I went aboard with my mum and dad (who is recovering from hip surgery, so a little less mobile!) and it was great.  Dad got to have a look around, with ease, and since he loves ships, it was a big treat.

Here are some pics of the ship, Notice the lifts, and there are little boat shapes on the hand rails, incase you get disorientated in a storm or if you are blind, so you know which way to the the front of the ship.

The sailing trust does fantastic work, we might take a day trip from Southampton, UK once my Dad is 100%!   Or maybe another transatlantic voyage... somehow, I don't think my clients would be too keen for me to take off for 5 weeks!

My Dad modelling one of the many lifts!
Easy to get on and off the ship, Dad didn't need any
help getting on, just getting off it was a bit steep.
Orientational mouldings on the handrails

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