Lisburn girl chosen as crew member on Lord
by NEIL GREENLEES
A WALLACE High School Sixth Form student is currently
experiencing 'life on the ocean wave' at first hand after being
accepted as a crew member on the sailing ship Lord Nelson, which
tied up in Belfast at the weekend.
Melanie Warden (17), the daughter of Alyn and
June Warden of Hillsborough Road and a member of Wallace's Guide
Company, finished her AS level examinations just days before
taking up residence in her temporary home on the rolling seas.
She is now part of the world's first all female crew on a Class
A Tall Ship, a position she secured after applying to the
Jubilee Sailing Trust through Girlguiding UK.
The Trust, which owns Lord Nelson, provides
40 voyage crew places on each trip made by the ship. Half of
these go to able bodied voyagers and half to people with
disabilities including up to eight wheelchairusers.
Melanie may be the only voyage crew member
from Northern Ireland currently on board the Lord Nelson but
there is one other person from Lisburn on the ship.
Neil Duncan, the Lord Nelson's Commander
during its current voyage and leader of its 10 strong
professional crew, comes from Lambeg and attended Dunmurry High
Like the other voyage crew members Melanie
has her own bunk as well as a locker for her personal
She is a member of one of four watches, each
overseen by an experienced watch leader, who take it in turns
through the day and night to be in charge of the ship's
progress. To earn her place on board Lord Nelson she had to
attend briefing weekends and demonstrate a commitment to
publicising the work of both Girlguiding UK and the Jubilee
The Lord Nelson was one of a number of tall ships visiting
Belfast as part of the city's Maritime Festival.