Forsoget af Svendborg
A question often asked on board is the meaning or, if you like the translation of the two carved Scandanavian name boards mounted inside the hatch coamings at the far end of the saloon. Both names originate from Denmark. Impossible to pronounce , the name Forsoget was given to Bessie Ellen on her change of ownership back in 1947 by Christian Moller of Frederiksund, who was owner and master up until the late 1970’s. As to the meaning, well, part of Danish maritime folklore or sea-lore suggests that since the start of the ships register, there had always been a vessel with the name of Forsoeget which means “The Attempt” or “The Experiment” or even “The Try”. However, in trying to pronounce this impossible word, I gave up and took Bessie Ellen back to her original name – after the two daughters of John Chichester Elizabeth and Ellen.
The other board, “” Svendborg is the port of Registry in Denmark and is where I found the ship and had much of the initial repair work done. This graceful town with her towering spires and cobbled streets was built upon maritime endeavours, from trading to shipbuilding, where merchants and sailors made good business and signed on to ships heading around the world. To bring the story closer to home, there are a number of old photographs of Charlestown with Svendborg sailing vessels loading clay for Denmark.
Svendborg is a second home to me, it is where I found Bessie Ellen all those years ago back in 1991, it is where I spent over a year rebuilding her at Peter Ring Andersen’s famous shipyard and I look back on my time there with fond memories and never miss a chance to go back. Perhaps you will join me in 2020.