An Endeavour for Noel


Noel Raethorn lived on St. Magdalene Terrace and worked on the docks.
He took care of his mother until she passed away. In the afternoons Noel might slip down to Sally’s for a quick drink and a chat with his friends. But then he became ill and it was not possible for him to pop out anymore so he took up the hobby of model shipbuilding. His brother Seanie Raethorn would collect his shipbuilding magazine from the shop for him and Noel worked away each week on the plans and materials supplied.

Noel was working on a 1/12 scale model replica version of Captain Cook’s ship, the Endeavour. Unfortunately Noel’s condition deteriorated and after three months he became too unwell to continue the build and was admitted to hospital. He asked his brother Seanie to finish what he started and complete the Endeavour for him and of course Seanie agreed. Sadly Noel passed away on July 24th 2010 surrounded by all his family.

noel2To honour his wishes and to remember his brother, Seanie picked up where Noel left off and carried on buying the weekly magazines. Seanie had no idea how painstaking and expensive this task was going to be. It was no ordinary build; it was a labour of love for his brother Noel.

Attention to detail and patience was crucial if he was going to complete the project. For the next 18 months, Seanie purchased the publication and slowly but surely the ship progressed. People would stop him in the street and ask him “did you ever finish that ship?” Each magazine supplied enough materials for about two hours work weekly. Missing one week would jeopardise the ship’s assembly so it was vital that Seanie stayed on top of it.

Other materials also had to be acquired, like paint and varnish. He was given a set of long eyebrow tweezers which he says were invaluable when putting all the ropes together for the rigging on the ship. “It would break your heart sometimes, it was so tricky,” he said. But he was committed to keeping Noel’s ambition alive and successfully completed the Endeavour’s construction just before Christmas 2012.

The photos are a testament to his dedication and love and we at NewsFour can understand why the Endeavour now holds pride of place in Seanie’s home. Noel would be very proud of you.

By: Tracy O’Brien