Brunel’s paddlesteamer to be rebuilt in £20m tourism project for Bristol

The world’s first transatlantic ocean liner, Brunel’s famous paddle steamer the Great Western, is to be rebuilt from scratch and form the centrepiece of a new £20m tourist attraction in Bristol. The project will see the Albion Dockyard – the dry dock next to the SS Great Britain on the harbourside – conserved and restored into what those behind the project say will be a ‘world-class maritime attraction inside a thriving working shipyard’.

The project, which has been rumoured for years in Bristol, is now being formally launched with the announcement that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded an initial grant of £600,000 to develop the project. The project will effectively more than double the size of the current SS Great Britain visitor attraction. The total cost of the project is being put at £20 million, of which £5 million is proposed to come from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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Havengore (1955) FOR SALE

She sailed into history at the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill 50 years ago, and now the barge that bore the coffin of Britain’s greatest Prime Minister is for sale.

New custodians are being sought for the Havengore (1955). A new custodian, with a key eye on the past, and a willingness to help this historic vessel to continue to be part of the fabric of the United Kingdom.

The boat has also been used for a range of private and state events, including the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee, where she carried several members of the Royal Family, plus numerous functions commemorating the end of WWII.

For more info visit the National Historic Ships UK link below

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Govan Graving Dock to welcome back ships

The A-listed dock, which shut in 1987, will be returned to a fully operational ship repair and maintenance facility after a £500,000 restoration programme.

Govan Drydock Ltd have secured a licence to operate Govan Graving Dock number one and to bring the facility back to life for use by historic and commercial ships.

Peter Breslin, Managing Director of Govan Drydock Ltd, said: “We are committed to retaining the heritage and preserving the history of Govan Graving Dock. I am honoured to be returning this historic drydock back to active service and look forward to progressing with the restoration programme over the next six months.

“The facility will breathe life into the Govan area of Glasgow, bring employment opportunities and will become a much-needed facility for historic and commercial ships and ship owners for many years to come.”

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Those Terrible People on The Thames Helping to Drive the Blue Economy

Coastal and Maritime Tourism is one of the many different types of tourism that benefits the UK. Last week National Maritime had the privilege to look at this exciting venture hitting the Thames.

If you are looking to do something this Easter check out the Horrible Histories – Terrible Thames Tour a venture from award-winning theatre producers Birmingham Stage Company and National Maritime partners  Woods’​ Silver Fleet, a family-run Company of Thames Watermen since 1866.

Together they are bringing together their extensive experience of performance and river sightseeing tours to create an experience like no other.

Remember Singalongs are compulsory onboard!

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Shackleton’s Endurance Discovered in the Icy Waters of Antarctica

The Endurance22 expedition has found, filmed and documented the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s lost ice ship, Endurance, in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea.

Ernest Shackleton’s lost ice ship, Endurance, has been discovered in the waters of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea. Endurance was crushed and sunk by pack ice in 1915, during Shackleton’s failed attempt to cross the Antarctic continent, and remained lost to the depths for more than a century.

Now, the wreck has been found, filmed and surveyed by members of the Endurance22 expedition, which set out in search of the shipwreck in February 2022. After weeks of surveying the seabed, the shipwreck was located in early March 2022, 100 years after Shackleton died in 1922.

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The Public Consultation for a proposed new Thames-side museum, which will house the Rose Toop Collection of historic boats has now closed. 

The Rose Toop Collection consists of nearly 40 boats from the ‘Golden Age’ of wooden boatbuilding on the Thames, providing examples of unpowered, open launch, tender and steam. It began in the late 1960s when hand-built wooden river craft were superseded by fibreglass.

If the application is successful, the new museum will be built on the site of Hobbs Boatyard, opposite the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, which Rose Toop Collection owner Adam Toop purchased in October 2020.  

Substantial investment is planned for the boatyard, which will be operated on a not-for-profit basis and in the absence of sponsorship. Facilities will be both improved and expanded for the benefit of the small community of marine businesses that operate from the site, the boat owners they serve, along with traditional boat clubs and societies. 

In operation since the late 19th century, Hobbs will also retain an important presence, continuing their operations on approximately one third of the site, leased back to them on extended terms to ensure continuity. 

The planning application is for a vintage boat collection of National significance, and aims include: re-finishing the current barns on the site in wood, adopting materials originally employed in the construction of the historic sheds lost to fire; the creation of suitable environment to properly store and maintain the Rose Toop Collection; a mezzanine area for safely viewing the Collection while providing access to the Collection’s archives and library; erection of a workshop to provide restoration and maintenance space for boats in the Collection; support for the existing small, specialist marine businesses based at the boatyard through improved, secure facilities; and additional moorings, which would be made available for owners for the seasonal mooring of other recreational vintage boats of similar pedigree to the boats and craft in the Rose Toop Collection.

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Shipbuilders sculpture work to begin

Construction of a new 10-metre tall sculpture honouring Inverclyde’s shipbuilding heritage is set to begin.

Work started this week on the foundations for the giant ‘Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow’ statue, which will take pride of place in the town’s Coronation Park.

The sculpture of two stainless steel figures hard at work has been designed and built by renowned artist John McKenna following a public vote and consultation.
The artwork pays tribute to Port Glasgow and Inverclyde’s shipbuilding past.

When installed, the figures will measure 10 metres (33 feet) in height with a combined weight of 14 tonnes.

It is thought to be the largest sculptural figure of a shipbuilder in the UK and one of the biggest of its kind in Western Europe.

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Discovery is just the beginning – Trustees Wanted

We have a great team of trustees at the Nautical Archaeology Society who help promote the preservation, protection and research of our nautical heritage.

As a group of dedicated volunteer trustees we act as the company directors and are legally responsible for the operation of the society.

We are now seeking three additional trustees to strengthen the executive committee. If you are interested in discovering more about becoming a trustee contact our Chair Tim Parker or the societies CEO Mark Beattie-Edwards

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National Lottery gives Plymouth £9.5million to create UK’s first Marine Park

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted a £9.5m Heritage Horizon Award to establish the UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound.

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Dunkirk Little Ship inspires new boatbuilding centre and museum

The Skylark IX Recovery Trust announced ambitious plans to secure a bright future for the much-loved Skylark IX ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’ at the heart of a new immersive heritage experience and boatbuilding training centre in Dumbarton.

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