Historical ships. Warrior Preservation Trust Limited has received initial support of £89,000 from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its £3.6m project “HMS Warrior 1860 – Revealing the Secrets of Shipwrights and Sailors”, it was announced today.
HMS Warrior1860 is one of the most influential warships ever built and one of the major attractions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The project aims to carry out essential conservation work to replace the bulwarks and water bar on both sides of the upper deck. This complex and skilled work will be undertaken in sections over two years and will safeguard both the ship and ongoing public access.
At the same time the project aims to digitise the archival collections and enhance the visitor experience with exciting new interpretation. The funding also provides a great opportunity to create valuable new learning resources with a wide reaching programme of learning opportunities including outreach, community and volunteer projects, training and skills development.
Development funding of £89,000 has been awarded to help the Warrior Preservation Trust progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
HMS Warrior 1860 – Revealing the secrets and shipwrights and sailors:
The works on the bulwarks will become a key part of Warrior’s story. The skills and techniques employed will be showcased and will increase visitors’ appreciation of Victorian ingenuity and engineering skills. It will create opportunities for apprentices to work alongside conservation professionals.
Warrior has enormous potential as an inspirational educational resource. New multi layered interpretation will tell personal stories of the people who built and served in Warrior. It will enable visitors of all ages and backgrounds to engage with Warrior’s heritage and her place and significance in maritime history, technological advance and social change. Digitisation of the archival collection will provide access to an important resource for exploring the social, domestic and working lives of people serving in the most innovative warship in the world at the height of the industrial revolution.
The project will broaden the learning offer, including development of new workshops, resources, self’-led and outreach activities and create a stronger focus on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) agenda. The aim is to increase engagement with schools and with students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and to continue to expand our links with the local community.
Warrior is the only surviving embodiment of the most revolutionary changes to take place in the long and distinguished history of the Royal Navy, spanning the eras of wood, iron, sail and steam. When built in 1860, no warship was the focus of so much attention or had such a profound effect on naval architecture. Few ships subsequently, can have led such a chequered life as Warrior, which has in turn been the pride of the nation, a forgotten hulk, and today a national treasure to be preserved for posterity.
HMS Warrior 1860 was the first iron-hulled, armoured warship in the world, built to meet the threat of a French invasion. Warrior represented the ultimate Victorian deterrent and demonstrated the clear resolve of the Royal Navy to maintain technological superiority and naval mastery. She was the Royal Navy’s first modern warship and part of Queen Victoria’s formidable Black Battlefleet. Constructed and launched in East London in 1860, her design – which included steam and sail power – changed naval ship construction forever. For a period she was the largest, fastest and most formidable ship in the world.
Warrior was in commission for 22 years, serving largely in home waters. However, as ship technology developed, she soon became obsolete and by the turn of the century, she was on sale for scrap. From then on, she took on a series of unglamorous roles ending as a refuelling pontoon for oil tankers at Pembroke Dock.
Talks about her possible restoration began in 1967 and in 1979 she was taken to Hartlepool where restoration work began. The painstaking work to restore her to her former glory took eight years and, finally in 1987 she came home to Portsmouth. She is now one of Portsmouth Harbour’s finest landmarks and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The vital grant will ensure future generations of visitors will continue to enjoy her and learn about her significant place in naval history.
Cdr Tim Ash, Captain and Chief Executive, HMS Warrior 1860 said:
“The Warrior Preservation Trust is really delighted with this successful bid led by its recently retired Captain, Ken Jones. Not only will the funding allow the ship’s essential preservation needs to be fully researched, but also the opportunity to introduce more for the visitor to see and learn about HMS Warrior’s extraordinary history”
“As part of their funding bid I believe HMS Warrior are keen to extend their provision for students with Special educational Needs, and as a professional working in this area this is a very welcome move, and one which I hope will be mirrored by other heritage site in future to enable students such as ours at Pond Meadow then same access enjoyed by their peers in mainstream settings”
Mira Cooke 14-19 Phase Manager Pond Meadow School, Guildford.