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Time for a new approach on saving historic vessels?

Wednesday, 05 January 2022

Online Zoom Event 19:30 - 21:00

Preserving ships and boats has always been in the “too difficult” box; despite some real successes, over the last 20 years we have seen continuing losses of historic warships, small steamers and sailing vessels. While some operating vessels have benefitted from “staycation” in the last 2 years, others have struggled to run at all. Having a crowd pulling backstory is not the same thing as historical importance and some vessels have no obvious use or potential income stream. How sustainable are some of our current approaches to preserving and operating historic vessels?

Maritime Heritage Trust (MHT) was formed from a merger 10 years ago between Heritage Afloat, the “bottom up” voice for preservationists created in 1994, and the Maritime Trust formed in 1969 under the influence of Prince Philip and which saved many important vessels. In a very different world MHT is now starting on a renewal programme so that it can better help save maritime heritage.

What should our priorities be now?

How can we secure a better future for our survivors. Is a “national maritime treasures” list for a small number with guaranteed funding the way forward or should we continue to look to each vessel to fight its corner? If a vessel cannot be maintained afloat should we bring it ashore into a high profile location where it can be admired as a work of art and history or just “save” key components? Should Museums play more of a role with an incentive to take on important vessels at risk or are they part of the problem rather than the solution?

We are inviting speakers with considerable experience of the sector to stimulate the discussion.

Dan Cross (Marine Superintendent and professional tug skipper) who lead the restoration of the steam tug-tender “Daniel Adamson” will look at losses and threats particularly in the North West where several major vessels have been lost and the Mersey Flat Oakdale, a humble but highly important historical representative is a concern.

Richard Titchener, Executive Officer of the Sea-Change Sailing Trust, who has led and skippered the Blue Mermaid barge replica newbuild project, will talk about how the sector needs to come together again, develop critical mass and get more professional on fund-raising.

Other contributors will include Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK, which receives an annual grant from DCMS and is the primary source of advice on historic vessel matters to DCMS, advises National Lottery and acts as the official voice for the sector.

 

Events

  • Creating community and individual benefits using historic boats and ships

    Creating community and individual benefits using historic boats and ships

    Hear from projects across the UK on how to deliver life changing benefits for individuals and communities through historic vessel activities

    Online Zoom Event 19:30 - 21:00

    This webinar will examine the positive impact that maritime heritage can have for the wider community and the life-changing experiences that engagement with historic vessels can bring to individuals through volunteering, skills training, educational initiatives or well-being opportunities. It will share details of projects and outreach work aimed at integrating people with heritage.
    This will inform a panel question and answer session to stimulate group discussion, offering the audience useful examples and case studies to draw on.

Recent Events

  • Passengers on historic ships

    Passengers on historic ships

    John Megoran looks at the post pandemic challenges facing historic passenger vessel operators around the UK and  at possible solutions.

  • A historic ship or boat as a home

    A historic ship or boat as a home

    Scott and Hilary Pereira  (Swedish motor yacht Lilian) talk about the potential for residential use to help sustain historic craft. 

  • What EMH does for us

    What EMH does for us

    Get the inside story on how we get on with our seafaring neighbours and help in our time of need - with David Morgan and Thomas Hoppe.

  • Heritage Barge Days at ExCel

    Heritage Barge Days at ExCel

    As part of Newham Heritage Month the Thames sailing barge Blue Mermaid - will be visiting the ExCel centre in the Royal Docks and will be welcoming visitors aboard.

  • Cowes and Isle of Wight

    Cowes and Isle of Wight

    A flexible programme, joint visit with Association of Yachting Historians on 24/25 September (join on either day) led by Brian Corbett (MHT Trustee, OGA , MHT and OGA Rep. European Maritime Heritage (EMH) and Association of Yachting Historians)

  • Time for a new approach on saving historic vessels?

    Time for a new approach on saving historic vessels?

    What future for our historic ships?

    Preserving ships and boats has always been in the “too difficult” box; despite some real successes, over the last 20 years we have seen continuing losses of historic warships, small steamers and sailing vessels. While some operating vessels have benefitted from “staycation” in the last 2 years, others have struggled to run at all. 

    How sustainable are some of our current approaches to preserving and operating historic vessels?

  • Getting On Board?

    Getting On Board?

    Online Zoom Event 19:30 - 21:00

    How can historic vessels draw in new people and stay relevant, reaching out beyond existing supporters, using social media, online promotion and community “offer”, and convert that into supporters, visitors, volunteers or contributors?

    It’s still an experimental area and no one has all the answers. This discussion will share views on different techniques through presentations, a speaker panel with time for questions from attendees.