Old and new threats to the Victory
The oldest commissioned warship in the world and the most famous historic ship in the UK, HMS Victory was damaged 70 years ago today during a Luftwaffe raid on Portsmouth on the night of 10-11 January 1941.
The ship survived but the Telegraph newspaper has obtained a copy of a recent inspection report for HMS Victory that suggests that the ship is rotting and is being pulled apart under its own weight. There is a backlog of essential repairs, rainwater is entering the vessel and the cradle built for it is not providing adequate support. These problems come at a difficult and uncertain time for the famous ship, with campaigners fearing that its running will be taken over by a poorly resourced charity or private company.
The Scottish Government is consulting on two matters of potential relevance to archaeologists working in the marine zone: firstly on proposals to define the boundaries of Scottish Marine Regions and secondly on proposals to ensure Scotland and its local communities benefit from renewable and low carbon energy developments. The closing date for responses is 18 February.
A complete Bartmann jug is reported to have been found close to a well head by sat divers working in the Auk Field in the central sector of the North Sea. It is not known whether a wreck is present. The find has been reported to the NMRS.
Keeping History Afloat
The National Waterways Museum is seeking applicants for three 18 month paid traineeships in traditional boat building skills based at the Heritage Boatyard at the NWM Ellesmere Port. Deadline for applications is 28 January.
Radio carbon dating of timber posts on the foreshore below the MI6 building at Vauxhall, London has returned dates of 4790-4490 BC, making them the oldest wooden structure found on the Thames.
EH has commissioned a HEEP-funded survey of hulk assemblages (two or more in proximity) in England.
Swash Channel news
A £141,000 collaborative community project between Poole Museum Service and Bournemouth University has received a first round pass from the HLF. News of this decision was taken earlier in the year but embargoed until December 2010.
If the bid is successful, the project will use the 17th century Swash Channel wreck to promote local community awareness of maritime heritage. The unstable wreck, discovered during development work by Wessex Archaeology in 2004, has been subject to a Bournemouth University led project since 2006. This culminated in a major excavation funded by HEEP in 2010. Part of the structure of the wreck was dismantled during the excavation but recovery of this and the wreck’s remarkable carved rudder has been delayed and will instead take place this year when it is also hoped to recover other parts of the vessel’s hull.
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Has published its guest blogger anthology as a download.
Hot on the heels of news that HMS Victory is in trouble comes news that the ‘2009 Flagship of the National Historic Ships Fleet’ may be at risk of scrapping unless £80,000 can be raised to keep it sailing. An emergency appeal has been started.
The next DEGUWA conference on Early Seafaring in the Mediterranean Sea takes place in Heidelberg on February 1820, 2011.
National Heritage Protection Plan consultation
A new version of English Heritage’s mega-plan is out for consultation. The deadline is 14 February.
Inaugural Asian Academy for Heritage Management Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage
This snappily titled Australian funded conference will take place on 8-12 November 2011 in Manila in the Philippines.
What may be the world’s oldest canoe is being restored at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
The Heritage Alliance’s Heritage Funding Directory has been updated.
Jeremy Hunt’s four year vision for DCMS is available for download.
New library opens
A major new maritime library, the David MacGregor Library, has opened in Bristol.
PROMARE in the UK
Promare UK, an NPO established to promote marine research and exploration is now operating in the UK.