Excitment as Portsmouth Historic Dockyard launches free family festival

A new family festival is being held at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth
A new family festival is being held at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth

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  • Three-day festival is first for city attraction
  • Tours will be on offer of site’s historic Boathouse 4
  • There will also be live music, demonstrations and displays
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PORTSMOUTH’S rich maritime heritage will be on proud display at a new family Summer Festival.

Boathouse 4, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, is staging the free three-day bonanza, beginning on Friday.

Tours of the cathedral-sized boathouse, demonstrations of Tudor shipwright skills, rope making, music and performances are just some of the activities on offer at the site’s first Summer Festival.

There will be a model boat display with pyrotechnics from the Portsmouth Model Boat Display Team on the Mast Pond outside Action Stations.

Marian Smith, organiser of the event, said: ‘We’re really excited to be launching this new festival.

‘There will be something for everyone – families, and wooden boat enthusiasts.

‘We want to give visitors of all ages a flavour of what goes on at Boathouse 4, where students learn the unique craft of traditional boatbuilding.

‘Our students share this amazing space with the Forgotten Craft exhibition, which pays tribute to small craft, the backbone of the Royal Navy.

‘Also, I don’t want you to miss Midships Cookhouse, which has stunning harbour views. It is now open and is a great spot for lunch or afternoon tea.’

The Summer Festival takes place between 10am until 5pm on all three days.

Visitors to Boathouse 4 will have a chance to see historic vessels like Lively Lady and Dolly Varden, as well as seeing demonstrations of all the skills that go in to maintaining and building the boats.

There will be music, singing and theatricals from Portsea’s Groundlings Theatre.

And on Saturday and Sunday revellers will be treated to a waterside market.

John Rawlinson, director of visitor experience at the dockyard, said: ‘There is so much happening here at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Summer Festival is a superb addition to our calendar.’

Other paid-for attractions include the newly-launched blockbuster exhibition, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War, as well as the stunning new-look Mary Rose Museum.

For more details, see historicdockyard.co.uk