Archers’ tribute to the Mary Rose

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IN weather conditions similar to that historic day, more than 100 people braved the elements mark the 30th anniversary of the re-emergence of the Mary Rose.

People of all ages crossed Solent on a boat yesterday afternoon to the spot where the Mary Rose was raised on October 11, 1982 – 437 years after she sank.

Gavin Roberts and other members of the Purbrook Bowman fireing arrows into the sea where the Mary Rose was sunk.''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123337-1)

Gavin Roberts and other members of the Purbrook Bowman fireing arrows into the sea where the Mary Rose was sunk.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123337-1)

Thirty years ago, thousands of people gathered on Southsea seafront to watch the landmark moment unfold.

And the spirit of that day was re-ignited as the passengers held a toast to the historic ship at the spot where it was raised.

The Purbrook Bowmen, dressed in attire akin to that of Henry VIII’s era, fired into the sea while Suzanne Mary Walker, who was celebrating her 30th birthday, released 30 balloons into the sky.

Divers Maurice Young, Dawn Perrier and Doug Howick, who formed an integral part of the operation to bring the ship back to the surface, were all aboard to watch the magic unfold.

Mr Howick, 86, who lives near Chelmsford in Essex, worked for the Marconi television camera firm and shot footage of the wreckage. They were approached by experts tasked with raising the Mary Rose.

He said: ‘I was very fortunate and it was a question of being in the right place at the right time.

‘They saw the pictures from our TV camera and it was terrific, they were very pleased so we lent them the equipment.’

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: ‘The rain just added to the atmosphere – it reflects the weather on the day the Mary Rose came up.

‘Tens of millions remember that day as a seminal moment of television.

‘By doing what we are doing we have the most extraordinary collection in the world of things 500 years ago that give a look into life and death on that day in July 1545 and that is unparalleled.’

Mrs Walker, who was given the middle name Mary to coincide with the rising, said: ‘It was an honour to release the balloons. It was a really exciting moment and it made me very proud.

‘It seemed the perfect way to mark my birthday because I’ve always had a very keen interest in the Mary Rose having a connection to it and I feel very privileged to be a part of it.’