Lottery cash offers a watertight future for HMS Warrior

08/07/13  MA''Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. HMS Warrior'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131913-17) ENGSUS00320131113144720
08/07/13 MA''Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. HMS Warrior'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131913-17) ENGSUS00320131113144720
The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth exits from Rosyth Dockyard for sea trials on 26 June 2017. PPP-170708-155402001

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Plans to carry out essential conservation work on HMS Warrior have been boosted with a £89,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Warrior Preservation Trust has today received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for it’s £3.6m project titled: ‘HMS Warrior 1860 – Revealing the Secrets of Shipwrights and Sailors.’

HMS Warrior is one of the main 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 work will be undertaken in sections over two years and will safeguard both the ship and public access to her.

At the same time, the project will digitise the ship’s archival collections and enhance the visitor experience.

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.

Commander Tim Ash, the captain and chief executive of HMS Warrior, 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.’

HMS Warrior 1860 was the first iron-hulled, armoured warship in the world, built to meet the threat of a French invasion.

She 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.