Lottery cash to conserve old navy steam boat

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CONSERVATIONISTS have been awarded a £50,000 lottery grant to spruce up a Royal Navy steam boat dating back to the Edwardian era.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy landed the cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund for conservation work on Steam Pinnace 199 – a boat that used to protect battleships and carry officers and men ashore.

The work will be carried out at the Maritime Workshop in Gosport and is likely to last for up to nine months.

Two professional shipwrights, supported by a number of volunteers, will be using traditional wooden boat-building techniques to conserve the hull of 199 which is now more than 100 years old.

Work will start when the boat is lifted out of the water at the historic dockyard later this month.

The Maritime Workshop is at St Vincent College in Gosport and volunteer members of Group 199, who crew and maintain the pinnace, will be talking to students about the work.

Ivan Steele, the co-ordinator of Group 199 said: ‘We are delighted with this award which together with donations from the Friends of the Museum and private individuals means that work can start on conserving this unique vessel, whilst we continue to raise funds to meet our target of £98,000.’

During the work, 199 will be open to visitors by arrangement and public presentations are being arranged for interested local groups.