Navy’s history is revealed in small-scale exhibition

SCALE William Liles, 11, left, from Cosham with his brother Ben, nine. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132809-4)
SCALE William Liles, 11, left, from Cosham with his brother Ben, nine. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132809-4)
Sailors honing their skills at Wellington Barracks in preparation for their Royal guard duties

‘Royal duties ahoy!’

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MODEL ships from over the decades went on show as a warm-up to a new exhibition at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

HMS – Hear My Story is due to open in spring next year.

On Saturday, the museum organised for some of the model ships and other artefacts to go on display for one day only as a way of introducing the new collection to the public.

Richard Noyce, curator of artefacts for the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said there had been a good number of visitors through the doors during the course of the day.

‘This is a selection of models for our HMS exhibition,’ he said.

‘It is the new, 20th century wing that we are opening next year. It has taken us several years to get it all together because it takes time to plan these things.

‘Today is the first in a series of events. We have got some of the models that are going in to the displays and some others that aren’t normally on show including things for children to get involved with.

‘It has been really busy here today. There have been lots of people come in so far.’

Among the models on display at the event was HMS Eagle, donated to the exhibition by the family that commissioned its making.

‘It will be in the new gallery and everything will work electronically for 30 seconds when you push a button,’ Richard explained.

‘The lights will come on, propellers go round and radar signals functioning. It is the first time we have had it on display.’

Before the launch of the new gallery, an electrician will wire the boat, which originally took 15 years to build.

Models of other ships including HMS Fearless from the Falklands War and two models made by a sailor, PG Needell, for his two-year-old daughter while he was at sea during the First World War were also on display.

Children also had the chance to dress up in military-inspired costumes, play with Lego, and decorate cakes.