WITH this massive missile launcher outside its entrance, the Explosion! museum looks like the best defended museum in the world.
Fortunately for visitors, the old Sea Dart launcher is purely there for display.
It is being restored by sailors from HMS Collingwood who offered to help clean up the weapon.
They have been chipping away at the launcher, cleaning it and painting the missiles to tidy it up.
Staff at the museum, in Priddy’s Hard, Gosport, decided to restore the gun and station it outside their entrance to draw the attention of visitors.
And sailors from Collingwood in Fareham thought it would be the perfect project.
Marc Farrance, the visitor services officer at the museum, said: ‘The sailors are a fantastic resource for us.
‘We couldn’t do this without them and we are very grateful for their help and support.
‘We wouldn’t have the resources to undertake a job of this scale without the support Collingwood has given us.
‘It’s great to see members of the modern navy helping to preserve both naval heritage and history at our museum.
‘Hopefully in a few weeks the Sea Dart launcher will be able to provide the wow factor at our entrance.’
Two Sea Dart missiles are being restored by volunteers in the museum’s workshops.
It is hoped work on the launcher will be finished in time for early October.
The trainee sailors, from the Phase 2 Able Seaman Divers Course from Victory Squadron and the Leading Seaman (Above Water Warfare) Course, have also been helping at the Royal Naval Association, in Gosport, and the Royal Navy Gunnery Instructors Association in Portsmouth.
They offered their services to the Explosion! museum when instructor Petty Officer Philip Jarvie told them about the project. Philip’s wife Kerry is the events manager at the museum.
For more details, visit explosion.org.uk or call (023) 9250 5600.