Stained window marks 100th year of Portsmouth Dockyard museum

112234_CENTENARY_WINDOW_21/06/11''Ross Pringle with two stained glass windows he has made to mark the centenary of the Dockyard Museum. The Princess Royal will unveil the window on 29th June 2011.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (112234-467)
112234_CENTENARY_WINDOW_21/06/11''Ross Pringle with two stained glass windows he has made to mark the centenary of the Dockyard Museum. The Princess Royal will unveil the window on 29th June 2011.' 'Picture: Allan Hutchings (112234-467)
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A STAINED glass window chronicling the history of the naval museum in Portsmouth Dockyard will be unveiled in front of the Princess Royal tomorrow.

Fareham-based artist Ross Pringle was commissioned by the National Museum of the Royal Navy to celebrate a centenary of naval heritage in Portsmouth.

And his colourful creation will be given the royal seal of approval by Princess Anne at the museum’s 100th birthday party.

‘It’s very exciting,’ said the 61-year-old former Royal Navy engineer, adding: ‘It’s not every day your work is unveiled in front of royalty. It’s a huge honour.’

Mr Pringle, of Johns Road, Fareham, teaches people how to make stained glass windows at a weekly evening class at Neville Lovett school in Fareham.

He said: ‘One of my students works in the museum and she asked me if I would make a window for them.

‘I said “yes of course” straight away. I thought it was going to be a plain, ordinary window but it sort of snowballed a bit.’

Ross’s 7ft tall window has been installed in the Victory Gallery ready for tomorrow’s celebrations.

Its central design is a banner marking key dates in the history of the museum – from its opening date as the Dockyard Museum in 1911 to when it officially became the National Museum of the Royal Navy last year.

‘I’m very happy with it. It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s definitely been worth it,’ said Ross.

The Dockyard Museum was opened 100 years ago today and was located at the end of the Ropehouse, in the space now occupied by the Victory Restoration Workshop.

The centenary celebrations have been planned for tomorrow because the Princess Royal had other commitments.

The museum was the brainchild of Mark Pescott-Frost, the Secretary to the Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Royal Dockyard, who had the foresight to start collecting old items for posterity.

One hundred years later, the museum helps draw 500,000 people into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard every year.

Princess Anne, who is a patron of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, is due to meet descendents of the people who played a key role in establishing the museum all those years ago.