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THE manager of the oldest hotels in Portsmouth has spoken of his pride at establishing a reputation for hosting some of the most respected naval archaeologists in the UK.

A team of maritime archaeologists and ex-service personnel divers stayed at the Royal Maritime Club in Queen Street while working on the excavation of HMS Invincible. 

The dive team is assembled thanks to a £2m LIBOR grant to conduct an emergency rescue excavation of the Royal Navy’s site. The Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust is leading a partnership with Bournemouth University and the National Museum of the Royal Navy where the artefacts will be exhibited once conserved. 

Jessica Berry, chief executive of the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust, said: ‘The hotel is hugely atmospheric and inspirational. We will definitely be returning.’ 

General manager John Alderson said: ‘We are very proud that such an important project was based at the hotel. I’m delighted that the team had such a positive experience.’ 

The Royal Maritime Club, which has 100 bedrooms, was established in 1850.