STUNNED Maurice Young was bowled over after being surprised at a film screening – with a documentary celebrating his work on the Mary Rose.
Former diver 88-year-old Maurice, now a volunteer at the Mary Rose Museum after being involved in finding the Tudor warship, thought he was about to watch a film celebrating the award-winning work of the museum.
But instead he was treated to a documentary – with archive footage and other divers who helped raise King Henry VIII’s warship alongside Maurice.
The documentary was made by the National Lottery, which has funded the museum to the tune of £28m.
Now Maurice's reaction, caught on camera at the museum by the National Lottery, will be screened on ITV ahead of the lottery draw on Saturday.
A shipwright by trade, Maurice got involved with the Mary Rose project in 1966.
Honoured Maurice, who lives in Curdrige with his 77-year-old wife Ann, said: 'I was very shocked, in fact I’d say gobsmacked.
'I really didn’t expect it and to hear all these wonderful people saying such lovely things about me on film was really very moving.
'If I think back to that blustery day looking at the Solent in 1966 and being told Mary Rose was down there somewhere, to today in this state-of-the-art Museum surrounded by wonderful people it feels like a bit of a dream.
'Words can’t do justice to how I feel about the volunteers at the museum.
‘Everyone is absolutely committed to giving visitors the best experience so I’m going to accept the applause on behalf of all our volunteers.'
Maurice told The News he was among the divers interviewed by Alexander McKee, who dedicated his life to finding the wreck, but thought the determined diver’s vision of finding the ship, raising it and establishing a museum was ‘bunk’.
Maurice said: ‘He actually said to us “one day the Mary Rose will be raised, it will go into a purpose-built museum costing a vast amount of money”, he said “it will have all the artefacts around, it will be paid for by public subscription but it’s main value will be its educations value to schools and to history”.
‘I have to be honest, I and some of the others thought he was talking bunk but it’s exactly as it has worked out.
‘I thought he was taking the thousands but he was ahead of the rest of us – he was talking millions. And it’s been worth it.’
Maurice added: 'Without lottery funding we would have struggled to give Mary Rose a home like this, one which is utterly fitting for a royal ship.'
The video is one of the lottery’s Big Surprises and will be broadcast across ITV at 8.45pm during the advert break in the The X Factor.
Mary Rose sank in the Solent in 1545 and was raised in 1982 in the world’s largest underwater maritime archaeological excavation ever undertaken.