• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

UK’s oldest ship afloat, HMS Trincomalee, celebrates bicentenary

HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship still afloat and one of the North East’s iconic visitor attractions, is celebrating her 200th anniversary.

Yesterday (12th October 2017) marks the ship’s bicentenary since she was built in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, in 1817.

2017 also marks 30 years since HMS Trincomalee docked at Jackson Dock, in Hartlepool, which forms part of The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s historic fleet, alongside Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory, submarine HMS Alliance and Belfast’s First World War survivor HMS Caroline.

HMS Trincomalee attracts in excess of 50,000 visitors annually and more than £500,000 has been invested this year in the maintenance and conservation of the ship, which is the sole-surviving link with the 19th century Bombay shipyards.

In addition, over the last 22 years, more than £5m has been received through various Lottery-funded projects to maintain HMS Trincomalee, which has contributed to Tees Valley and Hartlepool’s leisure economies. 2017 alone has seen an additional 11,500 visitors to its site at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool.

Further improvements and required maintenance works have been scheduled, including a further £250,000 investment and completed crowdfunding campaigns helping to restore HMS Trincomalee’s rediscovered head and the launch of a new, educational activity zone for families, among the measures that will be implemented and available at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool.

Roslyn Adamson, General Manager at The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, said: “HMS Trincomalee is one of the region’s key landmarks and visitor attractions, and we are fortunate to have her on our doorstep. She has contributed a great deal to the Tees Valley and Hartlepool’s economic wellbeing for the past 30 years, as she continues to welcome thousands of visitors each year.

“It is important to recognise her bicentenary and historical standing as Britain’s oldest warship still afloat. We are always looking at ways to enhance visitors’ experience when visiting the museum and touring HMS Trincomalee, with further investments and initiatives set to take place over the coming years.”

Roslyn added: “In order to maintain HMS Trincomalee for future generations, it is imperative that we are able to secure a sustainable source of income to deliver essential maintenance works that will maintain her distinctive 19th century features. The public have played a key role in helping to secure funding through donations, together with the support of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, and we are hoping this will continue so more people can enjoy her rich heritage, as well as attract more people to the North East and Hartlepool. Here’s to the next 200 years.”

By Emily