National Historic Ships receives funding award to grant aid flagship


Issued: 09 August 2010 - For immediate use
National Historic Ships receives funding award to grant aid flagship training project for Shipshape Solent

National Historic Ships has received an award of £30,000 as a result of a successful application to the Headley Trust for funding to cover a range of training projects promoting the use of practical traditional maritime techniques and accredited training for the conservation of historic vessels.

This follows the announcement last month of Keeping History Afloat - a £126,000 National Historic Ships initiative to be run in partnership with the National Waterways Museum, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Part of this project will be the development of accredited modules, allowing trainees to be formally assessed in
specialist maritime skills.

The Headley Trust award will now allow these modules to be tested at a number of sites across the UK over the course of the scheme.

The Headley Trust funding will also be used to support a flagship project on the south coast, drawing together two key layers from the Solent Shipshape Network.

Ten students from the Marine Skills Centre, City College Southampton will be given a unique opportunity to spend a period of up to four days onboard the National Historic Fleet steamship SS Shieldhall.

They will experience first-hand the handling and operation of
triple expansion steam engines in a working environment, as well as learning how to run and conserve a traditional seagoing vessel of size. The apprentices will work alongside the crew, learning how to: work up steam in her boilers, operate the engine telegraph and throttles, and steer the vessel from the bridge.

Kenneth Cast, Marine Skills Manager at City College said: ‘this is a live learning adventure for our Apprentices par excellence.

It will provide a lasting impression and an experience that we cannot teach in a classroom.

They will work closely with the crew of Shieldhall and gain experience with marine engineering in the truest sense, understanding how to work as part of a close-knit team.

My thanks go to Hannah Cunliffe of National Historic Ships and Graham Mackenzie, Managing Director of the Solent Steam Packet
Company (owners of SS Shieldhall) for their co-operation in making this possible.

I have no doubt this pilot scheme will be a resounding success.’

The Solent Steam Packet Company responded: ‘the team at SS Shieldhall is delighted to be an integral part of the National Historic Ships’ initiative to provide "hands-on" experience to a number of students from Southampton City College.

This experience will provide a valuable insight to people coming into the maritime industry of the heritage aspects of the maritime world and, in particular, steam age technology.

As the National Historic Ships’ Flagship of the Year 2009, it is fitting that Shieldhall provides a pilot scheme for others to develop and follow.’

Headley Trust funding will also be used to support The Ayles Skiff Project which, led by the Scottish Fisheries Museum, is intended to encourage practical skills in young people through building a traditional boat of relatively simple design.

The museum is partnered in this enterprise by Fife and Angus colleges of further education, the nearby Arbroath Shipyard, and the international firm of Babcocks, based in Rosyth.

For further press information contact: Hannah Cunliffe, Policy & Project Manager, National Historic Ships T: 0208 312 8558 E:

National Historic Ships advises the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and a range of grant giving organisations on priorities for ship preservation and is the official voice for historic vessels in the UK.

It maintains the National Register of Historic Vessels, which lists over a thousand significant craft.

Shipshape Network is a National Historic Ships’ initiative which provides a UK-wide communications and marketing framework for everyone with an interest in ship conservation.

It promotes the regeneration of associated heritage skills & facilities across the UK, with a focus on four key regions – Solent, Thames Estuary, Bristol Channel and Mersey.

Shipshape Solent is being formally launched onboard HMS Warrior on 10 August 2010 at 11am.

SS Shieldhall was built as a service vessel in 1955 and is now an important element of the National Historic Fleet (200 vessels demonstrating the highest UK significance).

Today, Shieldhall is recognized as the largest working steamship of her type in Northern Europe and operates regular passenger cruises from Berth 29, Dock Gate 4 in Southampton

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