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Historic Dockyard Chatham prepares for "greatest launch since HMS Victory"

Fri 25 June 2010, 9:09 am

A once decaying maintenance building used to build and repair Royal Navy ships will reopen as the £13 million centrepiece of Chatham Historic Dockyard next month after receiving its first fleet of models and historic artefacts. (Sourced from Culture 24.)
The No.1 Smithery’s collection of globetrotting maritime objects and art, ranging from miniatures of Napoleonic ships to gold cups used by VIPs onboard, will entertain visitors to the Dockyard with five dedicated new areas.

Highlights include loans from the National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum, a courtyard for family activities and performance art, a Pipebending Floor where the public will be shown engineering techniques and a controlled storage space for more than 4,000 models.

The structure had previously been specified as a Scheduled Ancient Monument amid concerns about its dilapidation.

“Saving the building and turning it into a fantastic new museum experience for our visitors has been a huge achievement for the Trust and its partners,” reflected Bill Ferris, the Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, who suggested the opening would be the most important nautical launch since HMS Victory was unveiled at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

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