Work on behalf of museums has involved me in the survey, options studies and conservation, management plans of several museum vessels including those at the Grimsby Fisheries Museum, Hull Maritime Museum and Hartlepool. Work involved a complete survey of the vessels, including arranging dive surveys of those afloat or underwater and then carrying out costed option studies to enable the museums to map their way forward.
Inevitably there have been a few projects that have ended in failure for one reason or another. Ownership is definitely an important factor, and in the case of the former HMS Stalker (the last surviving steam landing ship tank) and the PS Ryde Queen, failure of the preservation interests to secure ownership has resulted in the terminal destruction of these ships, listed on our register of historic vessels.
A further example is that of LCT7074,the last surviving landing craft tank. Here it was the ownership of the museum site that caused the problem and despite having a grant from the HLF, the winding up of the Warship Preservation Trust’s museum has resulted in the probable loss of this vessel. In just a few years, the opportunity to preserve two vessels has been lost, both sole survivors of their type, types that were fundamental to victory in WWII.