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Displaying items by tag: HMS Caroline

HMS Caroline, the last remaining historic naval ship from one of the First World War's most famous sea battles (Jutland), is to remain in Belfast Harbour.

As ITV News reports, HMS Caroline has been in the city since 1924 and reopened as a tourist attraction seven years ago.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons MLA says the long-term future of the ship has been secured with it staying in Belfast until at least 2038.

There had been fears that the ship could have been towed to Portsmouth after being closed for much of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, agreement has been reached between the Department for the Economy, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The ship is earmarked to reopen at the end of the summer.

More on the veteran vessel here

Published in Historic Boats

Belfast Harbour based HMS Caroline museum has won a reprieve following months of uncertainty over its future.

The Battle of Jutland veteran vessel turned tourist attraction faced a major loss of income after closing during lockdown.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) closed Caroline and other visitor facilities in Portsmouth, Gosport, Hartlepool and Yeovilton at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

It says the loss of ticketing revenue during lockdown has left it with a £6.35 million budget shortfall.

While the Treasury has offered the museum an emergency grant to reopen its sites in England, in Northern Ireland its funding arrangement is with the devolved executive.

On Friday the NMRN confirmed that it has now come to a joint understanding with Stormont’s Department for Economy.

For further reading Belfast Telegraph reports

Published in Historic Boats

A World War One naval heritage vessel HMS Caroline - the only surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland and one of Belfast’s leading visitor attractions - will remain closed until 2021 due to funding pressures.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), which operates HMS Caroline in the Titanic Quarter on behalf of the Northern Ireland executive, said the decision was taken after an operations and funding agreement could not be reached with the Department for the Economy (DfE).

HMS Caroline had been temporarily closed since March 17 in line with public health advice.

The operational agreement for HMS Caroline expired on 30 June, leaving NMRN unable to go on operating the ship.

For further reading reports the Belfast Telegraph here. 

Published in Historic Boats

Historic WW1 vessel HMS Caroline based in Belfast Harbour has been placed in a “dire” situation” by the coronavirus crisis and the resulting loss of revenue, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has warned.

Due to the countrywide shutdown, writes the Newsletter, the 1916 Battle of Jutland survivor will mark its fourth anniversary since a £15 million refurbishment closed it to much-needed visitors.

While many of the UK’s national museums receive up to 80% funding from central government, the attractions operated by the NMRN are allocated only 19% with the remainder self-generated.

Dominic Tweddle, the NMRN’s general director, said: “Currently 91% of the staff at HMS Caroline have been asked to take furlough leave, something that has been critical in helping us manage our financial position.

More here on the WW1 light battle-cruiser which Afloat adds last year was shortlisted for the 2019 Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

Published in Historic Boats

On board HMS Caroline an exhibition of artworks produced by a community group in Belfast forms part of a National Heritage Lottery Fund project.

As the Belfast Telegraph writes, Members of Forthspring Inter-Community Centre have used their artistic talents to produce a series of paintings, sculptures and textiles to produce the Art Trail exhibition, art pieces inspired by the World War One ship which is moored in Belfast Harbour.

Ruth Osborne, learning and community engagement manager at HMS Caroline, said the project shines a light on archival material including photographic collections and sailors' diaries which were saved with the ship.

The pieces themselves have been installed in various locations on board. HMS Caroline has been engaging with communities across Northern Ireland since 2016.

Published in Historic Boats

A World War 1 veteran HMS Caroline has according to the BelfastTelegraph, been tipped as favourite to win the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year Award.

Bookmaker Sean Graham has given the recently restored Belfast-based ship, which saw service in the First World War, odds of 4-7 in the hotly-contested competition.

The city dock attraction joins four other high-profile venues in the running for the accolade, going up against Nottingham Contemporary, which has been given odds of 2-1, St Fagan's National Museum of History in Cardiff (4-1), V&A Dundee and the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford, (both ranked at 6-1).

The winning entrant, announced at a ceremony held in the Science Museum in London this evening, will receive £100,000. The runners-up will each receive £10,000 in recognition of their achievements.

The Art Fund prize aims to champion what museums do and encourage more people to experience what makes a truly outstanding museum.

To read more click here on the last floating survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland.

Published in Historic Boats

#historicboats - A World War One warship HMS Caroline has been shortlisted for the 2019 Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

The Belfast-based vessel reports BBC News will compete against four other UK museums for the prestigious prize, worth £100,000.

HMS Caroline is the Royal Navy's sole surviving ship from the 1916 Battle of Jutland, the biggest sea battle of the conflict.

The warship opened to the public as a museum on the centenary of the battle.

Built in 1914 in Birkenhead in England, HMS Caroline was one of the fastest warships of its time.

The Battle of Jutland - off the coast of Denmark - involved some 250 ships from the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet.

More than 8,500 sailors lost their lives in the 12-hour battle on 31 May and 1 June 1916.

After the war, HMS Caroline was berthed in Belfast as a training ship, but also saw service in World War Two.

More on this story can be read here.

Published in Historic Boats

#marinescience - RV Corystes, Northern Ireland's research vessel is currently berthed in Belfast Harbour in support of the NI Science Festival.

RV Corystes operated by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is docked on Queen’s Quay, downriver from central Belfast along the north banks of the River Lagan. The vessel had been open to public visits, however there is so much more involved in the annual NI Science Festival which began events last week and continues until 24 February. 

There is over 180 events (including those for families to enjoy) and spread across more then 50 venues. A wide range of stimulating events will be available to focus on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Also according to the festival website, during the day there will be a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. As for evening events, there will be an eclectic mix of scientific debate, talks, theatres, comedy, music and film for adults.

What about the HMS Caroline’s KS2 Schools programme which offers a range of STEM-themed packages throughout the month of February, for more details click here. 

On the festival's final day, 24 February, under the category Natural World, science and wildlife TV presenter Liz Bonnin will present Galapagos: Evolution and Global Change. In addition later that day, Liz will also present: The Problem with Plastics. 

For a list of all categories in the festival programme and events details and how to book click here in addition to visiting their facebook page.

Published in Marine Science

#MaritimeFestivals - A month-long festival in Belfast Harbour is to start in the end of March at the Titanic Quarter.

Dockside Festival runs from 27 March to 20 April and as The Irish News reports the festival will be held in the Alexandra Dock & Wharf and on- board the visitor centre HMS Caroline.

Children can enjoy activity trails, arts and crafts while adults can avail of film screenings in the ship's Drill Hall as well as a series of lectures.

Over the Easter holiday there will be Woolly Workshops where children can make their own pom pom bunnies and carete a Blucher the Rabbit headdress.

Films being shown in HMS Caroline’s Drill Hall will include The Goonies (PG) on Friday April 13 and Piranha (18) on Friday April 20.

Jamie Wilson, General Manager at HMS Caroline, said the Pump House visitor centre "adds to what is already truly a captivating and enjoyable day of maritime adventure”.

HMS Caroline is operated by The National Museum of the Royal Navy and is the world’s last remaining floating survivor from the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Moored in Belfast since 1924, over the past four years HMS Caroline has been fully restored and fitted out with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland.

For a list of the festival highlights and dates, click here.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#BelfastLough - A surprise visit by Sir Kenneth Branagh was made to HMS Caroline in Belfast Harbour on Tuesday - surprising a group of movie-goers who were on board to watch his turn in the Oscar nominated Dunkirk.

The actor reports The Belfast Telegraph is in the city to be awarded the Freedom of Belfast at a special ceremony at the Ulster Hall.

Ahead of the event, the Belfast-born star visited the historic vessel which was screening the movie as part of the pop-up Branagh in Belfast film festival.

Mr Branagh enjoyed a short tour of the HMS Caroline, before giving a very special welcome to those on board for the movie screening.

Jamie Wilson, General Manager for HMS Caroline, The National Museum of the Royal Navy spoke of the team’s delight to welcome Mr Branagh to the WW1 vessel.

He said: “It has been a pleasure welcoming Mr Branagh to see this piece of living history, and of course, give our visitors today a fantastic surprise ahead of their special Dunkirk screening.”

The celebration event at the Ulster Hall will highlight Branagh’s long and productive artistic and charitable connection to the city, where he was born and lived until the age of nine.

Writing in the programme for the ceremony, Branagh said: “My Belfast childhood was characterised by Freedom. Here was a city, a big city to my child’s eyes that always felt like a village.

“It seemed like you couldn’t get lost. Everyone knew you or someone who knew you. In the landscape, the Cavehill seemed to wrap itself around you protectively from one side, and the shipyard raised the strong arms of its cranes from the other.

“You could see and feel the limits of where you lived, and you knew exactly who you were – Belfast, working class, proud.”

To read much more on the visit by the actor and film director to his beloved city, click here.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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