Mary Rose and Portsmouth Maritime History
October 2017 marks the 35th anniversary since the raising of the Mary Rose. Anyone over 40 will remember the excitement and live media coverage back in 1982 when, after more than 500 years buried beneath the fine silt of the Solent, the flagship of Henry VIII’s fleet finally saw the light of day.
Cathy was invited to join a 2 night Travel Editions tour centred around this unique piece of history which now has its permanent home in a wonderful museum at the heart of Portsmouth Historic Dockyards.
Key to appeal of this tour are two lectures from Christopher Dobbs, Head of Interpretation at the Mary Rose Trust. Back in the late 70’s, fresh out of University, Christopher was part of the diving team tasked with the intricate process of excavation and has since been involved in every aspect of its restoration and preservation. His talk on our first evening, which really bought that process to life, sharing personal anecdotes and insider information was truly engaging and fascinating. It set the tone for a weekend where we were made to feel like privileged VIP guests throughout.
On the following evening Christopher’s second talk preceded the highlight of the weekend – a private, evening viewing of the Mary Rose Museum. With just 50 of us in our group, it really was a treat to have the museum to ourselves, not only to see the ship in all its glory but to study, in unhurried detail, the incredible collection of objects found on board. From longbows to silver pots, canons and secret chests to the detail of life on board – the reconstructed skeleton of the delicate bones of the ships’ dog, a backgammon set, nit combs and the intriguing sets of Rosary beads. The lighting, videos and conversations with the volunteer interpreters bring it all together in the most enlightening way. It is quite honestly the best museum I have visited in a very long time.
The 2 night tour was based at the 4* Portsmouth Marriott, with breakfast and dinner included as well as a half day exploring the rest of the Historic Dockyards and an additional day touring Portsmouth’s other historic attractions including Fort Nelson, Southsea Castle and the more modern addition of the Spinnaker Tower.
Prices for the tour start from £379pp
For more details and tour dates in 2018 visit www.traveleditions.co.uk
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