HMS CAROLINE TO OPEN JUNE 1 2016. SIX MONTHS TO GO!

The count-down has begun for the opening of one of the world’s most historically significant war ships. Urgent repairs to halt the deterioration of World War One light cruiser HMS Caroline were completed earlier this year making the ship safe for the next stage of restoration. Now the final leg of restoration and interpretative work can be completed to allow the ship to function as a world-class museum, a cross-community centre and a meetings and conferences venue.

National Museum of the Royal Navy Chief of Staff Captain John Rees OBE has been leading the complex funding and restoration programme in partnership with the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. He says: “HMS Caroline is a living legend. We are breathing new life into what is an internationally significant piece of world history. We are particularly looking forward to the ship being ready for public opening on June 1 2016. This will mark the first stage of a series of phased openings. The second and third phases will see the ship dry docked for hull conservation works in the winter and then the completion of onshore facilities.

“This is a world class heritage asset and the only ship remaining from the Grand and High Seas Fleet of some 250 vessels.  We must not underestimate the value of this ship and the resonance of its history and position in Northern Ireland, so it is a matter of pride for us as well as a contribution to local communities that the ship is brought back to life as a museum, visitor and community centre.”

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell says: “As the last floating survivor of the Battle of Jutland, HMS Caroline is an integral part of the rich tapestry of maritime history at Titanic Quarter. I have no doubt it will prove to be a popular draw for tourists when it opens as a world class museum in six months’ time.”

The vessel has been based in Northern Ireland for over 90 years and has undergone the first stages of restoration which will eventually see it opened to the public as a world class museum and heritage visitor attraction. The opening date is due to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of Jutland on May 31 2016.

NMRN in a joint venture with Northern Ireland’s Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment initially secured £1m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to safeguard the ship, £11.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £2.7m from the Northern Ireland Government to complete the restoration, preservation and interpretative work.

COMMEMORATION OF THE IRISH SAILOR

31st May 2016, the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland, is the chosen date to mark the contribution of all involved in war and life at sea 1914 – 1918 with a Commemoration to the Irish Sailor in the Great War.  The event will be run in Belfast next to Jutland’s only afloat survivor, HMS Caroline, and will include her official opening as a heritage visitor attraction.  The commemoration will connect people in maritime activity a hundred years ago with descendants, and to those engaged in similar activity today.

If you have links to sailors, fishing, shipbuilding or other maritime activity from 1914-18 and wish to be involved, please see here:  http://historyhubulster.co.uk/irishsailor/

HMS CAROLINE Project Phasing

The project is split into three distinct phases as outlined below:

PHASE 1The Ship: These works comprise of asbestos removal, ship adaptation, audio visual hardware and software and exhibition fit-out and interpretation fit-out.

PHASE 2Dry Docking: of the ship for conservation works to the hull

PHASE 3Visitor Centre & Landscaping: refurbishment works to the Pump House blocks 1-3 including the Alexandra dock

Schedule of opening

2016

May 31: Commemoration of The Irish Sailor. Centenary of Battle of Jutland ceremonies and events at Alexandra Dock.

June 1: HMS Caroline welcomes its first public visitors.

August: Landscaping of Alexandra Dock complete.

November:  HMS Caroline leaves Alexandra Dock for dry dock inspection and hull conservation works.

December: HMS Caroline returns to Alexandra Dock and new position close to Pump House and facing out to sea.

2017

May: Completion of Pump House restoration and installation of permanent ticketing office and visitor welcome centre.

caroline pic

Living Memory Pilot Project 2015

History Hub Ulster is honoured to have been invited to participate in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Living Memory Pilot Project 2015 and has created a short video based on the War Graves and memorials in Belfast City Cemetery as part of this project.  The video will be shown at a presentation of the Castleton Lanterns in Alexandra Presbyterian Church, Belfast at 2:00pm on Saturday 14th November 2015.

Those featured are:

Typist Sarah Rachel Orr (Sadie) Hale, Mercantile Marine (SS Lusitania)

Sergeant Thomas Samuel Telford, Machine Gun Corps (Motors)

Private David Lumsden Newel, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Company Serjeant Major George Frank Newel, Royal Irish Rifles

Lance Corporal Walter Newel, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Rifleman Hugh Joseph Thompson, Royal Ulster Rifles

Private Thomas Clulow, South Lancashire Regiment

Air Mechanic 3rd Class Albert Edward Campbell, Royal Air Force

Private Charles Banford, Royal Marine Light Infantry

Trimmer William Edwin Gleave, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

Greaser Robert Bodie, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

Fireman George Richardson, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

Fireman Samuel Routledge, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

Steward Charles Jeffers, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

4th Engineer Stanley MacDonald, Mercantile Marine (SS Celtic)

Sergeant Charles William Evans, Royal Air Force

Lieutenant John Alan Schwarz, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (HMS Whitaker)

Signalman Lyn Edgar Landon Relf, Royal Navy (HMS Sarawak)

Sapper James Orr, Royal Engineers

Communities Secretary Greg Clark launched ‘The Living Memory Project’, designed to remind people of the 300,000 war graves and memorials in the UK. Many of these memorials lie in forgotten corners of graveyards; the Living Memory initiative is designed to aid their rediscovery.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

“This year, of course, we’ve continued to mark the First World War’s centenary with a focus on the battlefields of Northern France, Belgium and Turkey. But we should take time to remember the brave men buried and commemorated here in the UK too. We owe our gratitude to those men, from across the Commonwealth as well as from the British Isles, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars. Paying respects at the war graves of Belgium or France is a life-changing experience, but the final resting places and memorials of thousands of brave men can also be found, not far from your home, in 13,000 locations across the British Isles. The Living Memory Project is a fitting way to pay tribute to that sacrifice and to learn about our shared history. I’d encourage people to get involved, and discover how they can pay their own tribute.”

The Living Memory Project, part-funded by the Government, is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and thirty-six local groups around the country to create remembrance events at local war memorials.

Thirty-six groups will work with the CWGC to re-discover war graves, pay respect to the war dead, and share their research with the wider community. “We should make a positive decision to remember these brave people,” said Mr Clark. “They may have died long before we were born, but they died that we could be free. Their sacrifice should inspire all of us.” 

The initiative will continue long after this fortnight of activity, with all communities urged to remember these hidden war heroes annually – creating a thread of memory and shared history long into the future.

CWGC Director of External Relations, Colin Kerr, said: “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s work overseas is well known, but here in the United Kingdom there is little awareness of the graves to be found in a staggering 13,000 locations, that commemorate over 300,000 Commonwealth dead of the two world wars.

“We believe that this is wrong, and through the Living Memory Project aim to reconnect the British public to the commemorative heritage on their doorstep. With the support of DCLG, the Living Memory Pilot will encourage more people to discover and visit CWGC war grave sites in the British Isles, to remember the war dead in those places from the First and Second World Wars and to share and raise awareness of these 300,000 commemorations with their wider communities.  The aim is to roll the programme out nationwide in 2016 as part of the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Somme campaign.”

The project has been devised in partnership with community engagement specialists, Big Ideas Company www.bigideascompany.org.

Chief Executive Virginia Crompton said: “We are proud to be contributing to such a meaningful project supporting people across the UK to discover their local war graves.”

North Belfast Remembers Job Opportunities

We are looking for three people to help with our project North Belfast Remembers. Application details at the bottom of the page.

Project:

A series of arts and heritage based events aiming to connect the local community with the Decade of Centenaries and the First World War.  It aims to engage the community with their local history and begin a dialogue about the place of remembrance in today’s society. It provides an opportunity for intergenerational storytelling aiming to enable older people and children to understand the importance of each other in the community.

NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS PROJECT MANAGER

December 2015 – March 2016 (78 hours total / £12 per hour / Freelance)

Roughly 4 hours per week, rising to 8 hours per week in March 2016.

Role:

Project Management of 10 research workshops, 5 art workshops and a final larger scale event in March 2016

Essential:

3 years project management experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / time management skills /Ability to engage with all members of our community

Desirable:

Experience having worked with older people and children / knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15

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NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS ARTIST

5 x 60 mins children’s workshops in February and March 2016 (plus 5 x 60 mins prep time)

 (10 hours total / £30 per hour / Freelance)

Brief:

Artist for 5 arts workshops of 20 children each, aged 8 – 12 years old in community venues in North Belfast. The brief will be discussed in more detail with the chosen artist, but will involve decorating glass bottles.

Essential:

3 years arts experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / /Ability to engage with all members of our community / Experience working with children

Desirable:

Knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15

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NORTH BELFAST REMEMBERS RESEARCHER

December 2015  (20 hours research / £12 per hour / Freelance)

January – February 2016  (20 hours workshop delivery/ £12 per hour / Freelance)

Role:

Research of ww1 servicemen from North Belfast and delivery of 10 x 90 minute research workshops for older people in community venues in North Belfast. (plus 10 x 30 min prep time)

Essential:

3 years research experience / an interest in history / ability to work to own timetable and within budget / time management skills / ability to engage with all members of our community

Desirable:

Experience having worked with older people / knowledge of North Belfast particularly BT14 / BT15

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Applications:

Please send cover letter and CV to research@historyhubulster.co.uk

Closing Date: Wednesday 25th November 2015

 

 

Please note this email is not monitored daily and we cannot acknowledge every application.

Belfast City Council 2015 (Master) CRC logo