Marsh Team Volunteer Award for Historic Vessel Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with National Historic Ships UK, the official voice for historic vessels in the United Kingdom.

The Award recognises a group of volunteers that has made a valuable contribution to the conservation, or operation of historic vessels in the UK and is an opportunity to celebrate these efforts.

The 2015 winners are Group 199 and HMS Belfast Warship Conservation Team

This dedicated group volunteer aboard Steam Pinnace 199. Built in 1911, and a member of the National Historic Fleet, this vessel was restored in 1970 and is currently owned by the National Museum of the Royal Navy. A recent survey showed the need for a ‘100 year’ refit and Group 199 began raising funds to achieve this. Though initial results were disappointing, perseverance paid off and they managed to raise £110,000 towards the project.

The refit of the ship began in 2012 and she has now been relaunched. During this time, the group contributed over 13,000 hours of labour carrying out a whole range of tasks. The hull was striped back and hull timbers replaced as were the engine beds and supporting timbers. The boiler was removed and replaced and the main engine, condenser, feed water tanks and fuel tanks were renovated.

Throughout the project, the volunteers tried to maintain as much of the original features as possible. Their efforts have been truly extraordinary and the Steam Pinnace 199 has now been displayed afloat to the public.

Due to the high standard of nominations, a second Award was presented to this group of volunteers.

HMS Belfast is a cruiser which was launched in 1938. She remained in active service with the Royal Navy until 1965 and is the last remaining example of the gunned warships built in the first half of the 20th Century. The ship has now been opened to the public and provides displays, exhibitions and function spaces.

A committed group of volunteers have dedicated endless hours and a diverse range of skills to the conservation of the vessel. In the past year they have worked on three main projects - restoring the boat crane, restoring the mount of the ship and conserving one of the close range blind fire directors, a project which requires great collaboration amongst the team.

On top of the restoration projects and maintenance, the volunteers also put on demonstrations to the public using equipment they have restored and give talks to visitors and professionals about their work, while a sub-team of volunteers works on digitalising drawings and plans of the ship.

Pictured: One of the volunteers from Group 199 (Top), Members of the HMS Belfast team (Bottom)


National Historic Ships UK
Park Row, Greenwich
London SE10 9NF
tel: 0208 312 8558
fax: 0208 312 6632



Previous Winners: