Marsh 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.

This Award recognises those who have made a valuable contribution to the conservation, or operation of historic vessels in the UK and is an opportunity to recognise and thank outstanding volunteers.

Pictured above: National Historic Ships 2011 flagship 'Swan', based in the Shetland Islands.

The 2016 winners are Fred Attwood and Jill Sim

Fred is a lead volunteer with the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and takes on a number of roles including as project manager, shipwright, banksman, organiser and all round enthuser. He is an inspiration to his fellow volunteers and uses his natural leadership skills to get the most out of his volunteer team.

Fred works on site two days a week but also works tirelessly at home to produce countless ‘work to’ lists to guide each project through its various stages and keeps photographic records of all the work that is done by volunteers as well as producing a monthly newsletter which is circulated among the volunteers and to a wider audience.

On site, Fred’s enthusiasm shines through and he brings out the best in his colleagues, often mentoring a new or junior volunteer himself. He is extremely patient in any situation, whether it is dealing with the complexity of rebuilding an entire section of a boat, or helping a new volunteer with a simpler task.

The judging panel decided to Award a prize for Special Commendation to an outstanding nomination which did not quite fit the criteria for the Individual Award. This Award was presented to Jill Sim:

Jill is a schoolteacher and has worked as a volunteer guide on the RRS Discovery for 6 years, devoting her Sundays to sharing her passion for the hip and its expeditions with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

She has written and published a children’s book, ‘Shiver Me Timbers!’, about Discovery’s first expedition in 1901 as told by the ship itself. Using her extensive teaching experience and her knowledge if the ship to create an imaginative and entertaining book which had proved popular with families and teachers alike.

In her role as a teacher at Dundee’s Rosebank Primary School, Jill has always been very keen to find ways of engaging her pupils with the Discovery story, including organising class projects and visits to the ship. One key activity she helped organise was a series of full day workshops in partnership with Dundee’s zoological museum, exploring Dundee’s whaling history and the research carried out by Discovery on the 1925-27 Oceanographic Expedition into southern whale populations. Thanks to the popularity of these workshops, Rosebank Primary School is now the first ever Discovery ‘School in Residence’, with pupils of all ages taking part in activities related to the Discovery. As far as National Historic Ships are aware, RRS Discovery is the only UK historic vessel with a ‘School in Residence’ which is largely due to Jill’s dedication and enthusiasm.


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