The ship model was owned by Trinity House, an Organisation with a reputation as big as its 500 year long contribution to the protection of the shipping industry. Protecting the wellbeing of seafarers have been their prime concern since they were granted a Royal Charter by none other than Henry VIII in 1514. Today the organisation is driven by three different functions; General Lighthouse Authority, Charitable Organisation, and Deep Sea Pilotage. They are responsible for protecting the safe passage of ships through the use of 600 aids to navigation. Their charitable organisation contributes to the safety, welfare and training of mariners. The Deep Sea Pilotage provides expert navigators to assist ships trading in Northern European water.
Premier Ship Models was tasked with the restoration of a 300 year old model of the HMS Albion for the prestigious academic institution Hull Trinity House.
Process of Work
Due to the age of the model, we had to carry out precise and careful work to avoid destroying any detail. Our work began with cleaning the model, the task for which involved using chemical compounds and solutions and between 6000 and 7000 cotton buds to clean away 300 years of dust and to implement conservation techniques to preserve the newly restored condition of the model for many years to come. We had to observe extreme timekeeping throughout cleaning as if chemicals were left on too long it could have damaged the model. Particular details and sections of the hull had to be retouched through meticulously mixing various shades of dye to match the original colouring. The majority of the rigging was rotten and had to be replaced with new ropes, the production of which required the use of special machinery and materials to ensure that the correct scale between the model and the real ship was upheld. The total length of rope required for the new rigging was greater in length than that of the real HMS Victory ship! Which was just over 288ft. In order to ensure a high attention to detail carried out when working and maintaining the authenticity of the model, the project took a total of 800 hours to complete.
“She looks magnificent and can’t wait to have her returned to home port” Capt. Shaw