Welcome to the National Museum of the Royal Navy blog. A great way to keep up to date with the latest news and developments from around the museum.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

American Naval Heritage

Last week Richard Noyce, our Curator of Artefacts, was in the USA for a research visit funded by the Museum’s Society of Friends. He made a bit of time in his busy schedule to write this blog post for us.

Richard poses with a Trident Missile!

The trip didn’t start off too well – my flight to Washington was delayed an hour and then it took 2 hours to clear immigration! Luckily, after that things improved dramatically! I spent Sunday morning looking at the sights including The White House, Capitol complex, Washington Monument and The Air and Space Museum. Afterwards I met some friends for a BBQ.

A display at the Naval Museum

On Monday I began by visiting the Navy Museum Рa great place - the ship models are massive compared to some of the ones we have back in Portsmouth. I met Commodore Eric Fraser of the Naval Attach̩ at the Embassy this afternoon and spoke to him about our 20th and 21st Century Galleries Project. He seemed very keen on hearing about it and thought that the Americans would also be interested in finding out more about what we are doing.

After I left the Embassy I visited The Lincoln Memorial, The Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery. Off to Annapolis tomorrow.

On Tuesday I visited the Naval Academy Museum at Annapolis which is the US equivalent of Britannia RN College at Dartmouth but with 4,000 students at a time! (BRNC has about 300 at any one time) They loved showing me about 30 captured British ensigns from 1812! The Museum are busy looking for possible items for loan so there is lots of potential for us to work with them.

US Marine Corps Museum

Wednesday saw me visiting the US Marine Corps Museum at Quantico. It must be one of the most impressive museums I have ever visited. It boasts 500,000 visitors a year and is very high tech. Their canteen is a mock up of Marines’ favourite pub Tun Cavern, I can recommend the Militia Burger!

We were buzzed by the presidential helicopter on the way to Quantico but didn't see the President waving!

Thursday was another interesting day looking through the armory at the Naval Museum. Lots of great stuff including a briefcase gun liberated from one of Saddam's palaces. I also visited Carderock test facility which is where testing takes place on ship hull designs. They have a similar tow tank to the one at Haslar but this one is over 3,000 ft long!

On Friday I visited the
Mariners Museum at Newport News. This is the US equivalent of the National Maritime Museum but houses the conservation centre for the USS Monitor, a civil war iron clad. Large sections including the turret have been raised and are being conserved a bit like the Mary Rose.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

We are 100!

The publicity launch for our centenary celebrations in June was kicked off on Tuesday, when 100 members of Museum and wider Historic Dockyard staff posed in front of HMS Victory in the shape of the number 100.

The sun was shining, fortunately, but was accompanied by a pretty strong and cold breeze, so it wasn't exactly a good hair day. Luckily, the photographer was several feet in the air on a mobile crane and the long distance shot was perfect for hiding those 'windswept' styles!

The final images will be used in our literature and publicity materials over the coming weeks, and we will be announcing further details of events and celebrations to mark 100 years since the Museum first opened in June 1911.

You can keep up with the latest centenary and other news by following us on Facebook and, coming soon, we will also be launching our very own Twitter feed.