A review from one our our members

 

Back in November New NMRN member Chris Westerman & NMRN Member James Dawson, spent a week exploring the National Museum of the Royal Navy and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Chris Writes:

This was my first visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard that I can remember, my previous visit was as a small child, and I couldn’t really remember it. All I can say is WOW! If you have not yet visited then what are you waiting for?

The primary reason for our visit was to see the excellent Jutland Exhibition before it closed, which was fantastic and gave me a better understanding of this important but largely forgotten battle from the first world war.
The dominating centrepieces of the NMRN are of course HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. If you’ve never set foot aboard Victory before – Watch your head! We are very lucky to have a unique piece of history still surviving from one of the most pivotal points in Naval history.  Currently being restored by the NMRN it really does bring history to life, and has a smell of her own, and is a privilege to be allowed to explore the oldest commissioned ship in the world and flagship of the Royal Navy and First Sea Lord.

Another highlight was the Victory Trafalgar Sail – well worth seeing while it’s on display if you have never seen it before just for its immense size if nothing else.
Our next day was spent looking around the Mary Rose and HMS Warrior. Warrior again is immense and her restoration does take you back to the heart of Queen Victoria’s Navy in the 1860s   We then hopped onto the Gosport Ferry to take a look at the Submarine Museum. Seeing and exploring the inside of Holland 1 the RNs first submarine is a thrill especially when you think she spent so long on the seabed. HMS Alliance is fantastic and the guides really gave you a sense of what life is like to be apart of the Silent Service during the cold war.

One Exhibit not to be missed is the British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibit, telling the stories of Sailors Tattoos and tattoos in general within society, it's quirky and not a subject you would normally think about, it’s a thoroughly engaging and interesting exhibit which you should see while its being displayed.

The final joy of our visit was thanks to Paul and Dave and the staff of the NMRN.  We got a look behind the scenes at some of the storerooms, which house the NMRN's immense collection and saw items such as the Nameplate of HMS Vanguard the RN’s Last ever Battleship, and the tactical map that hung in the Ministry of Defence. On this Map, every naval movement of the cold war was plotted along with the Falklands Campaign.

You cannot forget also that Portsmouth is still a working Naval Base, we were reminded of this fact by seeing HMS Defender enter harbour from deployment.
We had an amazing time in Portsmouth and It ’s well worth the visit if you haven’t yet visited then what are you waiting for!

HMS Hermes returning from the Falklands