The National Museum of the Royal Navy museums and attractions in Portsmouth, Gosport, Hartlepool and Yeovilton will re-open w/c 17 May - please check each museum for their opening days/times.

HMS Caroline remain temporarily closed.

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LCT 7074 | Part 3 | Partying and Preservation

We've put together a three part series on LCT 7074 to update you on her history and journey to her new forever home at the D-Day Story.

Here's part two, join us next few week for the third and final installment.

Part 3 - Partying and Preservation 

Some of you may have heard about LCT 7074 as a unique survivor of the D-Day Landings but did you know that after the Second World War the ship had a completely different life?

After serving as both the headquarters of the Merseyside Master Mariners Association and a popular Liverpool nightclub, LCT 7074 was acquired for the Independent Warships Preservation Trust towards the end of the 1990s.

The Trust began the slow process of converting the ship back to its Second World War appearance by removing much of the additional superstructure, stripping out fittings from the nightclub era and repainting it. Unfortunately, in 2006, the Trust folded and by 2010 LCT 7074 had sank at its moorings.

In 2014, National Historic Ships UK and The National Museum of the Royal Navy hatched a plan to move LCT 7074 to Portsmouth, as the old ship could not survive for much longer in its current state. The ship would be floated into a heavy-lift vessel MV Condock V at the Liverpool end of the operation, and rolled off into the Shipbuilding Hall in Portsmouth using a remote controlled ‘self-propelled modular transporter’ wheeled system.

Conservation work began at the beginning of 2019. The ship was blasted with ultra-high-pressure water to flush corrosive salts out of the steel. The hull was then thoroughly dried and grit blasted. As the ship dried out, the team moved on to patching the many holes which had appeared since 1944.

[Credit: Stephen Fisher]

Some of the original features which had been removed during the ship’s many conversions, were then rebuilt. These included the octagonal ‘Zareba’ gun shields, ammunition lockers, and a water tank. Perhaps the most significant addition was a new working bow ramp, replacing the corroded shorter version from 1945. The ship was then repainted in her Admiralty Pattern camouflage scheme, reproduced from original colour charts and analysis of microscopic traces which had survived since 1944.

[Painting LCT 7074 Credit: David Botwinik/Maritime Films UK]

Finally, the finishing touches arrived, from the 20mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns and the compass, chart table and wheel, to the food for the tiny galley, and the hammocks for the mess decks.

LCT 7074 was conserved by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council and can now be explored as part of a visit to the D-Day Story.

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