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A Year at the Mary Rose Museum – Part 2

A Year at the Mary Rose Museum

A look back over 2014 by our blogger, Simon. All opinions are his, and don’t necessarily reflect those of the Mary Rose Trust.



July was the awards ceremony for the Art Fund Museum of the Year, which we lost out on to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Apparently everybody thought we were bound to win, but heh-ho.


July also saw the arrival of our Airfix model, a starter kit which has proven really popular, and every one sold raises money for the Mary Rose Trust, no matter where you buy them from! Just think, while you’re busy doing up your model, you’re helping our conservation team work on the real thing!

Finished our #airfix #MaryRose, get yours at http://www.maryroseshop.org/p/4553/AIRFIX-MARY-ROSE #model

A photo posted by Mary Rose Museum (@maryrosemuseum) on

July also saw us start posting on the Huffington Post blog, but our official blogger (Me!) hasn’t let it go to his head. Much…


August is generally known as the ‘Silly Season’ in the media, and that was certainly true for us. The world was being swept with ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ fever, with people pouring buckets of water over their heads to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. We managed to convince our Head of Operations, Paul Griffiths, to do his in the stocks, because we’re like that.

We could watch that all day…


Slightly more sensibly, we had a Teen Takeover day, where a couple of young ladies took over the Education department’s twitter feed, @MaryRoseLearn. They did rather a good job too!

Silliness that day was left to the main museum feed, who celebrated #NationalDogDay with lots of Hatch-related posts.

Be careful #Hatch, that #mail #armour is heavy! #NationalDogDay #dog #museumdogs #museum #replica #artefact A photo posted by Mary Rose Museum (@maryrosemuseum) on



September had a very artefact-y theme to it, with our Bronze culverin being included in the British Museum’s “History in 100 Objects” Incidentally, we’re planning something special involving that particular gun, so keep an eye open…


We also took part in the annual Heritage Open Days, allowing the public to visit our Chain Test House, where the conservation work takes place, where they could see many of the artefacts not on display in the museum, including anchors, our bilge pump and many thousands of bricks!

Did you visit our #conservation workshop as part of #heritageopendays? #hods @heritageopenday A photo posted by Mary Rose Museum (@maryrosemuseum) on

Finally, another award came our way, the RBS Management Team of the Year at the Hampshire Business Awards.  

Us winning the RBS #Management team of the year 2014 at Tuesday’s @HantsBusinessAw! #hampshire #awards A photo posted by Mary Rose Museum (@maryrosemuseum) on



October proved a mixed bag, we had a performance from the Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir take place in the museum, just showing the versatility of our events space!


How Hatch would have appeared in life.

October also saw a revelation about our canine crewmember. Long presumed female, due to the lack of certain anatomical features, genetic analysis revealed that not only was the ship’s dog actually a he (shame we didn’t call him Lola!), but he had brown fur! Might seem trivial, but the methods used on our dog can be used for crime scene identification, as well as other archaeological remains.   The Great South Run took place in October, the route taking the runners past our museum. But that’s not our only link to the race; Simon Ware, our collections assistant, was running it for the 25th time! He hasn’t missed one yet, and he managed to complete this years in 1hr 8min 50s! He manage to collect £803 for his chosen charity, Look Good…Feel Better, but you can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/simon-ware/     Of course, October was also the anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose, commemorated with the usual Lecture series. We also did some blog posts on the previous dive attempts on the Mary Rose in 1545 and 1836, which had proven less successful than the 20thcentury effort…


November proved another awards-filled month with us winning the SBID awards, but,and probably more importantly, the Solent Design Awards Public Choice award. Apparently we got 60% of the vote, from a shortlist of six, so as you can imagine it was lovely to see how much the public actually love us!   We also had a presence at the Lord Mayors Show, with two of our volunteers (and a null!) marching in the parade.

Tony and Barry, in Tudor costume.

We also had another Takeover Day, with pupils from St Edmunds Catholic School taking part in a “Dragon’s Den” attempt to come up with ways to make the museum appeal to teenagers. They had some excellent ideas, many of which we’re planning on using…



December, the end of the year, and more awards! Not only did we win Gold at the British Youth Travel Awards, but also won Gold at the Beautiful South Awardson the same night!

Our #museum Front of House managers with our #BeautifulSouthAwards Trophy! #portsmouth #museums   A photo posted by Mary Rose Museum (@maryrosemuseum) on


We also learned this month that we’re on the shortlist for the European Museum of the Year Awards! We’re up against some stiff competition, and the shortlist features 42 museums from across Europe, but who knows?


It wasn’t just awards though, research was published on the development of a new method for detecting rickets in bones, which not only could be used on our crew without damaging their bones, but can be used for early diagnosis of the disease in living children. Even now, nearly 470 years later, the crew of the Mary Rose are protecting us.


But what of the new year? What does that hold? You’ll just have to watch this space to find out…

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