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Royal support for maritime heritage in UK
07-11-2017

National Historic Ships UK is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) responsible for advising British Government Departments and funding agencies on historic ship preservation and leading on policies in this sphere. As part of its programme of widening the public appeal of floating heritage, it co-ordinates an annual photographic competition. In 2017 the competition attracted hundreds of entries from both amateur and professional photographers, and judges had a difficult task in selecting winners in each of five separate categories.

At a ceremony on 1 November 2017at the London headquarters of Trinity House, a charitable organisation which since 1514 has worked to safeguard seafarers  and shipping in UK waters, the winners of  the photographic competition were announced in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, who is currently Master of the Corporation of Trinity House. The overall winner was Teresa Fuller for her evocative photograph of an English canal narrow boat Ilford under way early on a September morning. The international appeal of the competition was underlined by the inclusion of at least two Dutch photographers among the award winners. The Princess also presented Marsh Volunteer awards to Bob Irvine, who has worked for many years supporting the preservation of the wooden frigate HMS Unicorn in Dundee, and a team award to those who keep two historic cargo-carrying narrow boats, President and Kildare, in action touring Britain’s waterways.

Princess Anne is an accomplished recreational sailor, and married to a retired Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, Sir Timothy Laurence. In her address to guests (who included Thedo Fruithof and John Robinson from EMH) , the Princess  strongly endorsed the educational and cultural values enshrined in historic ship preservation, and provided powerful words of encouragement to the wide community of volunteers who restore historic vessels and keep alive the skills required to operate them safely and in accordance with authentic practice. Her detailed knowledge of the sector impressed her audience, and her speech was roundly applauded. NHS UK, who organised the event, has recently become an Associate member of EMH, and took pride in the Royal approval for maritime heritage policies such as those which EMH has championed since its foundation two decades ago.



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