National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool centrepiece HMS Trincomalee to celebrate 202nd birthday
Museum bosses are encouraging people to visit one of the town’s most popular attractions which celebrates its 202nd birthday this weekend.
Built in India and launched in 1817, HMS Trincomalee, whose masts tower above the National Museum of the Royal Navy, is the oldest floating warship in Britain.
She celebrates her birthday on Saturday, October 12.
Roslyn Adamson, General Manager of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, said: “I think it’s important that we mark the ship’s birthday each year as it’s easy to forget just how remarkable an asset she is.
“HMS Trincomalee remains the oldest warship afloat in Europe at 202 years old and that’s definitely worth celebrating.
“The tall ship’s masts tower over the town and it’s always the first place our visitors wish to explore inside and out.
“Although we have exciting new developments and projects ongoing, HMS Trincomalee remains our must-see exhibit and brings many people to the town.
“The ship has the perfect home here in Hartlepool with a local community proud of her presence and sharing our aspirations for growth. We’re looking forward to seeing what the next few birthdays bring for the ship and the town.”
HMS Trincomalee was named after the port of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, which was a Royal Navy dockyard at the time.
On her first journey, she sailed from India to Portsmouth, where she was put into reserve until her first commission in 1847 serving in North America and the West Indies.
She also served as an anti-slavery patrol. In 1849, she was despatched to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada before being recalled to Britain.
HMS Trincomalee ended her sailing days as a training ship renamed Foudroyant.
She was brought to Hartlepool in 1987, where it took more than 10 years and millions of pounds to restore the ship to her former glory.
People can also learn all about HMS Trincomalee’s history, including her restoration, in a dedicated exhibition within the museum.