Restoration of Minerva

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WITH reference to the photo of the Trincomalee sent in by John Roe (Memory lane, April 9, above), the ship next to the Foudroyant, as she was then, is the Minerva – a monitor from the First World War, a 177ft gun boat.

She was brought to Hartlepool in July 1987 together with the Foudroyant on a submersible barge called Goliath Pacific.

The restoration of the Minerva was to be carried out by the Hartlepool Ship Restoration Company.

Work restoring here did start, but due to a funding shortage the owners of the Minerva, Hampshire County Council, asked for the ship to be returned to Portsmouth or Gosport for the restoration to be completed there.

She was due to be towed south on October 5, 1990 but due to bad weather her departure was delayed until May 1991.

I hope this information will be of help to readers.

I have a number of newspaper cuttings taken from the Mail at that time, also photographs I took during that period. The photos are printed below.

David Lilley,

Claremont Drive,