Shipshape – improvements get Hartlepool visitor attraction ready for tourist season

HISTORY UNCOVERED: David McKnight on the gun deck as work is underway
HISTORY UNCOVERED: David McKnight on the gun deck as work is underway

EXPERT staff have stripped back a beautiful part of a historic ship as part of a programme to prepare for the new tourist season.

Work has been done by the maintenance team on the capstan in the gun deck of HMS Trincomalee, which is part of the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.

A capstan is a rotating machine which is used on sailing ships to apply force to items such as ropes and cables.

Staff on board Trincomalee have been preparing the ship for a new tourist season.

The ship’s trust general manager David McKnight said: “Our team on the gun deck stripped the capstan back to the bare wood.”

Mr McKnight said it was not certain whether the “beautiful wood” uncovered was the original on the ship, but he added: “The workmanship was outstanding.”

Numerous other changes, on top of the repainting and refinishing of aspects of the ship and repainting gangways and walkways, have been carried out. They include a new online shop, and people can now book e-tickets for events on the ship.

On top of that, the ship is also selling a range of spirits which have links to either the ship or the Royal Navy.

They include the original British Navy Pussers rum which was inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot given to sailors as their daily ration.

The range also includes Royal Navy gins, heritage ales and whisky mac which is a mix of whisky and ginger wine.

Mr McKnight added: “Everything that we are trying to do, we are trying to link it to either the ship or the Royal Navy.”