Trincomalee all shipshape for new season

HMS Trincomalee
HMS Trincomalee

AN iconic Hartlepool landmark has undergone vital repairs to keep her resplendent for a new tourist season.

Maintenance workers on HMS Trincomalee have taken out huge timber beams in the Captain’s Cabin and replaced them with a type of wood called opepe to prolong its life.

“It’s about keeping on top of the job,” said the HMS Trincomalee Trust general manager David McKnight.

He praised the hugely skilled team who carried out the work and said it was proof that a proud tradition of ship maintenance and ship restoration is alive in Hartlepool.

He said: “We are lucky to have those skills here and they are skills which take some finding these days.”

In a process which lasted two months and has just finished in the last two weeks, workmen Bobby Monsen and David Lilley had to first take out beams from the captain’s cabin, then smooth down the new timber which is a western African hardwood.

Then they had to work out how much was needed to fit in the slot on the inside of the ship’s hull.

Other work has also been carried out on the captain’s cabin which is used as a wedding venue as well as a tourist draw.

It included restoration on the mizzen mast, side walls and clamp rail.

Part of the hull has also been repainted.

Mr Lilley said: “The frost during the winter was so severe that the water has got in behind the paint and forced it off. We have scraped the paint off and put a sealant on.”

Mr McKnight added: “It is all work which keeps the ship in good condition for posterity.”