A HISTORIC tourist attraction is gearing up for laughs galore by launching its own comedy club.
The 198-year-old HMS Trincomalee at the Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience will host the first ever gig of the Rib Ticklers club this summer.
It will meet for the first time on June 6 from 7pm to 11pm with an impressive line-up to get things under way.
The show will be compered by Nick Banks, and the main act is a comedian called Silky with support from Fran Garrity. Matthew Fong will be the opening act.
But the HMS Trincomalee Trust general manager David McKnight said it was just one example of a huge line-up of events on the historic ship which is the oldest vessel afloat in the UK, and a full subsidiary of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), giving her the same national standing as HMS Victory.
“We have been getting 45,000 to 50,000 visitors a year but interestingly, we had four per cent growth last year.
Sailors would have spent time playing cards, singing, playing instruments or just chatting and telling stories and jokes over a drink or two of ale or grog.HMS Trincomalee Trust general manager David McKnight
“And we have also noticed that visitor numbers are already growing this year.”
Mr McKnight added: “The tickets for the Comedy Club are £10 each. This is a single first event to see how it goes but, if successful, I plan to hold them quarterly.
“For much of the nineteenth century, the atmospheric Mess Deck of HMS Trincomalee hosted recreational activities for the crew.
“Sailors would have spent time playing cards, singing, playing instruments or just chatting and telling stories and jokes over a drink or two of ale or grog.
“Winding forward the clock to the early 21st century, we try and capture some of the atmosphere of bygone days and serve it up with a modern twist for our visitors.
“Even the ship herself is joining in the fun as eagle-eyed observers will have noticed strange goings on with her name on the stern”
Other attractions for 2015 include Trafalgar Night celebrations on Saturday, October 17, which are already a sell-out.
The annual Christmas party is also popular and 45 per cent of the tickets have already been snapped up.
Tickets for Rib Ticklers - which is strictly for people aged over 16 only - are available online or from the warship on (01429) 223193. For more details on all Trincomalee events, visit the website at www.hms-trincomalee.co.uk.