Protecting the London Talk
Hidden at the bottom of the Thames Estuary, lies the wreck of a 17th century warship, the London. Mentioned in Samuel Pepys Diary, this ill-fated ship was fully laden with supplies and ready to embark for battle in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, but as families climbed aboard to see their loved ones off she suddenly, and tragically, exploded.
Located just off the main shipping channel in the Thames, the London is designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 restricting the area around the wreck from uncontrolled interference. However, strong tides and the constant turbulence from shipping is now rapidly destroying this site and the many irreplaceable artefacts.
Similarly to the Mary Rose, wrecks like the London can hold valuable artefacts and information about the ship, and the lives of the sailors and passengers; providing a unique time capsule of society at that time. Unbelievably, all the incredible recovery work currently being undertaken on the London is by a small team of experienced local divers, funded solely through their own efforts and the support of organisations like the Nautical Archaeology Society. These artefacts are being exhibited for public display in Southend Museum. Without raising further funds to expand these activities now, the artefacts aboard this historic wreck will disappear within the next few years. That is why ‘The London’ has been adopted into the N.A.S. fundraising appeal: ‘Help Us Save The London‘
For more information about the London, read the full article written by N.A.S. C.E.O. Mark Beattie-Edwards.
If you’d like to learn more about the London and its importance, meet the team braving the treacherous waters to dive the London, as well as N.A.S. C.E.O. Mark, at Southend-on-Sea at his talk ‘Protecting the London‘ on March 28th 2019 – 19:00 to 20:30 G.M.T. Tickets cost £10, and can be booked here