HMS Victory nearly went Disneyland

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    Malcolm Lewis

    HMS Victory nearly went to Disneyland
    In Admiral Lord West’s article in the Sunday Telegraph, 3 October, headlined “Our proud naval history can unite a divided nation” he emphasises the importance of remembering the history of our conserved historic ships belonging to the four nations of the United Kingdom and what they represent. He is particularly concerned about the poor condition of Captain Scott’s RRS Discovery now permanently in a salt water dock at Dundee where she was built. She is of wooden construction and the last three masted sailing ship built in the UK, launched in 1901.
    Interestingly he mentions HMS Victory and that at one time “The Government was thinking of selling her to Disney”. Presumably because she was costing so much to conserve. He adds “Her future is now secure thanks to the large donation from Sir Don Gosling”.
    All news to me about Disneyland. Does anyone know more?
    Of course, preserving ancient ships such as Victory, which is over 250 years old, when always exposed to the elements is a constant uphill task. Rain water is probably the major problem. It permeates to every internal corner of the hull. Andrew Baines, Curator of Victory, described to me the rot below decks in many parts of the ship is like cornflakes soaked in milk!

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