Status Update – Feb 2022 – Positive News!
On Tuesday 8th Feb 2022, a meeting was held alongside the ship. Those present were Martin Slater and Ben Williamson from the Trust, Matt Slater and Peter Edwards from Cammell Laird, John Pope from ABL (AqualisBraemar LOC Group) and Brian Gilgeous of Gilgeous Diving and Marine Services.
Brian Gilgeous will conduct the dive survey with John Pope assisting with pumping out. Once completed, we will know whether we are able to continue with her recovery.
Cammell Laird have agreed that they will then take her into their dry-dock for restoration which will be under their apprenticeship scheme. They will provide costing for this which will be undertaken in stages.
The Trust’s primary hope is that Bronington will become a ‘working’ vessel able to conduct RYA courses; diving courses; hire for fishing/diving; navigation; survival courses; Prince’s Trust; hire for filming; sea days for cadets etc. If due to cost and the unavailability of equipment, then it is envisaged that Bronington will become a static display alongside or in a dry dock and open to the public, similar to her successful years as a museum ship on the Manchester Ship Canal
All this of course will depend on the results of the dive survey. This will cost between £3,000-£5,000 and we are hoping to raise this sum via our GoFundMe page which currently stands at £3,166. It remains the Trusts intention that should this attempt to save Bronington fail, then all money donated on the GoFundMe page will be further donated to a Royal Navy Charity.
All artefacts and equipment that was removed from Bronington under the stewardship of National Historic Ship UK (NHSUK) for safekeeping during her demise at Birkenhead is being sought by the Trust. If this project is successful, a pledge that all articles held by museums will be returned to Bronington has been requested from NHSUK.
Once we have attained the figure of £5,000, we will be able to apply for charitable status which will enable us to apply for grants, so any donations from your members at this stage will be very gratefully received.
We have also been contacted by the Executive Officer of UKNEST (United Kingdom Naval Engineering, Science & Technology) who may be able to help us with funding or providing professional and technical expertise.
Also, the Chief Engineer for DE&S (Defence Equipment & Support for the Ministry of Defence) has also contacted us and again may be able to give assistance with the dive survey and recovery.