Model Boat Mayhem

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Author Topic: Chatham Dockyard  (Read 475 times)

Rob47

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Chatham Dockyard
« on: May 04, 2018, 11:14:00 AM »


Very disappointed to find that the 3000 models stored there, are not in a area open to public, you have to contact them to have it open, thought this was bit odd so called their help line and explained that the web site shows young children looking at the models, then it say contact them for access, so could they clarify.  Reply yes the model are only open to advance requests,  So  far no reply to me request.  Does anyone know if this is correct or are the models openly available, anything to save a wasted journey from Gloucester


Bob
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Chatham Dockyard
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:53:43 AM »

Bob,

I assume you are referring to the models stored in the No 1 Smithery building.

This is not a gallery of the museum but an adapted specialist repository to safely preserve all the models that the National Maritime Museum and the Imperial War Museum no longer wished to display on their own premises. I believe it also houses many of the Chatham museum models alo removed from display. It was originally intended to accommodate displaced models from the London Science Museum as well but they decided to use their own off site facilities. The facility was completed in 2010 at a cost of over 11m.

So essentially it is a model archive which is only available for research purposes really. If you have an interest in a particular ship and they have a model of it then they can make it available to you to see by arrangement. It is not intended as a 'browsing' facility. They do however have an adjacent gallery 'Maritime Treasures' which displays a small selection of the best models in the collections. I don't know if they rotate them though.

I'm afraid all this has come about as a result of museums no longer placing much value on models due to a perceived lack of public interest in them. The Chatham project recognised that these were unique items and needed to be preserved in a controlled environment rather than just being parked in a storage shed somewhere where they would deteriorate. It is all very disappointing for us modellers but at least some proper preservation is taking place.

I know the NMM, and possibly the other museums as well, did photograph and document their models when they were transferred to the depository. I think you can see some of these on the NMM website.

The dockyard itself is well worth a visit with lots to see including the preserved vessels, the lifeboat museum and much else. You will no doubt have seen their website.

Hope this helps,

Colin
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Rob47

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Re: Chatham Dockyard
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 05:17:32 PM »

Colin thanks for reply, just had email from curator explains it. Very much as you said No 1 Smithery has lots models to view by public other part is the request specific model
Already visited the one side of the docks so might make use of our free entry and visit the models


Bob
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