National Historic Ships UK has appointed three vessels as its Flagships of the Year 2021. The Flagship Awards provide an opportunity to demonstrate and celebrate the value of historic vessels to the wider public, through a variety of online activities, museum engagement, events, open days and special tours.
In 2020 a Virtual Flagship Award was established to reflect the challenges the sector faced during Covid-19 and the creative way many vessels responded by developing online outreach programmes.
This year, as the country re-opens and historic vessels welcome the public back on board, digital skills learned in lockdown are being retained, with a resurgence of in-person events and activities. National Historic Ships UK is therefore awarding a Virtual, Static and Operational Flagship for the first time.
Hannah Cunliffe, Director of National Historic Ships UK, commented: “Our three 2021 Flagships have very different programmes planned, but all have shown energy and enthusiasm for the role. It’s good to see doors open to the public again and I look forward to working with the Flagships to raise the profile of the whole sector in the months ahead”.
Flagships are expected to actively promote the role of National Historic Ships UK by sharing social media posts, publicising activities such as the annual Photo Competition, the Excellence in Maritime Conservation and Marsh Volunteer Awards.
They will also be flying the flag as ambassadors for the UK’s maritime heritage sector. National Historic Ships UK will support each of the Flagships by promoting their vessel and offering support and advice.
The 2021 Flagships will each receive a grant of £250 to be spent on the vessel or related digital activities and a special broad pennant to fly at the masthead.
The 2021 Operational Flagship is the yacht Breda (pictured) in recognition of her online presence, local Thames cruising programme and planned attendance at summer events including the Henley Traditional Boat Festival.
The 2021 Static Flagship is the barque Glenlee in recognition of her public outreach and engagement activities, planned involvement in events celebrating and promoting the city of Glasgow – including the ‘summer of play’ – and her visual presence as a backdrop to COP 26.