Support our historic ships


In the last issue of Ships Monthly we featured a handful of the many historic submarines that are on display round the world. This showcase was a reminder of how much of our maritime history has been preserved, but also highlighted how difficult and costly it is to ensure that this history is kept alive. Few are under any illusions that preserving ships of any size is a costly business, and obviously the larger the ship the greater the cost. Ships Monthly will continue to feature preserved ships, and those involved in the many and various preservation projects around the country are urged to continue providing news and information about the progress of their work to the magazine.

This issue features one of the largest preserved ships in Britain, HMS Belfast, as Ship of the Month. It is 70 years since she was built, and ou

r feature looks at the ship’s history as well as her preservation. She has become an iconic monument to those who served on her, particularly during World War II, and her preservation is testament to the foresight of the Imperial War Museums.

But because maintaining historic ships is so expensive, everyone who has an interest in maritime history can do their bit and support thos

e craft that have been preserved and remain in existence. So if you are out and about this summer, why not visit Portsmouth, Chatham or Southampton, where a good many preserved ships can be seen? Or venture further afield and seek out the lesser-known preserved ships and vessels, of which there are a great many.

Special mention must be made of the historic steamship Shieldhall as a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has just been awarded to the charity The Solent Steam Packet Limited so that the future of this steamer will be ensured. She will be involved in many events during the coming summer, and readers are urged to support Shieldhall, visit her and meet the volunteers who have made her such a success.


Nicholas Leach


Ships Montly - January 2024

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