Shipwright School ready to welcome students

mary montagu

Published Thursday 9 April 2015

A new replica timber frame 18th century shipwrights’ workshop at the historic shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard, on the banks of the Beaulieu River, has been handed over to the IBTC.

The IBTC (International Boatbuilding Training College) will run courses at the site in traditional shipbuilding skills.

The occasion was marked with a ribbon cutting by Mary Montagu-Scott, Director of Buckler’s Hard and a Trustee of the IBTC Portsmouth and Nat Wilson, CEO of the IBTC Portsmouth.

The inspiration for the building was to see the return of traditional shipbuilding to Buckler’s Hard village where over fifty warships were built for the British Navy during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The venture has been headed by Mary Montagu-Scott who explained: “I came up with the idea to find a partner to run a boatbuilding school and build an 18th century workshop to be used as a base for a shipwright school.

“We have had support from the New Forest National Park Sustainable Development Fund and also from local individuals as well as the Beaulieu Estate which has funded the project outright. The long term beneficiary is the IBTC who are taking over a 25 year lease on the building to run a Shipwright School here.”

Nat Wilson continued: “In Portsmouth, we teach people of all ages and abilities how to build, restore and repair traditional wooden boats. We were delighted when the opportunity arose to do the same at Buckler’s Hard, using much bigger timbers and on a larger scale, to recreate 18th century shipbuilding activity on this site.”

The training provided will help to ensure the continuation of much needed skills at both local and national level for the restoration of historic ships and support the traditional boatbuilding industry. The close proximity of woodland with standing timber will also present an important opportunity to teach arboriculture techniques and theory, allowing students to learn about the felling, conversion and storage of timber.

A full-time shipwright will shortly be appointed to work at the site with students on rotation from the main school in Portsmouth. Visitors to Buckler’s Hard will also be encouraged to visit the workshop, take a taster session or even sign up for a full course. By seeing a practical demonstration of shipbuilding methods, it is hoped that everyone will gain a better understanding of the industry which gave the village a place in British naval history.

Further information from:

Margaret Rowles              
PR Officer                   
Tel: 01590 614603               

Ben Wanklyn
PR Executive
Tel: 01590 614680

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