Grimsby’s museum ship Ross Tiger has closed to the public as ‘significant maintenance work’ gets underway, reports Paul Scott.

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre says that the work to the deck is some of the ‘most significant’ undertaken during the historic vessel’s time at the centre.

The original Borneo pine decking, laid in 1956, will be removed in its entirety to prevent the rotting timber from causing damaging corrosion to the sheet steel deck which lies beneath it. The steel deck will be cleaned and inspected before repainting works take place.

Work started Monday, 5 September, and the ship will be closed to the public for a number of weeks.

David Ornsby, operations manager at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, said: “The team at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is delighted to be able to advance these crucial works to the Ross Tiger to help prevent further corrosion to the ship’s decking.

“The Ross Tiger is a tribute to the thousands of Grimsby fishermen that lost their lives in our most dangerous peacetime occupation, helped feed our nation and brought about a national dish. We hope that she will go on telling her story for many years to come.”

In recent years, a number of condition reports and a conservation management plan have been commissioned with Beckett Rankine Marine Consulting Engineers of London. The documents allowed the museum team to prioritise the most urgent works to the vessel, and to plan future works as funding allows.

North East Lincolnshire Council, which owns Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, is currently looking into funding options to allow for new timber decking to be reinstated to restore the deck to its original appearance. Some of the original timber that remains in good condition will be preserved and conserved in the museum collection.

Councillor Tom Furneaux, portfolio holder for culture, heritage and the visitor economy, said: “The preservation of the ship is recognised as being of huge importance to Grimsby’s sense of place and identity and for supporting our tourism offer. We are proud of the people that made our port world-famous and will do what we can to preserve their memory with Ross Tiger.”

The maintenance work is being led by North East Lincolnshire Council’s regeneration partner, EQUANS, alongside Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Beckett Rankine Marine Consulting Engineers, Coopers Painting Contractors Grimsby, R&N Services and York Archaeology.

The historic vessel will reopen to the public following completion of the work, with the painted steel deck in use for visitors.

Updates will be posted on Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre’s social media pages as the work progresses.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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