RCAHMW Digital Past 2017


The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales invites you to attend:

Digital Past 2017: New technologies in heritage, interpretation and outreach.

15 – 16 February 2017 at The Riverfront, Newport

Registration will close on Friday: Register Your Place at Digital Past 2017 Now…

The speaker programme for Digital Past 2017 is complete!

The range of fantastic speakers, from around the UK and beyond, can be found on the Conference speaker page. Their expertise ranges from high-tech digital survey methodology to the latest engagement tools, while taking in the complexities of open data and data management. See the full programme.

Registration for the two days is only £89, including lunches and refreshments. As spaces are limited please make sure to book now.

The Friends of Newport Ship will have an exhibition stand at the main event. Stands are selling fast, so if you are interested in showcasing your project, services or products to our wide range of delegates then take a look at our exhibitions page for details of facilities and booking.

As part of the programme there is a visit to the Newport Medieval Ship Centre to see the digital recording process in action – including a sneak preview of the displays for the new season of regular opening from 18 February.

We look forward to welcoming you to Digital Past in 2017.

The Digital Past Team / Friends of Newport Ship

New Painting: Final Resting Place


At a simple gathering at the Newport Medieval Ship Centre last Saturday (28 January), artist David Jordan handed over to the Friends of Newport Ship, his new painting of the Newport Medieval Ship being hauled into what turned out to be her final resting place in a side pill (inlet) downstream from Town Pill and Newport’s castle and bridge.

The painting has been created following extensive research and discussion with the project curator and other members of the project’s expert panel, and is probably the most accurate depiction of the event that we can achieve.

The painting will be on display in the Ship Centre for all visitors to see.  Copies will be available for purchase in a range of sizes in due course.

David’s full story of ‘Newport Ship and Me’ will be published in the next edition of the Members’ Newsletter due to be produced shortly.  We will also be publishing a short interview with David on YouTube to coincide with the Newsletter.  Copies of our bi-monthly newsletters are distributed free to all members, and are available for a nominal sum from the Ship Centre for non-members.

The Newport Medieval Ship Centre reopens for public access on Saturday 18 February between 10.30am and 4.00pm (and every Saturday until mid-December).  There will be a new layout, new displays, new visibility into our conservation stores, but the same great welcome from enthusiastic volunteer guides to tell you the stories behind the displays.

We look forward to seeing you when you visit.  For more information on opening days and times, please check our website www.newportship.org

Crosscurrents….. Book Launch


The Friends of Newport Ship and CWTSH invite you to our Book Launch at 2.00pm on Saturday 18 February, at the Newport Medieval Ship Centre.cwtsh-logo

Inspired by the Newport Medieval Ship, Cwtsh Creative Writers have produced a fascinating collection of tales and poems.  Imagination is stirred as these talented writers take you to eclectic visions from the past.

A treasure trove of fired imaginations, heads got together to fuse a cauldron of creativity. ‘Crosscurrents‘ is the first anthology of Cwtsh Writers who have woven magic through their fingers.  These stories and poems will surprise and delight with their variations on a theme. They bring to life the vibrancy of fifteenth century living in Newport and touch upon mysteries surrounding an enormous ship that found its way here quite by chance.

Copies of the book will be available for sale in the cabin at just £4.50 with profits split between Cwtsh and the Friends of Newport Ship.

Newport Medieval Ship Centre, Unit 20, Estuary Road, Queensway Meadows Ind.Estate, Newport, NP19 4SP.

ABP 2016 Sponsorship Finally Acknowledged


As we rush headlong towards the end of this year, we have finally (and belatedly) handed over the 2016 sponsorship certificate to Associated British Ports (ABP). Port Manager Chris Green is now recovered from his prolonged illness and today received the certificate from Phil Cox (FoNS Chairman), acknowledging their annual sponsorship of the Friends of Newport Ship.

In the forthcoming year we hope to work more closely with Newport Docks and at one of our forthcoming talks will tell some of the stories from the development of Docks and of the disaster of the collapse of the new dock gates.

If you or your organisation as looking to sponsor something that will develop into one of the biggest heritage tourism attractions in Wales, then please get in touch via our website at www.newportship.org

The Medieval Ship Centre is currently closed for the winter period, but will reopen on Saturday 18 February. Check the website for details.

UWTSD Visit Ends FoNS Open Season

Medieval Life and Times

Yesterday we had our very last scheduled visit to the Medieval Ship Centre for 2016. Students from the University of Wales Trinity St David came with their course leader, Professor Nigel Nayling (also a member of the Newport Medieval Ship Expert Panel).  They enjoyed a private presentation from our curator, Dr Toby Jones of the project to date, and an insight into the plans to re-assemble the Ship. This was followed by a tour inside the Conserved Timber Store looking at the frames, planks and several of the special artefacts that we keep in our controlled environment.

This final group brings the number of visitors who came to the Medieval Ship Centre during the calendar year 2016 to 2,246. That is almost double the number for last year and we are hoping to redouble this number for 2017.  On top of this we have been out to talk to over 910 people in their various organised groups all over the country.  Indeed, this year particularly we have extended our reach and been out to events with our ‘travelling exhibition’ as far afield as London, Kings Lynn, Ludlow and Tewkesbury, as well as more local events.

Our intention is to spread the word about this amazing project to as many people as possible. We want to grow our followings on FaceBook and Twitter, and our readership of this and our associated blog ‘fonsstudents’ which is added to by our various student volunteers, interns and others to give a different perspective of our work.

All this would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of a very limited number of volunteers to whom I give heartfelt thanks. I hope they will continue to support the project in the years to come, and will seek to recruit others to come and help out.

If you are a history enthusiast, hiding your passion for history, please let it shine.  Contact chair@newportship.org and we can arrange initial discussion to try and tempt you into volunteering for the Friends of Newport Ship.

If you want to hear more about the project and would like somebody to come to your group, then again please get in touch as above.  If you want to bring a group to visit the Medieval Ship Centre next year (or beyond) then …. yes, just get in touch!

The Medieval Ship Centre will re-open on 18 February 2017 and thereafter every Saturday until mid-December.  Friday opening will restart on Good Friday until the end of October.

Timber Store Expansion Comes in Kit Form


Early in 2017, we will be doubling the size of our existing conserved timber store so that we have space for the next batch of timbers to be returned from York Archaeological Trust, and also space in which to start sample reconstruction.timberstoreexpansionkit-2

Now that the Ship Centre is closed for the winter, the deliveries of all the components are arriving and being stacked ready for construction to commence.  Our current store is essentially a ‘U’ of racking, clad in 100mm  thick sheets of insulation which are held together by scaffolding poles and sticky tape – but it works as an effective temperature controlled environment.

This expansion will double the capacity of the store and give us the space to work within the correct environment for the long term conservation of the timbers.

Fear not! We will have the Medieval Ship Centre ready for re-opening to the general public on 18 February 2017 – the start of the spring half term, when we look forward to welcoming visitors to see the latest progress on this amazing project.

Please check our website and facebook pages for the latest information.

Ship Aground Painting in Good Company


The paperwork has all been signed, and this fascinating painting is now officially in the hands of the Friends of Newport Ship

The painting by Donald Matthews depicts the SS Brodland which ran aground on Aberavon beach in 1913. Whilst being towed out of Port Talbot in heavy seas the tow rope parted and she was driven ashore. She had been on her way to Punta Arenas in Chile with a cargo of Welsh steam coal. All the crew were rescued by breeches buoy, and the anchor is still on display outside the Aberavon Lifeboat Station.

The painting was purchased for 20 guineas by the Contemporary Art Society of Wales (CASW) in 1957 from an exhibition of the South Wales Group. It was gifted by CASW to BP Llandarcy, unfortunately when that closed the painting found its way into an auction for a private sale so, rather like the Newport Medieval Ship, it had to be rescued and was bought back by CASW!

Ship Aground 2 croppedWhen members of CASW visited the Newport Medieval Ship in the summer of 2015 they saw our “Ship Aground” pub sign and thought how we might well want more art work on similar themes for the proposed Newport Ship Museum, and that this would make a very good new home for this excellent painting.

Originally loaned to the Friends of Newport Ship by the Contemporary Art Society of Wales in May 2016, now gifted.  During our main opening period (Easter until the end of October), the painting is displayed on the front of our conserved timber store alongside the pub sign. For the winter period, the painting has been taken down and kept safe within the timber store, but clearly visible to visitors.

This Saturday 10 December is the last opportunity to visit the Medieval Ship Centre this year. We will re-open on Saturday 18 February and thereafter every Saturday until December 2017. Friday opening will resume on Good Friday through until the end of October.