ITP Portsmouth Tour
As usual, Claire, Emma and their team came and greeted the ITP participants with very warm and charming smile at Shafer House early in the morning of 28th August 214 and whisked away into a black cab. In fact, all the participants were yet to come to their senses from the magical play – “The Phantom of the Opera” – a superb drama they had enjoyed on the previous late evening.
Rosi Thomas, Principle Curator, Naukratis Project had joined us for the day’s tour and he had briefed lucidly the history of the Mary Rose, the Historic Dockyard and the Mary Rose Museum. Further, he suggested every one of us enjoy leisurely the unique presentation – a venture of its kind.
The visitors were greeted by the King, Henry VIII, fully dressed in his Majestic Royal Robe, at the main entrance. A huge cannon was mounted nearby on which the following words were inscribed “Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland”. Thus, he proclaimed as the Supreme Head of the English Church.
Next we were in a huge graphic work which depicts the Encampment of the English Forces near Portsmouth, with King Henry VIII on horseback near South sea, the attacking French galley further south, and the burning down of houses in the Isle of Wight by French Troops on the far eastern side. This narration of the battle of the solent was remarkable. The English Gentleman who narrated the episode solemnly unfolded all the great events of the war. This reminds us how profound it was for him to serve and sacrifice for his country’s sovereignty.
The effort and spirit put forward to in salvaging, preserving and displaying are praise worthy. Every single remnant of the Mary Rose, from the smallest herb and wooden wedge of bows and arrows and syringes (though very crude compared to modern day) were documented and displayed systematically in each original floor, cabinet and table in scientific ways. It a must visit destination for children, young adults and grownups alike.
At 3.00 p.m. we went aboard the historic HMS Warrior 1860. She was the largest, fastest and most powerful warship in the world in her time. She rendered 22 years of service in a very dignified manner. We truly gained knowledge of warships, its internal and external fittings, designs and most of all, the way and life on this ship and their crew members. Indeed it was a long but memorable sea voyage for all of us.
Y.S Wunglengton / India