New insight into UK historic fleet

Monday 26 February 2001

Following a period of consultation with organisations and individuals throughout the UK, the National Historic Ships Committee has made several revisions to the lists of Core Collection and Designated Vessels of Historic Vessels of the United Kingdom.

On 1 November 1999, the National Historic Ships Committee (NHSC) – the body formed in 1992 to work towards establishing a national policy for historic ships – issued two lists naming individual vessels which it proposed should form the Core Collection [CC] and Designated Vessels [DV].

The Core Collection identified vessels deemed to be of pre- eminent national significance in terms of maritime heritage, historical association or technological innovation. The Designated Vessels list identified vessels of considerable significance, but of more vernacular or regional significance.

The proposed lists have been the subject of major public consultation exercises involving seven roadshows throughout the UK, a conference at the National Maritime Museum and obtaining extensive written responses from both ship organisations and individuals involved in every aspect of the preservation of historic vessels in the UK.

The Revised Lists were selected from the National Register of Historic Vessels [NRHV] which now numbers in excess of 1600 entries of substantially intact vessels, built in the UK before 1945, of over 40 feet or 40 tons, and still in UK waters. In combination the Lists seek to span and chronicle the spectrum of achievement in UK maritime history, as well as changes in construction and associated technology.

Sir Julian Oswald, Chairman of NHSC, said ‘NHSC is delighted with the enormous reaction to, and comment on, the proposed lists. Some very passionate advocacy for individual vessels has made the selection of vessels meriting being added to the Lists far from easy. However, I am satisfied that the Revised Lists provide a fair and equitable representation of the breadth and depth of the UK’s Historic Fleet.’

Sir Julian said also ‘Without the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the support of the National Maritime Museum, this audit would not have been undertaken.’ He also congratulated the Project Team [Dr Robert Prescott and Ms Deanna Groom of the University of St Andrews] for the outstanding work it had done during the last five years: ‘They did the really hard work of researching, recording and analysing the data without which NHSC could not have begun to make its selections.’

The Revised Lists can be viewed on or


Issued 26 February 2001 by the NHSC.

For further press information please telephone 020 8312 6745, fax 020 8312 6521, email [email protected]

For further press enquiries please contact

Claire Grainger, Press and Public Relations Officer, External Relations Department, University of St Andrews, Tel: 01334-462530 FAX: 01334-467458 Mobile: 07730-415015

Dr Robert Prescott, Project Director – NHSP, Scottish Institute of Maritime Studies, University of St Andrews, Tel: 01334-462916/463017 FAX: 01334-462927 Mobile: 07712-841960

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