Good Afternoon Mike and Jo,
My name is Samantha Woodley, and I just wanted to let you know how much my son Adam enjoyed the Naval/Maritime history info on your
page, http://www.marshlandmaritimemuseum.com/links.html .
He has been learning about Greek history at school, and was doing a project about the Athenian Navy and the Peloponnesian War. It really
got him hooked on all things Naval! He's been doing quite a bit of research online during his computer free time, and had mentioned your
page a few times, and I thought you'd be glad to hear!
Adam is really into history and loves learning, and often times puts together projects just for his own fun about topics he is interested in.
When I mentioned to him that it'd be nice to send you a thank you note for the great info on maritime history, he wanted to also share this
article about the history of ship building, https://www.hmy.com/timeline-of-ships-boats-and-yachts that he really enjoyed. I thought it was a
cool article and was hoping you might be able to include it on your page? I would love to show him he could contribute another cool article
about the history of sailing and ships!
Thanks again for encouraging Adam's interest in maritime history! Hope you enjoy the article, and if you end up being able to include it,
please let me know!
Have a wonderful day and hope to speak again soon.
The above was sent by e-mail to Mike from a grateful parent. We hope to hear more in due course.
Well done Adam.
St Margaret's Church, Clenchwarton
Parish magazine of St Margaret’s church, Clenchwarton
by our Roving Reporter
Number 206 Main Road, Clenchwarton does not sound like the sort of place that might house a major visitor attraction – but it does ! I had the pleasure of visiting the Marshland Maritime Museum recently and viewing the absolutely huge collection of Royal Navy memorabilia which has been accumulated over a thirty year period by Mike and Jo Smith.
Mike joined the Navy in 1954 at HMS GANGES and was the youngest boy ever to join at just over fourteen years of age. He subsequently served in several ships, including HMS DIAMOND, which was involved in the Suez campaign; Mike also served in the submarine HMS TIPTOE. Later he was to return to GANGES as a Gunnery Instructor.
The museum started off in Tilney where Jo said she “first lost the front room, then the dining room and finally a bedroom”. The vast collection, which is probably growing as I write, is now housed in two large inter-connected wooden buildings at the rear of their bungalow. Outside is a large anchor and an Oropesa float (a fish-shaped float used to support the Otter (also on display), part of the equipment used to sweep floating sea mines by wires which cut their mooring cables).
This oropesa float was used aboard HMS BRONINGTON, a coastal minesweeper once commanded by Prince Charles. There is more information about this vessel and the Prince’s time aboard her in the museum.
I was amazed at the layout and variety of exhibits. There are over one thousand crests from various warships, one of the largest collections of ships badges in Britain. Some exhibits date back to the eighteenth century, others are examples of modern equipment. This is Nelson’s county, so it is not surprising to see a selection of Nelson memorabilia, including a large scale model of HMS VICTORY, his flagship at the battle of Trafalgar. There are also large models of recent Royal Navy warships and some sailing craft.
The museum has an international reputation and many former sailors have donated uniforms, medals and items of equipment. One Admiral who supports the museum even donated his dress uniform. There are several uniformed mannequins in the collection, including WREN, Royal Marine, a Naval Rating and a German sailor of the 1940’s Kriegsmarine.
The 3000-plus exhibits in the museum are too numerous to list but they include many model aircraft, accurately detailed models of a complete Royal Marine band, shell cases, rope splices and books, both Royal and German Navy and an historic barrel of rum.
If you have not yet visited Marshland Maritime Museum, do take advantage of the summer weather to go and if you have been before, then there will probably be even more exhibits by now.
And IT’S FREE just phone Mike and Jo in advance on 01553 765 530 to be sure that they will be at home to make you welcome with a nice cup of tea.
HMS HINDUSTAN was one of the King Edward VII class & last of the pre-Dreadnought battleships, with twin turrets of 12-inch guns fore & aft plus a mix of secondary armament that mad spotting the fall of shot confusing. They were the first ships fitted with twin rudders, which gave them a small turning circle but made them so difficult to steer, that they were called the "Wobbly Eights". Each ship had a different configuration of boilers, so steam pressure, and hence speeds & acceleration, varied, making station keeping in close company hazardous!
I (Mike Smith) had bought the Tompion you see in the 'Tour/Memorabilia section at a Militaria auction & then saw a Hindustan cap tally on e-bay. However after withdrawing from this auction I contacted the lady seller, Introduced myself & told her about the museum. I also invited her to view this website which impressed her (the museum) that she donated a second tally to us. It would seem that the lady's deceased father in law was ex navy & she inherited a collection of books & memorabilia some of which she now intends to give to the museum's collection.
I feel this is a testimonial to the museum & the website.
2nd September 2017
What an excellent day we all had yesterday visiting your museum, the exhibits
together with your hospitality was tremendous & not to mention the fine food
enjoyed by all at the Victory Pub.
Good luck in the future
Hon Chair RNA Colchester
Report on the Victory Public House by the Suffolk Coastal Division, HMS Ganges
Hi Mike and Jo,
Many thanks for yesterday, all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and could very well return at some time or another.
Jo you did ask me to give feedback on the Victory catering. Well there were no complaints at all about the service or
the standard of the food. All thoroughly enjoyed the food which was of a very high standard and plenty of it.
Again very many thanks
Suffolk Coastal Division