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As Discovery’s masts go back up, entry price comes down

The historic ship RRS Discovery, now a major visitor attraction in Dundee, is getting ready to show off her newly refurbished look in time for the summer.

And as the ship’s refurbished masts and rigging go back up, the popular visitor attraction is cutting admission prices by 50%.

The ship that carried Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic, built in Dundee, has been undergoing vital restoration work since late last year, when rigging and masts were removed and transported to a specialist shipbuilder in Gloucester.

The same company, T. Nielsen, will now spend the next three weeks reassembling the ship in time for summer visitors.

Although the ship itself will be closed for the next few weeks, the award-winning visitor centre at Discovery Quay, Dundee remains open, with admission prices cut by 50% during that time.

Admission includes entry to the RRS Discovery exhibition, which tells the story of the building of the ship in Dundee through to Captain Scott and his crew’s grueling expedition to the Antarctic. The stories are told through hands-on interactive and computer-based displays, an audio-visual show, and artefacts from the ship. Visitors can also do a virtual tour of the ship thanks to an interactive augmented reality exhibit, using Xbox controllers, developed by St. Andrews University.

The visitor centre also includes a café and a gift shop.

RRS Discovery’s repair programme was funded partly by a crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than £40,000 and was fronted by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly. Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates the popular visitor attraction, is still seeking donations towards the overall £350,000 cost of renovating the ship.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“The restoration work to the masts and rigging went very smoothly down in Gloucester and we’re excited, as I’m sure the public is, to see Discovery in all her masted glory again. While the T. Nielsen team works to get her shipshape again, we’re offering great deals for visitors to our exhibition, as well as the chance to do virtual tours of the ship.”

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

Primary school kids round off 270-mile ‘Antarctic’ walk, with husky in tow

Dundee primary school children will create a live Christmas card when they create a traffic-stopping scene on Tuesday 22nd December as they complete a 270-mile ‘Antarctic’ walk.
The 65 students from Rosebank Primary School will be walking the last mile in a long-distance challenge that has seen them match the furthest distance Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson reached from Discovery on their first trip to Antarctica.
The children’s wintery walk, which will be accompanied by a husky, will culminate at Captain Scott’s ship, RRS Discovery, now docked at Discovery Point in Dundee.
The pupils set themselves the challenge after becoming ‘school-in-residence’ to Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates RRS Discovery, now an award-winning visitor attraction. The school works closely with the Trust on projects related to the RRS Discovery and Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic voyage.
Jill Sim, author of Shiver Me Timbers! and learning support teacher at Rosebank Primary School, has close links to Dundee Heritage Trust. She has been a volunteer tour guide at RRS Discovery for six years and penned the educational children’s book, which depicts the famous Antarctic expedition and lets the historic ship tell the story of its journey. Jill, set to accompany the students on the last leg of their walk, is currently working on a sequel to her book.
Also taking part in the walk is Ali Gellatly, education officer at Dundee Heritage Trust, and his husky dog Shadow.

Ali Gellatly said:
“It’s been heartwarming to see the pupils of Rosebank Primary rise to this challenge. We’ve been covering the distance during playtimes and lunch hours, and have been racking up the miles since August. The motto of Rosebank Primary School in Dundee is ‘Aim high’. But perhaps students should add ‘Aim far’ to that too! It seems appropriate that our Antarctic challenge should culminate in a wintery walk to the very ship that inspired it, RRS Discovery, now docked in Dundee.”
The historic RRS Discovery recently entered a nine-month restoration phase in which the ship’s masts and rigging were removed for essential cleaning and repair. The work was partly paid for by a public crowdfunding appeal which beat its target of £40,000.
Rosebank Primary School students were among the groups and individuals who donated to the appeal. They held two sellout bake sales, raising £30 for their favourite ship.
Shiver Me Timbers! can be bought from the gift shop at Discovery Point and Jill is currently busy working on a sequel.
For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

We did it! It’s all supporters on deck as historic RRS Discovery surpasses its crowdfunding goal

Backers of a campaign to help conserve the historic ship RRS Discovery gathered in Dundee on Wednesday to celebrate surpassing their £40,000 fundraising goal.

And as the pledges kept rolling in right up until the Wednesday lunchtime deadline, surpassing the goal by almost £2000, it was all supporters on deck – and on the quayside at Discovery Point where the famous Antarctic exploration ship is docked.

The five-week crowdfunding campaign, which hit its target a day early, spread worldwide and gained the backing of everyone from schoolchildren to global businesses, a newborn baby to a television celebrity. Despite a nailbiting last few days, in the end more than 250 backers came together to pledge money.

Dundee Heritage Trust launched the campaign to raise £40,000 five weeks ago on crowdfunder.co.uk to pay for vital restoration and preservation work to the masts and rigging of RRS Discovery, which famously took Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic for a voyage of scientific exploration.

In a bold move, the Trust made a call out to the public to contribute towards a nine-month cleaning and repair project to the rigging and masts which will cost £350,000 in total. During a painstaking three-week process in which passers-by witnessed the ship gradually being deconstructed, the masts and rigging were removed and have been sent to a specialist shipbuilders in Gloucester for repair.

Dundee Heritage Trust received pledges big and small, from individuals, businesses and heritage groups both locally and worldwide. Backing came from everyone from a newborn baby and pupils at a Dundee primary school, to TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, acknowledged that putting Discovery’s fate in the hands of the public was risky. But he said he was always sure of the support of the iconic ship, which returned to Dundee – the city where it was built – in 1986.

Paul Jennings said:

“On behalf of Dundee Heritage Trust I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who pledged money, both in Dundee and further afield. The support we’ve had has been amazing and the fact that we hit it early and that pledges are still coming in is fantastic. Not only does it enable us to carry out this important restoration work on the ship, but it proves how dear RRS Discovery is to people, particularly in her home city.”
Andy Lothian, chairman of Dundee Heritage Trust and chief executive of Insights, headquartered in Dundee, said:

“This rigging project is crucial to the ongoing conservation and preservation of this incredible ship and simply couldn’t be borne out of existing budgets. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has supported it – and helped us smash our target. I feel strongly that RRS Discovery is one of our national treasures, and the impressive amount of backing this campaign has received clearly demonstrates that many others share my view.”

For Lorraine Kelly, who fronted the crowdfunding campaign five weeks ago with a video appeal, reaching the goal was a double celebration. The TV presenter celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. She said:

“It’s been so gratifying to see people get behind this campaign to help preserve one of the country’s, and in particular Dundee’s, most important visitor attractions. It was a pleasure to front this crowdfunding effort and to see the public and businesses really step up to help. A huge thanks to everyone involved.”

Although the crowdfunding campaign has now closed, Dundee Heritage Trust still welcomes contributions towards the overall cost of the £350,000 rigging project. Anyone wishing to support it should contact Brian Kelly, development officer for Dundee Heritage Trust, or Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust. Email Brian on dhtdevelopment@dundeeheritage.co.uk or Paul on paul.jennings@dundeeheritage.co.uk or call 01382 309060.

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

More than 200 back the historic RRS Discovery as it reaches its £40,000 crowdfunding goal a day early

In a campaign that has spread worldwide and gained the backing of everyone from schoolchildren to global businesses, a newborn baby to a television celebrity, the historic RRS Discovery ship today (29th November) reached its crowdfunding goal.

More than 200 backers came together to reach the ship’s goal of £40,000 a day early. And after a nailbiting last few days the rush of support continues, with owners Dundee Heritage Trust reporting that pledges are still coming in. Supporters are set to gather on Wednesday afternoon at Discovery Point in Dundee to celebrate at the ship, which is open again to visitors after a few weeks of closure.

Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates the iconic Antarctic exploration ship – now an award-winning visitor attraction in Dundee – received pledges big and small, from individuals, businesses and heritage groups both locally and worldwide. Backing came from everyone from a newborn baby and pupils at a Dundee primary school, to TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Dundee Heritage Trust launched the campaign to raise £40,000 five weeks ago on crowdfunder.co.uk to pay for vital restoration and preservation work to the masts and rigging of RRS Discovery, which famously took Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic for a voyage of scientific exploration.

In a bold move, the Trust made a call out to the public to contribute towards a nine-month cleaning and repair project to the rigging and masts which will cost £350,000 in total. During a painstaking three-week process in which passers-by witnessed the ship gradually being deconstructed, the masts and rigging were removed and have been sent to a specialist shipbuilders in Gloucester for repair.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, acknowledged that putting Discovery’s fate in the hands of the public was risky. But he said he was always sure of the support of the iconic ship, which returned to Dundee – the city where it was built – in 1986.

Paul Jennings said:

“On behalf of Dundee Heritage Trust I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who pledged money, both in Dundee and further afield. The support we’ve had has been amazing and the fact that we hit it early and that pledges are still coming in is fantastic. Not only does it enable us to carry out this important restoration work on the ship, but it proves how dear RRS Discovery is to people, particularly in her home city.”

Lorraine Kelly, who fronted the crowdfunding campaign five weeks ago with a video appeal, said:

“It’s been so gratifying to see people get behind this campaign to help preserve one of the country’s, and in particular Dundee’s, most important visitor attractions. It was a pleasure to front this crowdfunding effort and to see the public and businesses really step up to help. A huge thanks to everyone involved.”

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

RRS Discovery sets out on a different kind of voyage as masts come down and conversation campaign ramps up

RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous Antarctic expedition ship, is this month on a different kind of voyage – one of historical conservation.

Passers-by are witnessing a ‘de-masting’ of the historic ship, which is docked at Discovery Point in Dundee, as it enters an essential nine-month repair programme on its masts and rigging. Meantime, operator Dundee Heritage Trust has just three weeks to raise 40,000 to help pay for the rigging repair work.

Dundee Heritage Trust, which owns the major visitor attraction at Discovery Quay in Dundee, has already reached more than 50% of a £40,000 crowdfunding target launched last week. Donations have been coming in from individuals and businesses, including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and a substantial pledge from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Not only is the preservation work vital, it is a once-in-a-generation event, said DHT officials today.

The rigging and masts are being repaired as a result of a survey carried out in 2012 which showed deterioration to the masts and rigging. The rigging project is just one step in an ongoing programme of conservation and maintenance for the historic vessel.

The highly detailed rigging work will cost £350,000 in total and will take nine months to complete. Dundee Heritage Trust has appointed maritime consultant John Watson for the rigging project. John was instrumental in getting RRS Discovery back to Dundee in 1986 and is a former chief executive of Dundee Port Authority. The repair work is being carried out by T. Neilsen & Company, a world specialist in the restoration and conservation of historic ships, based in Gloucester.

The award-winning visitor centre remains open while the rigging work is taking place and is offering a 50% discount to visitors until November 21st, when the on-site rigging work is expected to be completed.

The centre’s latest exhibit, an interactive augmented reality installation developed by St. Andrews University, guides visitors through the ship’s masts and rigging using Xbox controllers.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“This is not only a historic vessel we have in RRS Discovery, but history in the making while the rigging work takes place. It’s not often that people see such an iconic vessel undergoing such a large-scale conservation project, with her rigging and masts down, but that’s what she’ll look like in a matter of days.”

Jill Sim, a learning support teacher at Rosebank Primary school in Dundee, a volunteer guide at Dundee Heritage Trust, and author of a children’s book about the ship, explained why she backed the crowdfunding campaign.

“I grew up in a boat-loving family and so it made sense for me to volunteer at RRS Discovery. I think our children are the ones who will benefit from this fabulous resource in the future. That’s why staff and pupils at Rosebank Primary supported it recently with proceeds from a bake sale and it’s why I would urge others to come forward and pledge.”

Mark Munsie, operations director with Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“As a small independent charity this project is a major cost for Dundee Heritage Trust, and cannot be covered by our existing maintenance budgets. That’s why we’re running this crowdfunding campaign, which we hope will help secure RRS Discovery for future generations.”

Maritime consultant John Watson said:

“I’ve been involved with RRS Discovery since she returned to her home port of Dundee in 1986. This is a fascinating project to be part of. She was one of the last wooden three-masted sailing ships to be built in Britain and she’s the only example of that type to survive.”

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

As Discovery’s masts come down, so does the price – by half

Restoration work begins on Tuesday on RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous expedition ship. And as the masts and rigging come down for repair this month, so do admission prices for visitors to Discovery Point.

Although the ship itself will be closed for the next three weeks, the award-winning visitor centre at Discovery Quay, Dundee remains open, with admission prices cut by 50% during that time. Admission includes entry to the RRS Discovery exhibition, which tells the story of the building of the ship in Dundee through to Captain Scott and his crew’s gruelling expedition to the Antarctic. The stories are told through hands-on interactive and computer-based displays, an audio-visual show and artefacts from the ship.

The visitor centre also includes a café, currently showing an award-winning photography exhibition, and a gift shop.

RRS Discovery’s repair programme is expected to last nine months. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise £40,000 towards the cost of the work, which will total £350,000. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is fronting the campaign, at www.crowdfunder.co.uk.

Donors to the crowdfunding campaign, which runs throughout November, will receive a range of rewards, depending on the size of their donation.

Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“As a five-star attraction, Discovery Point is one of Dundee’s key places to visit and hugely popular with both locals and tourists. That’s why we will continue to keep our doors open at Discovery Point while the rigging work is underway. Visitors will not only enjoy 50% off admission to the exhibition, they will see history in the making. The last time the Discovery’s masts came down was when she came into dock in Dundee in 1992.”

Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and social history museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com