The volunteer team at Southampton's Steamship Shieldhall have had their application to the Cultural Assets Fund approved. The Steamship Shieldhall Charity, which maintains the Shieldhall, will receive £196,415, which is 77% of the estimated total project costs, with additional funding coming from the chatity's reserves and through member donations. The funding will enable a project to repair underwater hull damageto the steamship, which has occurred as a result of the vessel being mothballed due to the pandemic.
The Chief Engineer said that the ship's hull had been damaged by excessive biofouling, in the form of barnacles and mussels, which had formed because the ship was stationary for eighteen months between October 2019 and April 2021. Normally this biofouling would have been minimised by the self-polishing action of the anti-fouling coating as the ship moved through the water. Because the ship has been laid-up, however, extensive accretion has compromised the hull's protective coating, exposing steel to seawater corrosion.
The only remedy given this situation is to drydock the ship in spring 2022 in Falmouth, clean the hull, remove the remaining areas of compromised coating, replace or repair corroded hull plates and apply a modern anti-fouling system. The award just awarded will help the volunteers to achieve this aim, and the renewal of the passenger crtification ahead of the 2022 sailing season commencing on 28th May.


 The Domus Dei, or Royal Garrison Church has a curious history. It was founded in 1212 by the Bishop of Winchester as a hospice - offering accommodation to travellers and pilgrims as well as to the sick and the elderly. It was dedicated to St John the Baptist and St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. The Domus Dei was closed when the monasteries were dissolved in 1540 and after a brief spell as an armoury, part of it became the residence of the military Governors of Portsmouth.
In 1450, the Bishop of Chichester was murdered there. For this crime the whole town was excommunicated and remained like this for fifty years and in 1622 King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza there.
In 1827 the Governor's House was demolished except for the infirmary hall and the chapel which became the Royal Garrison Church.
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