Following a major restoration, Hull’s historic Spurn Lightship will make a short journey to Hull Marina, to a temporary berth, on Thursday 9 March, subject to weather conditions.
Preparations to move the lightship are expected to get underway from 6.30am and is due to leave Dunston Ship Repairs on William Wright Dock at 7.10am.
The vessel will be towed along the Humber estuary by Deans Tugs and return to Hull Marina, following a 14-month restoration programme, thanks to Hull City Council and National Lottery players.
Local ship repair company, Dunston Ship Repairs have completed the work to give the Spurn Lightship a new lease of life and become a floating museum once again for visitors far and wide to enjoy.
The best vantage points to see the Spurn Lightship return to Hull Marina will be around the Humber Quays area.
The lightship will return to the temporary berth, along Humber Dock Street until work to install a permanent wet berth near Murdoch’s Connection is complete. The installation of an array of displays will tell the story of what it was like on board and information displays will now get underway.
Restoration includes a restored deck, shotblasting which has removed any corrosion, priming and several coats of paint which will protect this ship for future generations, as well as vast work to the cabin and below deck. Extensive replacements of damaged or modern fittings, rotten wood, corroded steel and cracked glass have been undertaken sympathetically, returning the vessel as much as possible to its original condition whilst improving visitor experience and accessibility.
Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “It is fantastic to see the Spurn Lightship restored, breathing new life into the vessel. “This restoration will protect the lightship for the next 100 years, retaining its charm, integrity, and authenticity for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.”
“Preparations for its opening are now underway and we’re looking forward to see it reopen later this year for everyone to learn more about the lightship’s career and story and the role it played in Hull’s maritime history.”
Richard Bourne, Managing Director at Dunston Ship Repairs, said: “The restoration of the Spurn Lightship has been close to our hearts. The effort, time and passion by the team has been a delight to see. It has been great working with the Hull Maritime team and the Naval architects to breathe new life into the ship.”
“We are honoured to have restored the lightship and we hope we have done the city proud. Restored by the city on behalf of the city. It is not every day a ship repairs company restores a vessel to become a museum again, so naturally it has been a very different type of job for us. They are usually going back out to sea, and this is why it is so special.”
“The Spurn Lightship will now stand proud in Hull Marina once again and this restoration has secured the light vessel for future generations.”
Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Spurn Lightship is well loved by the people of Hull, and we’re thrilled to see it return to Hull Marina following an extensive restoration programme, and that its summer reopening date is fast approaching.”
“It’s great to see Hull Maritime reach this milestone and continuing to ensure that Hull’s significant maritime heritage will be at the heart of its economic regeneration and ensure that it’s a city for all Hullians to be extremely proud of.”
Work to construct a permanent berth will get underway next week and is expected to be complete by June. The Spurn Lightship is expected to reopen to visitors in summer 2023.
Built in 1927 by Goole Shipbuilding, Light Vessel No.12 Spurn was based at the Spurn station outside the Humber. The lightship was key to guiding vessels as they navigated the Humber estuary. It was decommissioned in November 1975 then purchased by Hull City Council in 1983 and restored as the Spurn prior to being opened as a floating museum in Hull Marina.
The restoration of Spurn Lightship is part of Hull Maritime, a transformational project led by Hull City Council and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It encompasses the major refurbishment of Hull Maritime Museum and Dock Office Chambers, the creation of a new attraction at North End Shipyard and the new home for the restored Arctic Corsair.