The Historical Diving Society wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
The Historical Diving Society (HDS) has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards an exciting project, to assess the work and costs required to restore No 2 Battery, on Stokes Bay in Gosport. The work is planned to start late January and be completed by June.
The building is in a deteriorating condition so structural consultants with experience of ‘At Risk’ listed buildings will be engaged to produce a report on its condition and what is required to carry out full restoration. If restored, No 2 battery will need to be self-supporting, so cultural, heritage and marketing consultants will be engaged to help the HDS develop a plan to give the building a sustainable future use. It is hoped to develop it into the National Diving Museum, thus preserving Gosport’s and the countries’ rich diving heritage as well as preserving its historical importance as part of the defences of Portsmouth Harbour.
The HDS was formed 25 years ago and is an all-volunteer registered charity. It was founded to preserve all aspects of diving heritage for future generations. Gosport is an important part of that heritage, as John Deane the co-founder of the diving helmet lived in the town for many years and sold the first commercial diving helmet in the world to a local merchant. As No 2 Battery is in sight of where the Royal George and the Mary Rose both sank and John Deane having dived on both, it is an ideal location to house such a museum.
The Battery was built in 1861 as part of Palmerston’s Folly (a defensive system of forts to protect the Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth Harbour) and its preservation is important as it is the only remaining battery of 5 from the Stokes Bay lines.
Kevin Casey, the HDS Museum Officer said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will help us establish a much better picture of the amount of work and funding needed to totally restore No 2 Battery back to its former glory.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery.
For further information, please contact
The Historical Diving Society
023 9252 0426