TWO bronze cannons recovered from HMS Victory have been restored to their former glory by conservation experts and students at West Dean College.
Student conservators worked with Jon Privett, the metalwork conservation programme leader, to prepare the cannons for display.
“It’s been an incredible learning experience for the students,” said Jon, who is also the tutor for metalwork conservation at West Dean College.
The HMS Victory, the great historic flagship of the Royal Navy, was on active duty when it sunk in a storm in 1744, leading to the deaths of over 1000 sailors.
Raised from the sea bed in 2008, the cannons were completely encrusted in barnacles and marine concretions, which obscured a great deal of their detail. They were also fully loaded.
However, students and experts involved in the project made specialised tools with old wood-working shears in order to carefully chip the marine concretions away so that it didn’t harm the bronze.
Laurie Price, a student who worked on this project and is now doing an apprenticeship at the National Maritime Museum, said: “It was a great experience having the opportunity to work on something of that scale.”
The cannons will go on display in the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth.
“It was a privilege to work on something with so much history,” said Jon.
“This was a truly stunning project.”