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Historic ship The Discovery to be Restored in Gloucester Dock

21 November 2016

A historic ship famed for racing to the South Pole is getting some much-needed repair work to some of its parts at a Gloucester shipyard.

T. Nielsen and Company, based in Gloucester Docks, will spend the coming months repairing the masts, sails and spars of the RRS Discovery.

The Discovery was launched in 1901 especially for Captain Robert Falcon Scott's first expedition to the Antarctic regions from that year to 1904.

Tommi Nielsen, co-owner of T. Nielsen and Company, said: "It's a famous, historic ship and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work on her.

Work on parts of the wooden three-masted ship will take place in Gloucester until May 2017, and will be the first time since the 1980s that it has been derigged.

The longest mast on the ship is up to 115 feet high, and the longest spar – which supports a sail – measures at up to 70 feet.

Mr Nielsen added: "The idea is that the ship will last again for many years with as little maintenance as possible.

"We are very pleased to have got the contract after the competition from other companies. It's an exciting and historic ship to work on."

 When the rigging work on The Discovery is complete, the components in Gloucester will be sent back to where the rest of the ship is moored in Dundee and put back together.

The Discovery expedition launched the careers of many leading figures in Antarctic exploration, including Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson, who was born in Cheltenham.

During the expedition the explorers found the only snow-free Antarctic valleys and the longest river in the continent. It was later considered a landmark in British exploration history.

 Source: Gloucestershire Live, 18th November 2016

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