150 Years of Steam and Speed in Celebration at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Press Release : February 02, 2010
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Compare 150 years of steam technology from the launch of sail and steam powered warship, HMS Warrior 1860, who when built was quite simply bigger, faster and more heavily armoured than any other warship afloat; to a special appearance of the 2009 land speed record-breaking British Steam Car, along with its dynamic team! Plus, for those who like to steam ahead they can receive a 10% discount on tickets booked before the end of March 2010.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyards Celebration of Steam is a two day event, taking place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th May. Visitors will be transported into the wonderful world of steam, both traditional and modern, with displays of traction engines and road locomotives at work to ferry visitors around the site, steam wagons, boats, model and ride-on railways and a whole host of Victorian dockyard characters.

Celebrating the fifth successful year of the event with a special appearance is the British Steam Car team which broke the world land speed record in 2009 by achieving an average speed of 148.308 mph over a measured kilometre. The team behind it will be taking things at a more leisurely pace as they chat to visitors, show them the inner workings of the vehicle and give them the opportunity to sit in the cars cock pit!

Driver Don Wales, nephew of the legendary Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm, will be giving fascinating talks throughout the event on the cars magnificent achievement. Don holds 11 land speed records, nine in his electric car "Bluebird" and two with the British Steam Car Team.

Team Manager Lynne Angel said people are in awe of the vehicle, she really is a show-topper. Although the press dubbed her as the worlds fastest kettle the car looks very futuristic and Thunderbirdesque. The project really celebrates British engineering and ingenuity.

Back by popular demand this year is the chance to discover the history of Portsmouth Dockyard as one of the greatest industrial complexes in the world throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Guided tours of the now disused Block Mills (*) will capture the imagination on a journey back in time to discover how this was once the first and finest complete steam powered factory in the world .

The Dockyard Apprentice exhibition invites visitors to clock in and go back to 1911 to witness the men at work and learn the crafts and skills that were needed at a time when the Dreadnought battleships were being constructed here. Plus, there is the chance to marvel at the saw bench and stone crusher displays as well as listen to talks on the inner workings of a steam engine.

Then as if that wasnt enough for this steam extravaganza, there is the option to kick back with some pork and a pint at a bigger and better Real Ale, Sausage and Cider Festival, whilst listening to Brass bands and traditional organ, watching lively Morris dancers and treating the kids to nostalgic fairground rides. Plus, with entrance to the Historic Dockyard attractions and a whole host of Victorian dock workers and street entertainers paving the way, it promises to be a fantastic day out for all the family!

Book before the end of February and save 10%. Tickets for the event are adults: £12, concessions: £10, family (up to 5 people, maximum of 2 adults/seniors): £36. Tickets include entrance to all attractions on site: HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, Mary Rose Museum, National Museum of the Royal Navy and Action Stations (excludes Harbour Tours).

For further booking information please telephone 023 9283 9766 or visit www.celebrationofsteam.co.uk

(*) The number of places on each tour is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Further tours will be available in September as part of Heritage Open Days.

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