A Dundee business has been earning its sea legs after carrying out free work on the iconic RRS Discovery Ship this week.
Timber preservation and asbestos services business Intona has jumped to the “all hands on deck” cry to ensure works were carried out to repair rot on the port side stern of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ship.
The works came after maritime industry experts Beckett Rankine estimated that there was around £350,000 of urgent work needed on the prestigious vessel.
Deirdre Robertson, chief executive of Dundee Heritage Trust said the urgent repairs were part of an estimated £1.3 million programme needed in the coming years.
Intona decided to come on board as a charitable gesture to supply staff and equipment to help preserve the risk of long-term damage until further funding can be secured.
Deirdre said: “The most pressing of the urgent work identified was the rot to the port side stern.
“We had been concerned initially it might be dry rot so were reassured when local timber preservation specialists, Intona, ruled that out.
“We were even more grateful to them for their incredible generosity in then offering to complete the rot treatment works pro bono as an ‘in-kind’ charitable donation.
“Dundee Heritage Trust is a charity that is 98.7% reliant on its own resources usually, and was particularly badly hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
“The rot treatment won’t cure all the problems in that area but stabilising it will we believe give us eight months to a year breathing space while we investigate the most appropriate longer term solution.”
Intona, directors Ron and Irene Mitchell said they were “delighted” to help the ship in it’s hour of need.
Ron added: “We initially been asked to come down and do a survey on the ship, there was different types of wet rot.
“The type of repairs that are needed require a shipwright to work on it.
“We did say we could slow down the process by tackling it with a fungicidal solution, until such time as they get the funds together to get the shipwright’s in to put it right.
“Two members of staff went down for a few hours this week to put a treatment on the timbers.
“It’s the first time we’ve carried out any works on the ship, given current situation we wanted to help reduce the spread of the rot.”
It comes as the Trust heard last week they have been successful at the expression of interest stage with an application to National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Securing funding for the “ambitious transformation” of Discovery Point as a whole would see the longer term future of the ship as “absolutely central”, Deirdre said.
She added: “The wider transformation of Discovery Point also includes tackling the chronic problems the building has with fuel efficiency, opening up the Dundee Dome as a new tourist attraction.
“We also looking to create a climate change gallery to celebrate RRS Discovery ‘s unique world heritage significance of being the first ship ever to undertake scientific research in Antarctica.”
Dundee Heritage Trust and its operating company Dundee Industrial Heritage Limited are both registered charities formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past. As well as the Royal Research Ship Discovery, Dundee Heritage Trust has responsibility for Discovery Point Antarctic Museum and Verdant Works, one of the nation’s most important textile museums.
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