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Experts to talk at Maritime Conference

Professor Eric Grove and INS Viraat

The spotlight will be on Barrow’s proud shipbuilding heritage when the town hosts the prestigious annual Maritime History North conference this month.

Experts from around the country will gather to present talks on naval history covering submarines, warships, liners and the airship that were all built at the town’s world-leading shipyard.

With the theme ‘Ships of Barrow Shipyard’, marine historians including renowned British naval historian Professor Eric Grove will deliver a day of lectures documenting the ships that have been launched into Walney Channel over the past century.

The event, at The Forum on Saturday 28th September, will be chaired by Captain Bob Eddleston of the Royal Navy Reserve and is open to members of the public with tickets available from the venue.

Keith Higham, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who has played a leading role in bringing this conference to Barrow, said it was the first time the town had been selected for the event.

“We are pleased to welcome such distinguished historians to Barrow to share their insights into a wide range of ships that were all built and launched right here.

“Our audience will recognise many of the vessels because their legacy lives on in the street names of Vickerstown and Walney. For example, we have a talk on Powerful and King Alfred cruisers alongside Vengeance and Mikasa.

“There is a very knowledgeable audience in this area and we are sure this will be an enjoyable event showing the proud history of the many ships launched into Walney Channel”

The conference will be opened by another well-known maritime historian Dr Scott Lingren speaking about the evolution of the British Cruiser.

Professor Grove, who is well-known to those who attend engineering lectures, will then cover Battleships and Light cruisers.

The conference then turns its attention to Liners, again well-represented through Walney street names such as Oriana, Strathnaver and Strathaird.

Following lunch Captain Ian Moffatt will give a talk on Barrow Shipyard and the early submarines.

The conference continues with talks from the well-respected Naval author, Commander David Hobbs, covering the early airship Mayfly and concludes with a talk on the world’s longest-serving Aircraft carrier HMS Hermes which later entered the Indian navy as INS Viraat. (Pictured)

There will be stalls and an opportunity to meet the presenters and ask questions during the conference, which has been organised by the Maritime History North and the local branch of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) supported by the local engineering groups, Professional Engineers South Cumbria (PESC), Barrow and District Association of Engineers (BDAE), Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Royal Institution of Naval Architects and the Society for Nautical Research.

The conference, which includes morning and afternoon sessions, will be held in The Studio at The Forum in Barrow on Saturday 28th September 2019, starting at 9.30am and it is open to all. A limited number of tickets, which include lunch & refreshments are available from the Forum at a cost of £17.50.

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