Regular VB readers will remember the recent online petition urging the Government to help save Paddle Steamer Ryde.
We’re informed today that a response has been forthcoming from the Government, but we expect, not welcome news for those trying to save the decaying paddle steamer.
More than 3,000 people signed the petition which stated “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to do everything possible to prevent the proposed imminent scrapping of the historic paddle steamer Ryde in Binfield Marina in the Isle of Wight.”
The owners of Paddle Steamer Ryde, Island Marine Holdings, went into receivership in 2009. Since then, National Historic Ships, the expert body which advises Government on the preservation of historic vessels, has been working with the parties involved with this case, including the Environment Agency, the administrators, and the appointed salvage contractor. The Committee has also conducted a survey of the vessel, which is in a very poor condition. Every effort is being taken to ensure that any deconstruction work on the vessel is carried out within the Committee’s published guidelines, to allow a careful recording of the vessel and to ensure that its key features are retained for use in other historic vessels.
The Government does not provide direct financial support for the acquisition, movement or conservation of historic ships, other than through the provision of grant-in-aid to those museums which hold vessels of historic significance in their collections. The Government’s draft Heritage Protection Bill will ensure that where historic ships are permanently fixed in one location, they will, as is currently the case, continue to be eligible for protection. However, they must be deemed to be of special historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest. Although it was not included in the legislative programme for 2009-10, the Government remains committed to the Bill and will continue to discuss the specific needs of historic vessels with National Historic Ships
Image: Â© Used with the kind permission of Auntie P