Waterbus to link heritage of Gosport and Portsmouth as Explosion! museum reopens

By Culture24 Staff | 29 May 2010
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A photo of a small ship on a dock

(Above) A new waterbus will link museums in Portsmouth and Gosport

A Gosport Museum which was forced to close after being at the centre of an abandoned £40 million redevelopment plan will reopen this weekend as part of a new pontoon transport route linking it to Portsmouth.

Gosport's Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower will be connected with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard by a waterbus scheme run by Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust, who are leasing the Dockyard from the Ministry of Defence and bought Explosion! From Gosport Borough Council in May 2009.

A photo of a sign pointing to a museum on a road

Explosion! appeared to have a bleak future when a redevelopment plan was abandoned last year

The organisation has dredged a channel in the sea between the sites, allowing direct access between them in a bid to unite the facing harbours to make one “single story” celebration of the region’s maritime heritage.

"Portsmouth Harbour and its history have attracted millions of visitors from all over the world, but its potential as a truly international destination has yet to be realised partly because it falls within different administrative boundaries," said Property Trust Chief Executive Peter Goodship, calling on public and private sectors on the harbour to "make a difference" and "forget artificial local boundaries."

A photo of chairs and tables overlooking a calm sea

The picturesque restaurant at Explosion!

"As well as paving the way for many more visitors to both Explosion! and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, it is hoped that the waterbus will become an increasingly popular way for people to travel around the harbour during the summer months."

The award-winning interactive museum hosts an important collection of guns and naval artefacts, including 18th century gunpowder vaults housed in 18th century buildings at the former armaments depot on Priddy's Hard.

A photo of a man and child looking at a red box in a museum

The 18th century buildings tell the stories of the people who served on Navy ships through the centuries

A joint ticket deal has already been announced between the centre and the Submarine Museum.

"Anything that helps articulate the history of the harbour makes for a better visitor experience," said Jacquie Shaw, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Head of Communications.

"As an attraction in the Waterfront City we are thrilled with the launch of the Waterbus service, making all our tourism partners on both sides of the water more accessible to visitors. We are very lucky as a city to have an exceptional cultural offer."

Gosport residents will be allowed free entry to the Museum as part of Gosport's Big Day Out on June 13 2010. Visit the Museum online for all the details and more on the new-look centre.

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