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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Tourism victory for replica ship
Replica of Nelson's flagship warship HMS Victory
The Victory replica takes shape
A half-built replica of Horatio Nelson's flagship HMS Victory which is due to be set on fire has proved popular with South West tourists.

The half-size wooden warship is being built to mark this year's 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

It will be torched on 27 August to raise 57,000 - the cost of the original Victory - for charity.

Volunteer builders, the Torrington Cavaliers, have a long history of building spectacular charity bonfires.

Project leader Dick Matthews, whose great-great-great grandfather was cabin boy aboard the Victory, said the huge yellow and black hull, complete with figurehead, gun ports and stern detail, was all but finished.

The 100ft masts, of locally donated timber, are still to be erected.

That will happen over the next couple of weeks but the vessel is even now attracting its share of attention.

"She is attracting a lot of interest from visitors," said Mr Matthews, adding: "She looks quite spectacular, even though I say so myself."

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