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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Psychic 'reads' medieval ship
Diane Lloyd Hughes
Diane Lloyd Hughes studied the ship's timbers for clues
A psychic has tried to 'read' the wood of the medieval ship raised from a south Wales river bank to try and uncover its past.

Despite being pored over by teams of archaeologists and scientists, there is still a lot of mystery over the boat which was unearthed from the banks of the River Usk in Newport 16 months ago.

Psychic consultant Diane Lloyd Hughes, spent a morning at the warehouse where the 1,700 timbers of the vessel, are being kept to try and shed light on some of the many questions that still remain to be answered.

And as she touched some of the pieces, she claimed to discover information about the boat from a child who worked on board.

She said that she could see a young boy with curly blond hair scrubbing the deck of the vessel which she believes is dated from about 1426.

During her reading, she said that the child told her how a local earl used the ship, which had connections with Bristol, for underhand practices including the removal of crockery and silverware which did not belong to him.

And that the ship and its crew of 35 met its untimely end during one of these trips after being weighed down by too much of this illegal cargo, sinking as it approached the port in Newport too fast.

The water tanks containing the ship's timbers
The timbers of the vessel are being stored at a warehouse in Newport

The 37-year-old psychic from Cross Hands in Carmarthenshire, who has used her 'gift' is police investigations, says she hopes she can fill in some of the blanks of the ship.

"I am just trying to piece together some of the past of the ship," she said.

"Maybe some of my findings will help with filling in some of the details.

"I know that there is a lot of scepticism about what I do, but maybe when all the evidence is pieced together, some of the things I have discovered will ring true," she added.

But archaeologists who are working on the conservation of the ship remain sceptical about her findings.

Charles Barker from the Mary Rose Trust said he was unsure of what the reading could bring to the archaeological process.

"I am enormously sceptical about it," he said.

"This is not endorsed by Newport Council or the Mary Rose Trust but this is a community project and the public have access to the ship," he added.

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