Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Calshot Spit Lightship moves from Ocean Village
Calshot Spit Lightship
The neglected LV78 has been at Ocean Village since 1989

After 20 years firmly set in concrete, Southampton's Calshot Spit Lightship - Light Vessel 78 (LV78) is moving home.

Two huge cranes will lift the 140 ton vessel, which is one of the last of its kind in the world from Ocean Village.

Project officer, Alan Jones said: "We're going to restore her and she then becomes a gate guardian to the new heritage centre."

The craft will then be transported 800 yards away to Trafalgar Dry Dock. The move is expected to take over 10 hours.

Built in 1914 by J Thornycroft in Woolston, the 140 ton lightship was known as Light Vessel 78 (LV78).

Iron craft

LV78 is a quirky-looking, iron craft with a bright red hull and a pioneering revolving light which site on top of the mast.

It was originally moored at Calshot Spit, the entrance to Southampton Water, a six mile stretch of deep sea.

Calshot Lightship
Two cranes will lift the steel-hulled ship

The ship guided flying boats into their terminal at berth 50 and warned ships of sandbanks.

Calshot retired from service in 1987. She was lifted from the water in 1989 and placed at Ocean Village Marina.

Landlocked in concrete, the 140-ton vessel needed to find a new home as its current spot at Ocean Village is under redevelopment.

After 20 years, the ship's condition has deteriorated, becoming an eyesore in desperate need of preservation.

Gate guardian

After an announcement by its current owners, Barratt Homes that it was to be scrapped, the city's aviation museum, Solent Sky stepped in to protect the 96 year-old ship.

It is hoped funding will be secured to restore the vessel to its original glory and form part of Southampton's proposed £8m Aeronautica museum at Trafalgar Dock.

The plans will establish Calshot as the museum's "gate guardian" on Berth 50.

Expected to open in 2015, the attraction will house numerous historic aircraft and ships linked to the city.

Southampton was once the world's first and largest 'air-port' where both transatlantic flying boats and liners were docked.

Air and sea museum plan unveiled
18 Jun 10 |  Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific