The last Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Newport Ship was held on Saturday 30 September 2017.  The speaker for the opening session was Dr Sian Rees, formerly inspector of ancient monuments with Cadw .  The Chairman’s report is appended below the table of committee members

If you have the time and the inclination to join the Friends and stand as a committee member, we would be delighted to talk to you before the next AGM in September 2018.

The day to day management of the Friends of the Newport Ship is carried out by a Committee elected at each Annual General Meeting. The elected members of the Committee also constitute the Trustees of the charity. The Committee for 2017-18 is:


Role Person Email
Chair Phil Cox
Vice-Chair Alan Aberg
Secretary Robert Kenny

Treasurer Peter Horleston
Other elected members Jeff Brooks
Jean Gray & Lynne Crabbe Retail Coordinators
Charles Ferris Patron
Kate Humby
Lewis Griffiths Ship Centre Events
Co-opted members Rhys Brooks 
Claire Dowd Minutes Secretary
Charlotte Vigar Social Media:
Simon Hickman (Archivist)


To take the project forward to the new level required for the coming year, we are in urgent need for volunteers to act as PR & Marketing Coordinator, Fundraising Officer and Education Officer – as well as lots of volunteers to help spread the word.  To discuss any of these roles, please call Phil Cox on 07411 149678 or email   If you can spare some time, please get in touch.  Thank you.


Chairman’s Report: FoNS AGM 30 September 2017

Welcome to you all to the Newport Medieval Ship Centre – our ‘hub’ of activity where we greet our increasing numbers of visitors on our regular open days, and for special occasions, events, organised tours and hopefully schools and groups of scouts, guides, sea cadets and other younger people.

I hope many of you have already taken the opportunity to update yourselves on the progress being made – especially in Toby’s new additional work space, previously taken by our last tanks of wet timbers that was collected by our conservation partners, York Archaeological Trust in the last week.

Highlights of 2016-7 – looking back

Ship Centre visitor numbers this year are ahead of last year, with over 2000 people crossing our threshold (this calendar year) to hear our stories and see the exhibits here in this building.  That’s 15% up on last year, and there are more events planned.

The dedication of our key volunteers who ensure that this facility is opened to the public as advertised has been amazing.  Since April, we have had 28 volunteers who have helped at the Ship Centre in some way or another, giving over 1460 hours of their collective time. Bringing new people into our active section is vital to our continued opening of the Ship Centre, and if any of the existing or potential new volunteers can ‘regularise’ their time, please see Jeff at his table at the back.

The BIG EVENT has been our 15th Anniversary Celebrations which have been dominated by the magnificent musical extravaganza at our original ‘find site’ at the Riverfront Theatre. Our thanks to all those who helped to make it happen, and indeed to make sure that it was an ‘all round success’ and brought the project to ‘centre stage’ in Newport.

This is supplemented by the new Art Exhibition at Newport’s Art Gallery – “The Newport Ship through Artists’ Eyes”.  It’s open now through until mid-January and we would love people to go and see this inspiring collection – much of which has been hidden away in the museum’s basement and in the artists’ homes, now brought together for public display for the very first time.  Your visits to this exhibition would bring a positive ‘spike’ in the visitor figures for the Art Gallery and help to demonstrate the public interest in the Newport Ship.

Ship Centre Events have been varied and have sought to draw in new audiences.  The recent Acoustic Music Night built on the success of our earlier efforts and was even more successful, now with added IPA from Toby’s micro-brewery to supplement the Newport Ship Stout.  Our thanks go to the 2 folk clubs here in Newport who have each coordinated an event and done a marvellous job of it.  Book launches and talks have also featured and will hopefully be followed by more of the same.  We have continued our programme of visiting groups to ‘show and tell’ particular elements of medieval life.  Last weekend our medieval carpenter rode his shaving horse to demonstrate the ‘art’ of making treenails – and was featured on our facebook site ‘live’.

Outside Events get the project further out into the public eye.  Many thanks to Rob Kenny for his unstinting dedication to getting out and spreading the word come rain or shine!

Further efforts to give talks to groups far and near have been aided by new speakers taking some of the load.  My thanks again to Rob Kenny and also to Alan Cook who can now offer the talk in Welsh!

Big Issues

The timbers returned from York Archaeological Trust last week were decidedly few!  Whilst they took the full tank of wet timbers, their timescales for processing all of these is now probably out until mid-2019.

We still do not have a clear idea of the plans that Newport City Council might have for Heritage in general and our Ship Project in particular. We will continue to press for progress in all areas.  It is now unlikely that Newport City Council will be in a position to put in a bid for the reconstruction and display phase until at least 2020 – with the Transporter Bridge (needing urgent investment to prevent it falling down) now having been brought in ahead of us.

I am personally working with other contacts to see what pressure can be brought to bear to make progress – perhaps through other agencies.


It’s great that despite management changes at a couple of our sponsor organisations, we continue to receive their support.  Associated British Ports (ABP) continue to give financial support, and I would especially like to thank our friends at Motorpoint who willingly give us raffle prizes for our prize draws held at events, typically featuring tickets to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff to see top artistes from music and comedy.  I am happy at this point to present our contact at Motorpoint with their Certificate to show proudly in their entrance foyer.  Elvina / Chris

We will be making full use of the rest of the paint donated by Hempel UK last year to once again seal and brighten the floor of this warehouse so it is easier to keep clean for our visitors.

This last year has seen new direct support of the Friends by the Newport Branch of the Royal Naval Association, and it is hoped that this will be continued and also lead to further links with Newport Sea Cadets.

We are always seeking new sponsor companies to join us to support specific projects that we aim to run within the Ship Centre; improving and updating our displays, adding new technology to entice our younger visitors and to look forward to the creation of the cradle that will eventually support our reconstructed Ship.  If you can help us create these new links, please come and talk to me after the meeting.


We do have a hardened core of generous donors who give much needed funds to the Friends to directly support the project.  Thank you.