If you are interested in Britain’s maritime heritage and particularly inspired by the story of the Royal Navy we invite you to join The Friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory. The Friends were formed in 1976 to support the newly created Royal Naval Museum and have assisted by helping to finance specific projects, purchasing and collecting important items and providing volunteers.
Friends privileges include free entry to the Museum and HMS Victory and through reciprocal agreements free access to the Royal Marines Museum, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. Friends receive regular issues of our newsletter 'Scuttlebutt' and are welcome to attend the lectures, lunches and other events held throughout the year. Go to Join The Friends link on the left hand column for full details of all membership privileges including our newsletter Scuttlebutt,
In association with other local friends groups, visits are jointly arranged to places of interest, locally, nationally and occasionally overseas.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) *
The Museum is based in the Georgian Storehouses in the Heritage Area of Her Majesty’s Naval Base at Portsmouth and tells the story of the Royal Navy since its inception. Award-winning exhibitions completed under the first phase of a multi-million pound redevelopment plan include the History of the Sailing Navy and Nelson, the great naval commander. The Victory Gallery is the link with HMS Victory telling the story of the ship, and includes the Trafalgar Experience which allows the visitor to understand and experience battle on the gun-deck of a British sailing warship. The Friends financed and commissioned a quarter scale model of HMS Victory’s original figurehead as their contribution to phase I of the redevelopment programme and this has now been installed at the entrance of the Victory Gallery. The Museum is now planning a major exhibition of its 20th century collections.
Since 1922 the Society of Nautical Research has shouldered the task of restoring HMS Victory to her condition at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Ministry of Defence continues to carry out the main structural repairs to the hull and rigging and much work is being carried out to restore the interior to original condition. The Friends are helping to finance some of the replica items that will be displayed in the restored areas.
The Museum’s Boats
The Museum’s boats include the steam pinnace which was built a century ago and has now been restored to operational condition; the boiler and engine having been restored with the aid of a grant from the Friends. The pinnace is used in and around Portsmouth Harbour for Royal and ceremonial occasions and manned and maintained by volunteers.
(* In 2010, the Royal Naval Museum became a subsidiary of the newly-formed National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) and changed its name. The NMRN, a registered charity (No 1126283), is an umbrella organisation set up to provide a coherent voice and strategy for the preservation and interpretation of the country's Naval heritage as a whole. As a first step, the NMRN is embracing the Royal Naval Museum and its sister Naval museums - the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Royal Marines Museum and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum - and the visitor-facing services of HMS Victory (the ship remaining in commission for the foreseeable future). The Friends of the Royal Naval Museum will be considering their position in relation to the NMRN as its strategy develops, but in the meantime they will continue to devote their efforts to improving the visitor experience and collections care provided by the Museum at its location in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.)