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Keeping Polly Woodside shipshape

06 Oct 2016

Keeping Polly Woodside shipshape Image

The State Government is helping to restore South Wharf’s most-loved historic tourist attraction, 1885 former cargo vessel Polly Woodside.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced last month that the vessel would receive $500,000 through the Living Heritage program.

The funding will be used for conservation works identified in a recent audit by Heritage Victoria, including urgent specialist repairs to deteriorating timbers such as degraded margin boards, pin rails and timber masts.

Mr Wynne said that, while the hull was watertight, the vessel’s survival as an accessible museum and education resource required ongoing safety works.

“Victoria is lucky to have a ship like Polly Woodside, which people can explore and even mop its decks and restoration funding means it will be a well-maintained and accessible tourist attraction for years to come,” he said.

“Heritage sites draw huge tourist numbers and, with the right support and maintenance, we can preserve Victoria’s rich history for more people to experience.”

The 1885 three-masted English iron barque operated as a cargo vessel carrying coal, nitrate and wheat across the globe for about 40 years before it was dismantled to serve as a coal hulk in 1923.

Following a decade of restoration, it was opened to the public in 1978 at the Duke’s and Orr’s Dry Dock at South Wharf by the National Trust.

Chairman of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Kristin Stegley said the grant funding would secure the future of the ship and support the many hours of volunteer labour put into its restoration and maintenance.

“This exciting announcement will enable the National Trust to undertake some much-needed conservation work on a rare surviving example of a 19th century barque,” she said.

“Polly Woodside has welcomed many visitors since it opened in 1978, and as the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) celebrates its 60th anniversary, this grant will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the tall ship for future generations.”

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