AFTER HOURS AT FORT NELSON - Friday, 9 May 2014
Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson will ring to the power and might of the big guns as the museum opens its doors after hours next Friday (May 16) as part of the Culture24 national event – Museums at Night.
This themed event allows visitors to explore the Fort as twilight falls and see three outstanding exhibits from Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery, fired by specialist uniformed gun crews.
Other activities include “hands on history” presentations and talks in the museum’s galleries and the chance to explore the 19th-century Fort’s tunnels, re-created hospital and barrack room.
- A firing of the 32-pounder Victorian breech loader, by Portsdown Artillery Volunteers, from its position in the North Caponier – as featured on the BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys’ series when Michael Portillo visited the Fort in 2012. Visitors will feel the ground shake as the gun’s immense power is released in an explosion of sound and smoke.
- A chance to witness the agility of the Second World War Sexton self-propelled gun, fired by Ubique Right of the Line, as its roars around the Fort’s Parade, bringing this out-of-hours’ event to a climactic close. This mobile 25 pounder was a powerful force for the Royal Artillery, used for example on D-Day in 1944 and during the following invasion of Normandy.
- A firing of the 105mm Pack Howitzer, dated 1980, which saw active service with the Argentine army during the Falklands War and in border conflicts between India and Pakistan. This example was taken by the British Forces in 1982, after it was abandoned outside Port Stanley.
Fort operations manager Nigel Hosier said, “The event is designed to appeal to all ages, particularly family groups as well as those interested in artillery and is a novel chance to see the Fort at night – hopefully as the sun goes down, weather permitting.”
The event forms part of Museums at Night – Culture24’s festival which inspires after-hours cultural events at museums, galleries and heritage sites across Britain.
Admission is from 6pm, priced at £4 for adults – children’s admission is free (under 16s). The event ends at 9pm. Due to space restrictions, some activities will have limited capacity.
For more information and the latest news about Fort Nelson and the Royal Armouries:
Notes to editors
- Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour and has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first British national museum to open a permanent presence in another country
- Admission to the museum is free. However, there may be a small charge for some special events.
- Open all year daily, 10am-5pm. Closed 24-25 December
- Information Line: 0113 220 1999
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.
- Background – Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, Fort Nelson showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery, down the ages and from across the globe. In 2011, this unique heritage attraction underwent a £3.5m redevelopment to create a museum for the 21st century, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, complete with new galleries, state-of-the-art education centre and visitor facilities.