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Highlights from Hidden Treasures from the Mary Rose

PUBLISHED: 12:24 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 20 February 2013

Mary Rose collections manager Andy Elkerton with Whitgift School headmaster Dr Christopher Barnett

Mary Rose collections manager Andy Elkerton with Whitgift School headmaster Dr Christopher Barnett

Having been involved with the ship since 1979, Andy Elkerton, collections manager at the Mary Rose, never imagined in his 30 years that they would be holding a major exhibition further afield than the ship's Pompey home. Here are a few of the thin...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2009

Having been involved with the ship since 1979, Andy Elkerton, collections manager at the Mary Rose, never imagined in his 30 years that they would be holding a major exhibition further afield than the ship's Pompey home. Here are a few of the things he is most excited about with the upcoming exhibition...



  • The ship will be closed off at the end of this year, with the new museum being built around it, and no one will be able to see her properly again until 2016. So it's nice to get these things out and about and make them more accessible to people who might not be able to get down to Portsmouth.

  • We've never displayed the dog before. I mean, we know she's a mongrel and her size but even we've never seen her complete!

  • For this exhibition, we are working on two facial reconstructions. So, for the first time, the crew will make a comeback, as it were.

  • Many of the objects have never even been on show in Portsmouth. The musical instruments, the drum, the tabor pipe and beater - none of them have been on display. Many interesting things have been found out about them, one of which is that they were all tuned to play ensemble. So, they were rather like the admiral's jukebox!

  • Everyone always goes on about the surgeon's hat - there was a hat found rolled up in the surgeon's cabin. Well, he was a man of some standing and social status. In fact, there was also another surgeon's hat, which nobody ever talks about, along with a syringe and some containers further down the ship. But we have only ever shown the first and never the second before.

  • With one of the books that we're bringing up for the exhibition, there is actually some fragmentary Latin text that has survived. It's such a fluke of preservation - incredible.

  • The sword is coming up, too. Most of the swords we've got are just a handle really because steel just doesn't tend to survive. This one only survived because it was on the outside of the ship and it got pressed down. It was near to another bigger piece of iron, which acted in an electrolytic fashion.

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