On Wednesday 12 June, NHS-UK were invited to St Mary Overie Dock in Southwark to see the installation of The Golden Hinde's brand new Mizzen Mast. The Golden Hinde is one of NHS-UK's Shipshape Network South East projects and the new mast was in part funded by a £700 grant from our Small Grants Scheme.

Before the Mizzen Mast was dropped into its final position, it was blessed by the Dean of nearby Southwark Cathedral.  Two coins were then placed underneath the new mast for good luck by the winners (from the Cathedral School) of The Golden Hinde's Marvellous Mizzen Mast art competition. One of the coins was a 1962 half penny featuring the original Golden Hinde, and the other a 2024 50p marking the 200th anniversary of the RNLI.

Did you know that there was a working shipyard in the heart of central London? Led by Lead Shipwright Toby Millinder, the ship's restoration - now in in its seventh year - is being carried out using like for like replacements and using traditional skills and materials.  During Covid while the ship was closed to the public, they were able to complete all the interior works, including new heating, ventilation and rewiring.

The team recently completed work to re-lay the main deck, foredeck, half deck, and forecastle.  The next stage is the poop deck, and then the team will begin work on the starboard - public-facing - side of the ship. This will be a major undertaking, involving the relocation of the ship's public entrance to the front rather than the side, and the building of a dedicated visitor centre with a shop and toilets.  Disabled access will also then be possible to about forty per cent of the ship, a long-term goal for the team.

Independently owned, The Golden Hinde is entirely self-funding, and with the loss of around 40-50% of visitor numbers since Covid, relies on a varied range of events to support ongoing maintenance and staff costs.  As we arrived, a class of schoolchildren were just leaving the ship, having spent the night sleeping on the gun deck.  The ship also runs a very popular on board escape room - 'Escape from The Golden Hinde', and other events planned for this month include live music and theatre, pirate training, a parrot puppet show, Shipyard tours, object handling sessions, family sleepovers, and more.

Huge thanks to Roddy (who has been involved with The Golden Hinde for more than 40 years!), Aimee, Rachel, Angus, Toby, and the whole team for the invite and warm welcome. Seeing the new mast lowered in place was a privilege to watch and a fantastic experience on an unseasonably cold June morning.

Read more about The Golden Hinde on our Shipshape page:

Book an event on The Golden Hinde, including Escape from the Golden Hinde, ship sleepovers, and Shipyard tours. 


The Golden Hinde shipwrights with the new mizzen mast. Zone South East