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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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TV’s Tony full of praise for museum attraction

A TV legend has been singing the praises of a tourist attraction that was under threat 12 months ago.

Tony Robinson, best known for his role as Baldrick in the comedy series Blackadder and more recently as presenter of Time Team, visited the Dock Museum, in Barrow, as part of a documentary about the Holland-class submarines.

The submarines were built by the then Vickers shipyard in Barrow and were the first to be commissioned into the Royal Navy.

Mr Robinson, 66, said: “This was my first visit to Barrow since I was a kid. We used to come on holiday to the Lake District.

“I was absolutely blown away by the Dock Museum.

“A big pat on the back is deserved by Barrow Borough Council to be able to sustain it during such difficult times.

“It really is a jewel in the crown.”

Mr Robinson said Barrow’s submarine building history was central to the story of the Holland-class submarines.

An early example of the subs is currently being excavated in the Solent, near Southampton.

Mr Robinson is also filming at Barrow’s docks to help tell the tale of the subs.

The first boat, Holland One, was launched in secret in 1901 but was lost in 1913 while being towed to be decommissioned – the boat was recovered in 1982 and put on display at the Royal Navy Museum in Gosport.

The boats, named Holland One to Holland Five were commissioned between 1903 and 1914 and boats three, four and five all sank.

Holland Five was lost off the Sussex coast in 1912 and in 1973 was designated as a protected wreck site in January 2005.

Mr Robinson added: “There was the hugest gulf between the Holland-class and the Astute-class we are seeing now.

“It would be like comparing a stay at the Grand Metropole to a B&B.

“They don’t compare.”

Mr Robinson said the documentary is due to be aired by Channel 4 some time between Christmas and Easter.


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