Indefatigable Figurehead refurbishment 2014: The condition of King Billy has been one of great concern for many years. Therefore unless we the IOBA intervened it would deteriorate further. As for ownership of ‘King Billy’, the Merseyside Maritime Museum – Liverpool (MMM) have full rights over ownership as the IOBA gifted King Billy to them in 1998.
Agreed at the 2014 AGM, the IOBA commissioned ‘Richard Hunter, Figurehead Historian’ to carry out a full report on the condition of King Billy. A full inspection was carried out by Richard on 11th November 2014, with the IOBA in attendance. We received the full written report on 20th November, which concluded urgent restoration was needed to reverse the decline. So members of the IOBA set the ball rolling for any forthcoming sponsors, including the MMM. The cost of the report was £160 as agreed at the 2014 AGM.
The report concluded that full restoration would cost £2,500 made up of two payments of 50%. Full details are within the report and is available on request from Steve Humphries (available to fully paid members of the IOBA).
On the 13th May 2015 the ‘Curator of Maritime History and Technology (MMM)’ reported that the MMM was unable to allocate any funds from the current or next years financial year towards the ’King Billy Figurehead restoration project. The Museum stated that the figurehead was in a stable condition, but obviously in need of work, therefore the decision of the IOBA was whether to wait to see if the museum could allocate funds from future budgets, or whether the IOBA felt the work needed to be undertaken, meaning the full cost being met by IOBA.’
The Museum spent some time looking at grants but alas none fitted this type of object or which the MMM is eligible to apply for.
Indefatigable Figurehead refurbishment 2015: Richard Hunter planned to work on King Billy towards late summer 2015, then the Museum had been instructed that our monies had to go direct via them rather straight to Richard Hunter, and so the money £2.5k was given to the MMM. All funds we donated to the MMM remained ring-fenced for this project, and the ‘Curator‘ continued to liaise with Richard.
Indefatigable Figurehead refurbishment 2016: Work on the figurehead first phase started on 5th September, and a Photo Diary will be updated here with;
Refurbisment Phase One
We would like to personally thank all those members of the IOBA for the incredible generosity for raising £2.500 needed for the project, and £1,000 from an IOBA member who wishes to remain anonymous. Our thanks also goes to Richard Hunter, Figurehead Historian and Ben Whittaker – Curator of Maritime History and Technology.
Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool. L3 4AQ / Tel: 0151 478 4401