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4th February 2019

Two historic cast iron cannon will go on display in Museums Quarter, High Street from Tuesday 5 February, following extensive conservation, preserving their significance for future generations.

A team of five volunteers spent a total of 80 hours carefully working to conserve the two cannons dating back to 1798.

The conservation of the much-loved two hundred year-old sea service cannon, which have sat outside the Maritime Museum since its opening in the 1970s, has been undertaken as part of the £27.4m Hull: Yorkshire Maritime City project, funded by Hull City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Philippa Beesley, Conservation and Engagement Officer for Hull’s Yorkshire Maritime City project, said: “This was a hugely rewarding project to see the transformation the cannons underwent. It was also fascinating for me and the volunteers to learn more about the cannons through the conservation process.”

Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, said: “This meticulous work has been undertaken with the supervision from the conservation officer, offering people the opportunity to treat historic artefacts and objects to ensure they will be re-displayed whilst learning vital skills in a specialist area.

The end result is fantastic and will take pride of place outside the Museums Quarter so visitors can continue to enjoy these much loved artefacts while the exciting work gets underway at the museum.

Volunteer, Alan Balcam who worked on the restoration, said: “It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to work on such an iconic piece of Hull's historic past.”

Trevor Evans, another volunteer who spent many hours working on them, said: “It was a great pleasure to work on the cannons as part of our city’s heritage.”

At the start of the project the volunteers had the fun task of cleaning litter deposited inside the barrels over their years outside, including a whole plastic bottle. They have now been fitted with wooden plugs known as tompions in the barrels to protect them. The carriages were also re-painted with any areas of wood loss filled.

Over the years the painted surface on both the wood and the metal had suffered. About 40 hours was spent removing old paint in order to treat the ferrous metal surface with a rust converter and re-painting the cannons using a conservation grade paint to further protect them against the elements

The treatment removed old paint layers and cleaned the surfaces before applying new coatings.

The cannon will be on public display in the Museums Quarter from Tuesday 5 February.

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