Warship replica restored to glory in South Tyneside display

The scale model is being displayed at Hebburn Central.
The scale model is being displayed at Hebburn Central.

A little piece of shipbuilding heritage has found a new mooring in South Tyneside.

A scale model of British warship HMS Pique – built at Palmers shipyard in Jarrow in the late 19th century – had previously been kept at Hebburn Community Centre before it was closed and demolished two years ago.

But now the original builder’s model – designed to a 1:48 scale – is on display in the main foyer of Hebburn Central community hub, having been expertly restored by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion, said: “We are delighted that the scale model of HMS Pique has been beautifully restored and is now on show for people visiting Hebburn Central.”

HMS Pique was an Apollo class cruiser, launched in December 1890 and before being sold to breakers in May 1911. The model has all the features of the original ship, including guns, stanchions, walkways, rigging and lifeboats.

However, when it was recovered, many of the deck fittings were found to be either damaged or dislodged from their original position or were missing.

Coun Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council said: “The original full-size vessel was built at the world famous Palmers shipyard, which sadly collapsed in 1933, plunging Jarrow into mass unemployment and sparking the famous Jarrow Crusade to London.

“The company still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of local residents, with this fascinating display serving as a fitting acknowledgement of the borough’s rich and proud shipbuilding and seafaring heritage.”