Home > Consumer > Explosive new attraction on the South Coast

Explosive new attraction on the South Coast

Added: (Wed Feb 14 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The fuse is burning down on an explosive new attraction on the South Coast. In less than five weeks Explosion!, an exciting, interactive new museum opens its doors to the public at Gosport in Hampshire. Explosion! tells the story of naval firepower from gunpowder to the Exocet missile. A new brochure out now gives a taste of the excitement to be unveiled on Saturday 24 March together with details of entry times, facilities and how to get there.

Michael Nutt, General Manager said, “ Excitement is growing as we get closer to the opening. This is a great new destination for all the family. Explosion! is going to blow your socks off.”

An explosive opening weekend will feature special events around a WWII theme, including characters in period costume, demonstrations and special treats for hard working mothers on Mothering Sunday.

Housed in historic 18th century buildings at Priddy’s Hard, the Navy’s former armaments depot, the £3.5 million museum has been funded by the Millennium Commission as part of the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Millennium Scheme.

Exhibits range from 18th century muskets to the Exocet missile, including the Big Gun Gallery featuring the only 15inch breech in the UK. Explosion! traces the development of naval armaments from the Battle of Trafalgar to the Gulf War and explores the fascinating social history of Priddy’s Hard, including the vital role played by thousands of female munitions workers during two world wars. The museum will be open everyday except the Christmas Bank Holidays and there are special tickets deals available. For bookings and information call 023 9258 6341 or visit our web site: www.explosion.org.uk

For further information and images please contact Bill Sainsbury on 023 9260 1316
email: bsainsbury@gosport.gov.uk
Editor’s Notes:
A description of the visitor’s view at Explosion!:
A recreated locker room reveals Priddy’s Hard through the eyes of those who worked there, filling the space with ghosts and memories. Then visitors step back to ‘The Age of Fighting Sail‘ to discover gunpowder and how barrels were made to store it. In the Designer’s Workshop, the museum’s spectacular collection of muskets, pistols and rifles will be displayed. Visitors will then see a major audio-visual show, ‘The Priddy’s Hard Story’, a 15 minute sequence presented in the vast, brick-vaulted Grand Magazine, the original gunpowder store of 1770.

In the Mines Gallery, with lighting and sound effects creating a submarine environment, and floating mines suspended above their heads, visitors can imagine they are walking along the seabed. Visitors then return to the surface in the museum’s largest gallery devoted to naval battleship gunnery and step aboard the gundeck of a naval battleship. The story of firing the navy’s big guns is illustrated with spectacular exhibits, computer interactives and hands-on displays like the moving gun platform, which simulates the pitching of a ship at sea.

The museum’s extensive collection of torpedoes reveals unexpected connections with Llamas and the Sound of Music, and the Missiles Gallery brings the story right up to date with the modern developments that are replacing traditional naval guns and projectiles.

After their tour, visitors can relax in the harbour-side café which opens out on to the museum’s delightful camber dock. This is where the powder hoys once would have moored and which now offers stunning views across the top of Portsmouth Harbour to the Naval Base, HMS Victory and Portchester Castle. Seating 40 people (with additional seating outside in fine weather) and serving a range of light snacks and refreshments, the café will also have displays on ‘Feeding the Boys’ – the story of Gosport’s vital role in supplying the navy’s fleets from the neighbouring Royal Clarence victualling yard. To end and provide a memento of the visit, Explosion! also will have a well-stocked gift shop.

For further information please contact Bill Sainsbury on 023 9260 1316
email: bsainsbury@gosport.gov.uk

Background Information

Explosion! will be the centrepiece of a 22 acre Heritage Area acquired by Gosport Borough Council from the Ministry of Defence in 1994. A triangular peninsula bordered on two sides by Portsmouth Harbour, the other by 18th century ramparts, the Heritage Area is made up of extensive parkland and historic buildings. In due course these will house a range of leisure uses including waterside bars and restaurants and an antiques/crafts centre. The European KONVER programme and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) for the site’s infrastructure works -service roads, car parking, power supplies and drainage - have funded a £1.5 million scheme.

The project is also accompanied by major transport infrastructure improvements. Priddy’s Hard will be linked to the main A32 by a new access road, financed by the house-builders developing the adjacent site. A new pedestrian bridge, funded by Millennium Commission grant, will connect the site to the rest of the Gosport waterfront and the town centre, carrying the Millennium Promenade which runs for 3km to the Submarine Museum. A road-train will service the site from the Town Centre and a network of waterbuses will bring visitors across the Harbour.

Booking Information

Bookings from March 2001. Allow around 2 to 3 hours for your visit.

Free parking on site. Gift shop and café.

Opening hours
1000-1730 April-October, 1000-1630 November-March
(Closed 25, 26 Dec, 1 Jan)

Prices :
Adults £5
Senior citizens £4
Children (6-16 yrs), Students, Disabled (Carers Free), in receipt of benefit £3
Groups & School Parties: Party Rates available

Combine a visit to Explosion! with a visit to the Royal Naval Submarine Museum or Action Stations and save pounds!!!

For further information please contact Bill Sainsbury on 023 9260 1316
email: bsainsbury@gosport.gov.uk

Submitted by:
Disclaimer: Pressbox disclaims any inaccuracies in the content contained in these releases. If you would like a release removed please send an email to remove@pressbox.co.uk together with the url of the release.