Anyone in their late 40’s or older will be able to tell you about the day King Henry VIII’s lost warship. The Mary Rose was raised from its centuries-old resting place at the bottom of the Solent.
The date was 11 October 1982, and millions of Britons, young and old huddled around proper, square television sets known as ‘boxes’ to watch the event of the century.
BBC1, BBC2 & Mary Rose
The salvage operation was aired live on all 2 channels that Britain had back then, and the anticipation was almost unbearable, as delay after delay caused excitable children to be late for school for want of seeing history come alive in their own living rooms.
We waited, all of us, for what seemed like hours to see the glorious Tudor warship emerge from the murky, magical, gurgling expanse. We wondered how magnificent would be its main, mizzen, and fore masts.
Its pennants unfurl and bluster in the valiant winds over the English coastline, and its ornate stern castle and balcony rise majestically from the stygian depths of the Solent.
The entire nation was mesmerised as though we all were sharing the same nautical, Tudor dream. Would King Henry himself rise up with his ship, proudly commanding the poop deck, fat hands on hips, glorying in his and his vessel’s heroic resurrection? None of us could be sure. And then… and then… something began to arise! Here it comes! Here it comes!…
What the f*ck?
Is that it? That pile of shitty, wet planks of wood that look like they’ve just been fly-tipped by a fat labourer from the back of a stolen transit van? Seriously? F*ck that, let’s go to school.
Vessel Enthusiasts Can Be Forgotten
Today, however, after forty long years of waiting, the massive sense of anticlimax felt that day by millions of fairweather, Carrack-class, marine vessel enthusiasts can be forgotten. For the REAL Mary Rose has been discovered beneath the River Deben at Whisstocks Quay in Woodbridge!
Just as we all suspected, that pile of crap they dragged out of the Solent in 1982 – which is still on display in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – was not the real Mary Rose. It couldn’t have been. It was just so… disappointing.
Even Better Than The Real Thing
Having been hauled out of the mud at the bottom of the quay by a tractor a week last Thursday, The REAL THING – the real, ACTUAL MARY ROSE was showed-off being sailed successfully around the quay in a way that the fake 1980’s Mary Rose could only dream of.
The ‘Suffolk Schooner VIII’ as she has been dubbed by tipsy locals, is everything the 80s Mary Rose wasn’t – a fully intact hull and main deck, including cross-strut seating. Its main mast still stands proud, secured by some basic, single-rope rigging. There are even a couple of oars on deck.
Local Naval confirmed its Mary Rose
We spoke to the Mayor of Casterbridge who said of the resurrection of the great ship of war “The great seafaring people of Suffolk are rightly proud of this great discovery. Suffolk will now forever be linked with heroic King Henry VIII and his beloved Mary Rose. And that’s not all. Next week we are going to start looking for local naval hero Horatio Nelson’s H.M.S. Victory which we believe is located on the bed, five miles from the coast of Thorpeness.”