Purchased by the Hartlepool Ship Preservation Trust, Monitor M.33 was transported on a barge to Hartlepool for restoration. In the event only the funnel was restored.
Purchased by Hampshire County Council the vessel was prepared for a tow back to Portsmouth.
Berthed in Portsmouth Naval dockyard. Managed by the Royal Naval Museum on behalf of Hampshire County Council Museums Service. The ship was painted above the waterline and the forward gun installed.
Restoration was taken over by Hampshire County Council Museums Service to return the ship to its external 1915-1919 configuration.
With new masts in place she was dry docked in No.1 dry dock to allow extensive works to stabilise hull corrosion to be carried out.
The hull was made watertight and in 2000 an electrolytic technique to remove chlorides from between the riveted joints was employed, the largest artefact to receive this treatment.
Internal structural works and to 2006 external fittings were concentrated upon in this phase. Externally the ship is now as she looked in 1915-1919. Virtually all the fittings, anchors, gun-shields, etc were fabricated from scratch. A few items such as the aft gun are original First World War artefacts. The aft gun was given to the project by the Chilean Navy. It was present, and probably fired, at the Battle of Jutland as one of the aft guns on HMS Canada.
M.33 was painted in the dazzle anti-submarine camouflage she wore for most of 1918.
Hampshire County Council officially transferred M.33 to the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Heritage Lottery Fund grant application successful and work started to complete conservation and make it possible for members of the public to go on board for the first time.
by Ian Buxton