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About Martyn

Martyn joined National Historic Ships UK in 2005 as its first Secretariat, becoming Secretary and Director in September 2007.

Under Martyn’s dynamic leadership NHS-UK has gone from strength to strength with the provision of advice to Government, funding bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and vessel owners as well as the continued maintenance of the National Historic Ships Registers including the National Historic Fleet. Martyn was directly responsible for introducing a small grants scheme and other funding links, together with the annual photography competition, the Marsh Christian Trust volunteer awards, the Shipshape Network and associated projects.

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Leicester born and educated, he studied at St John’s College, Cambridge and the University of Leeds. His early career included teaching history at Harrogate Grammar School before serving in several roles in the Oxfordshire Museum Service. His later career fitted him out perfectly for the NHS-UK role and it must be said that his experience in maritime heritage is second to none: the former CEO of the Mary Rose Trust, Trustee and Executive of SS Great Britain and Director of Leisure for Bristol’s Historic Harbour, the Matthew project, and organizer of the first ‘International Festival of the Sea’ which Bristol hosted in 1996.

He also led the Merseyside Maritime Museum development in the early 1980s as part of the regeneration of Albert Dock in Liverpool. After Mary Rose he joined the management board of the National Trust where amongst other matters he led the successful bid to purchase Tyntesfield in Somerset, home to the Gibbs family which owned the ss Great Britain for most of its working life. He co-ordinated a large portfolio including extensive Trust holdings in Wales and Western England and led their national programme to celebrate ‘Sea Britain 2005’ and a range of projects throughout the South West commemorating the 200th anniversary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birth in 2006 before joining the Historic Ships Advisory Committee based at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

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