HRH The Princess Royal makes visit to Newport cultural icons

Two of Newport’s cultural icons, the Newport Medieval Ship and the Newport Transporter Bridge, were in the spotlight on Friday after receiving a visit from HRH The Princess Royal.


Her Royal Highness received a warm welcome at both sites from staff and volunteers, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE, the council’s chief executive and senior officers, and Councillor Jane Mudd, leader of the council and cabinet member for economic growth and strategic investment.

At the Newport Ship centre, Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the works, from the initial excavation through to the current day, as well as future plans. Her Royal Highness also became the first person to sign the centre’s brand-new visitor book.

Bridge blue sky.jpg

Students and professors from Cardiff University were on hand to talk about some of the artefacts that were found during the excavations, and how these have been conserved.

Her Royal Highness was also able to step back in time to experience what life was like on the ship, thanks to a virtual reality headset which the project team has developed in conjunction with researchers at Swansea University.

Her Royal Highness has a keen interest in engineering, so naturally a visit to the city’s engineering icon, the Newport Transporter Bridge, was a must.

The Princess Royal heard about the history of Newport’s most famous landmark, how it operates, before hearing from principal contractor VolkerLaser about the restoration work they are carrying out.

Her Royal Highness then met with volunteers and members of the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge, before meeting with staff and students from Coleg Gwent.

The students, who are on an illustration course at the college, have been involved with the project as part of our community engagement programme, and it is their illustrations which can be found on the hoardings outside the visitor centre.

As a commemoration of the visits, Her Royal Highness was presented with a book on the history of the Newport Ship, as well as a photographic essay book of the Transporter Bridge.

Commenting on the visit, Councillor Mudd said: “It was an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, to Newport to showcase the great work at both the Newport Ship and the Transporter Bridge.

“Both are key parts in the story of Newport. They show our heritage as a trading port, and an industrial city. They evoke memories of the past, and deserve to be celebrated by generations to come.

“They are our past, our identity, and thanks to the dedication and hard work of our officers, and the support of funders, volunteers and visitors, they have a bright future ahead.”

“It was privilege for our business and our site team to have the opportunity to talk to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, about the works that VolkerLaser is undertaking on the historic landmark that is the Newport Transporter Bridge. It is a technically challenging project, where we are demonstrating our business' specialist skills in managing the engineering improvements with sensitivity to this historic structure. The Princess Royal showed great interest in all aspects of the works we were doing with our client and design partners.”

Ben Joyce Managing Director