People in Great Yarmouth believe shipwreck 'should be kept in the town'

People enjoying Great Yarmouth beach, where the 340-year-old Gloucester shipwreck has been discovere

People enjoying Great Yarmouth beach, where the 340-year-old Gloucester shipwreck has been discovered offshore - Credit: Denise Bradley

"Put it in a museum and keep it in Great Yarmouth."

That is what the majority of people we spoke to think should happen to the Gloucester, a 340-year-old shipwreck which was discovered 45km off the town's coast.

The Wreck of the Gloucester off Yarmouth, 6 May 1682, by Johan Danckerts, 1682

The Wreck of the Gloucester off Great Yarmouth, 6 May 1682, by Johan Danckerts, 1682. The ship carried the future King of England - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On Friday afternoon, we visited Yarmouth seafront and asked people what they thought should happen to the shipwreck.

Synglitiki Demetriou, 53, with her dog Teddy, seven, at Great Yarmouth.

Synglitiki Demetriou, 53 - with her dog Teddy, seven - said she would definitely visit the HMS Gloucester if it was kept in a museum in the town. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Local resident Synglitiki Demetriou, 53, said: "I think it's amazing to find something like that. It's not something you would see in a lifetime, so it would be great to put it in a museum like the Mary Rose.

"It would also bring more tourists in. It's what the town needs.

"Put it in a museum, keep it here and people would come. I definitely would."

Christine Giles, 78, at Great Yarmouth.

Christine Giles, 78, said people should be able to see inside HMS Gloucester, whether the real thing or in photos. - Credit: Denise Bradley

On a day visit from Norwich, Christine Giles, 78, said it would be interesting to see if the Gloucester could be raised.

She said: "The Barnwell brothers did a great job in finding the ship and deserve something for doing so. I think it should be kept in a museum.

Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, who discovered the wreck of The Gloucester which sank 340 years ago

Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, who discovered the wreck of The Gloucester which sank 340 years ago, holding some of the artifacts they discovered - Credit: Danielle Booden

"While it's down there, nobody can see it. But, I suppose there's a danger of it disintegrating if it was brought out of the sea.

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"Perhaps, if they left it and photographed it like the titanic, that would be okay.

"I think we should be able to see inside it though."

Alex Baker, 37, with his sister-in-law, Tyler Baker, at Great Yarmouth.

Alex Baker, 37 - with his sister-in-law, Tyler Baker - said the shipwreck should be preserved in a museum. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Alex Baker, 37, was visiting Great Yarmouth with his family from Milton Keynes. He said the ship should be raised and kept in the town.

"Why should it stay where it is? It will just rot otherwise," said Mr Baker.

"People should be able to see inside - it's our heritage. Something like the Mary Rose museum would be good."

Mr Baker said the Barnwell brothers should be allowed to be the owners of the wreck.

"Finders keepers at the end of the day," he added. "There's probably all sorts down there. It’s for everyone to see and the brothers to keep."

Mr Baker added that if the Gloucester was successfully raised, it should be housed in a museum based in the town.

"It would be expensive to preserve but the tourists will pay to see it," he said.

"Great Yarmouth is a very cultural town and it would be in everyone's interest to preserve it and make it a focal point." 

Cay Lewis-Merrick, 25, from Manchester, at Great Yarmouth.

Cay Lewis-Merrick, 25, from Manchester, said the HMS Gloucester should be laid to rest where it is. - Credit: Denise Bradley

One person had another idea for the future of the wreck.

Cay Lewis-Merrick, who is visiting the town from Manchester, said she thinks it should be left in the sea.

The 25-year-old said: "It's cool that it's been found. But it needs to lay to rest there.

"It would be so expensive to pull it out safely - think of what you could do with that money.

"It’s at peace. Let it alone."

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Councillor Carl Smith leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Carl Smith said the discovery was "fantastic news".

"This is such an amazing thing for Great Yarmouth, for Norfolk and the rest of the country.

"Great Yarmouth is making headlines all over the world today and it is a big boost. It will be brilliant for our tourism industry.

"We'll look to see if we can permanently get the collection here, but there is a lot of work to do now.

"Just think what a fantastic tourist attraction that would be for Yarmouth."

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, congratulated the team who discovered and verified the wreck of the Gloucester.

Mr Lewis said: “The discovery of the Gloucester is fantastic news, and I am sure will significantly advance our understanding of this crucial part of our nation’s history.

"I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this work, and look forward to hearing about new discoveries, some of which I am hopeful will eventually be displayed in Great Yarmouth.”

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. P

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Lord Dannatt, Norfolk deputy lieutenant, announced plans to launch the 1682 Trust, which will be dedicated to helping establish a permeant home for some of the treasures recovered from HMS Gloucester.