January 3, 2010

They Save Houses Don't They?

Restored and sailing for the second time, The Star of India sails with a fleet in attendance, 1984.

Us’selves: He volunteers, I launder and write. It’s a good rhythm for the day.

Herself: Few people ever mention sex in OD.

Reading: Mindless books. Must be where my brain is.

Balance: Actually thinking beyond the surface on some small things.

There is something really exciting happening in Rotterdam next month. Historic. I love it.

Almost every town, big or small, has a historical society. Sometimes it was Grandpa Mathews who collected farm implements in his historic barn which started it. Or Mrs. Grace Oglebie saved every bit of town history here in her living room then donated her house to the town. That sort of thing.

Sometimes, in the biggest sense, whole towns are saved. Williamsburg. Think of one man doing that. I was married in Bruton Parish Church before one had to pay to get in….but I digress.

Sometimes Whole museums are devoted to trains, and sometimes ships are saved. Almost any river town or city near the ocean has a Maritime Historical Society. Sometimes it’s just a rowing or punting club. There are some wonderful stops on the byways where you can see shining varnish hanging high up in the rafters of a time greyed building. Here our greyed building is the USS Midway. Up and down every coast you can find these buildings and organizations all carefully saving their piece of the ocean’s history.

Few of the giant modern commercial ships were saved. We have a Victory ship here and a landing craft there, but we have only four liners open for viewing that document “the only way to cross” the oceans until the jets took over the skies.

In Long Beach we have the HMS Queen Mary….the epitome of British Deco styling. In Japan there is the Hikawa Maru.... designed at the height of the 1920’s. We have the magic 1960’s QE2....her fate now hanging in the balance as the country which bought her says it is broke.

The fourth, in Holland, there’s a much anticipated, exciting moment arriving in February when the Rotterdam is opened as a hotel and meeting center. From Maritime Matters News page comes this news:

“After years of speculation and restoration, from lay up in the Bahamas and moving between various shipyards in Gibraltar, Poland and Wilhelmshaven, Germany, she returned to her former Holland America Line homeport, the city of Rotterdam, on August 4, 2008. For Aad Hoogesteger's latest images of her splendidly restored interiors, please visit www.aadhoogesteger.nl/bezoekssrotterdam.”


  1. I love these restored masterpieces - be they houses, ships, or whole towns. I love the honor of the past and the recognition of the wonderful architecture and decor and the times of our lives.

    I find that I also wish that there was a way to restore and continue use - maybe that is just keeping up with things daily. I wonder if we don't do that so well these days (respect what we have and care for it) or if things are truly made to be disposable (made to break at the end of their warrenty?). The very idea makes me sad. I wonder how much truth there is to it, and if there is any changing it. Any demands of society and consumers that would turn the tide of manufacturers.

    Well now, here I am on a sidebar where I didn't mean to be, and what I really meant to say is how delighted I am that restorations are occuring, and how glad I am that you shared!!!

    Thanks for your encouragement on all my movements forward. I figure we needed a little excitement around here. :)

  2. I enjoy your perspective on this and can see why it is your passion. If you were with me when exploring these old museums I am sure that I would enjoy them so much more.

  3. I love these small and specific places of history. FYI my Senior Prom was on the Queen Mary in Long Beach! LOL!

  4. I didn't realise they keep ships as restoration pieces. Imagine a historical monument being transported to various harbours. How marvelous. Living in an UNESCO city, where the whole city is declared a historical monument, it's fun to think of people collecting and creating their own historically significant places.

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