WW1: Able Seaman Victor Ferrar

Able Seaman Victor Ferrar Victor Ferrar was born at 95 Victoria Road, Dundee, on 22 June 1897, the only son of William and Mary Ferrar. The Ferrars ran a jewellery business in the High Street in Dundee, premises occupied today by Timpsons. They were also active social reformers, William serving for two years on Dundee School Board before dying of heart failure aged 45 at the family home, 61½ Perth Road, in 1911.A pupil at Dundee’s Harris Academy, Victor was also a highly talented musician...
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Design Blog: HMS Unicorn – An Evolutionary Ship

Design Blog: HMS Unicorn - An Evolutionary Ship As we celebrate one month since the opening of V&A Dundee, we thought it timely to explore Unicorn’s fascinating design and incredible 194 year history.Interestingly, V&A Dundee is actually built on the location of Unicorn’s original home in Earl Grey Dock when she arrived in the city in 1873. There she stayed until 1962 before moving to her current home at Victoria Dock. An important part of Dundee history, she easily predates most of...
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Design Blog: Wheel, Tiller & Rudder

Design Blog:  Wheel, Tiller & Rudder The combination of the wheel, tiller and rudder provides the means by which HMS Unicorn would be steered. Despite their crucial importance to the sailing of the ship, they would, at first glance at least, seem to offer little in the way of a challenge to the designer. In fact, this is not the case, and the arrangement of the wheel, tiller, and rudder, and their respective geometries presents significant problems that the designer must accommodate....
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Whistle While You Work: Music of Maritime Life

An Onboard Expedition! On 16th May, HMS Unicorn launched its latest exhibition. ‘Whistle While You Work: Music of Maritime Life’ will immerse visitors in soundscapes and bring Unicorn to life through song. This exhibition is the work of two postgraduate Museum and Gallery Studies students at the University of St Andrews: Eilidh Lawrence and S.M Parker.As part of the course, students are offered the opportunity to undertake a project specified by a local host organisation, to get hands-on ex...
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When Hollywood came to HMS Unicorn

She was one of the most famous stars of her day and one of the highest paid film stars of the 1930s but did you know that in 1949 this Hollywood star graced the decks of HMS Unicorn? Gracie Fields was born, over a fish-and-chip shop, in Rochdale, Lancashire in 1898 and started her career in revue in the late 1900s. ‘Our Gracie’, as she became known, was a singer, actress and comedian who was famous for her Northern, working-class character.  So much of a box office draw was she that in 1937 she...
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HMS Unicorn and the Terror connection

The Franklin ExpeditionTo coincide with the broadcast of AMC’s The Terror, based on Dan Simmons’ book of the same name (24 April on BT Channel 332/381 HD or Sky channel 192) we take a look at the remarkable connection between HMS Unicorn and the Franklin expedition of 1845.The Terror, produced by Ridley Scott and Dave Kajganich, tells the story of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition but with an added supernatural twist.Franklin's lost Arctic exploration was a British voya...
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A Unique Ship with Remarkable History

The Unicorn, of 40 guns, from Chatham Dock-yard on the 30th ult.; she is ordered to be docked, to be coppered, and put in a state of ordinary. Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, 8 April 1824Welcome to HMS Unicorn’s brand new Ship’s Blog and what better subject to launch this new venture on the digital high seas than a piece commemorating our beloved ship’s own launch, which took place 194 years ago on 30th March 1824.HMS Unicorn is a rather special old girl with an impressive and cur...
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