The Trust owns and manages Action Stations, a fully interactive experience based on a Type 23 frigate which puts the visitor inside a modern warship – in the operations room, on the bridge, in the gun turret, in the cockpit of a naval helicopter and on the training ground of the Royal Marines.
A 25-minute James Bond-style film, Command Approved (PG), sets the scene and shows HMS Monarch in combat with gold bullion pirates in the south seas.
Visitors then have the opportunity to practise the skills they have seen in the film on the interactive displays in the exhibition. For those not wishing to take the controls themselves a hydraulic simulator offers a ride in either the cockpit of a Sea Harrier, the pirates’ helicopter or the Marines’ Rigid Raider fast assault boat.
In 2005 the Trust added InterAction, which explains in a fun and hands-on way the science and technology pioneered by the defence industry, much of which has application to our everyday lives.
The No6 Cinema, an evening art house venue, was established in 2006 in Action Stations and shows both popular general release films as well as an eclectic mix of productions not usually available outside London.
The Dockyard Apprentice Exhibition
Mounted in partnership with the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Historical Trust, the Dockyard Apprentice Exhibition in Boathouse 7 enables visitors to clock in as an apprentice and learn the skills used by generations of craftsmen.
Members of the Historical Trust’s Support Group maintain the exhibition and over the years have added many examples of apprentices’ test pieces made in the Dockyard. The exhibition also boasts the finest collection of oilcans and blowlamps in the world!
Portsmouth Harbour Tours
The Trust leases its landing jetty in the Historic Dockyard to Wightline Ferries for the provision of boat tours round Portsmouth Harbour. The use of large, comfortable boats with full undercover facilities has made the harbour tour one of the most popular attractions in the Historic Dockyard. With an amusing and informative commentary they enable visitors to appreciate the full extent of the operational Naval Base, to see at close quarters the modern warships berthed alongside, and to understand how the harbour developed from Roman times to the present day.