Brigg Heritage Centre to unveil new centrepiece

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By Rob_Sellars | Thursday, May 02, 2013, 14:52

Brigg Heritage Centre is set to reopen on May 10, unveiling the Bronze Age 'raft' which has finally returned home to the town.  

The Heritage Centre has been closed since February while the Bronze Age boat was restored in the centre.

The boat has returned to Brigg after being stored in London for nearly 40 years.

Professor Seán McGrail, who led the excavation of the boat in 1974, will unveil the 'raft', along with Andrew Percy, MP for Brigg and Goole.

The sewn-plank boat, commonly labelled as the Brigg 'Raft', was found in 1888 by workmen between the old and new River Ancholme. It was however then reburied, and lost to sight for nearly 100 years.

In 1974 Professor McGrail and archaeologists from the National Maritime Museum excavated the Brigg 'Raft' and took it to London, where it was preserved and stored.

In 2011 the museum agreed to loan the boat to North Lincolnshire Council for conservation and display in the new Brigg Heritage Centre.

The 'Raft' has now been restored by conservators from York Archaeological Trust and is ready to go on display for the first time.

Professor McGrail will also provide an illustrative lecture on the history of the 'raft'.

Professor McGrail and Andrew Percy will officially open the Heritage Centre and unveil the Bronze Age Brigg 'Raft' at 12.15pm.

Cllr Rob Waltham, chair of Brigg Heritage Project Group, said "We were determined to bring the 'raft' back to its home town in Brigg and where better to place it, than the new Brigg Heritage Centre.

"The 'raft' is a huge part of Brigg's heritage and it deserves to be back home where it belongs.

"The Heritage Centre is a fantastic venue and highlights Brigg's important history. Complete with café, it provides a great day out for people. It is well worth a visit."

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