A Southampton Heritage Federation event to welcome the Dunkirk Little Ship Steam Tug ”Challenge” to the Port of Southampton

The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology on behalf of the Southampton Heritage Federation is delighted to announce the Southampton Maritime Festival, taking place on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May 2013 at the Ocean Cruise Terminal, Southampton to celebrate the arrival of the Steam Tug “Challenge” following her major restoration, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The lead organisation will be the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration trust.
This exciting new event promises to celebrate the long and proud maritime heritage of Southampton in style. Never before has an event of this scale been seen in Southampton!
The Festival will be taking over the docks and water within Dock Gate 4 to bring you a whole host of activities and attractions that hark back to the Second World War with a 1940s theme. There will be a wide range of historic vessels in attendance, including a flotilla of Dunkirk Little ships, numerous displays and demonstrations and even a Lancaster bomber fly over. With so much going on, it’ll be sure to keep the whole family entertained!
A highlight of the festival will be the arrival of the Steam Tug Challenge as she returns to Southampton, fresh from her recent Heritage Lottery Funded refit. Challenge, a veteran of the Second World War, will be accompanied by a flotilla of Dunkirk Little Ships. His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, patron of the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust, will also attend. Heritages buses will provide a park and ride service to the docks from the city centre throughout the event and the SS Shieldhall will offer cruises up and down Southampton Water.
Amongst the numerous displays and demonstrations over the course of two days will be Second World War re-enactors, vintage Rolls Royce cars, and the Historical Diving Society demonstrating ‘Hard Hat’ or Standard Diving Gear. Visitors will be able to try their hand at controlling Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), see the Pufferspheres from the National Oceanography Centre, and learn more about Southampton’s historic trams. They can explore the various exhibits and stalls of heritage organisations and traders or take a pit-stop at one of many eateries while enjoying the live music and entertainment. The fleet of historic vessels will be moored alongside the terminal, waiting to tell their colourful stories.
As well as being a fantastic day out for all the family, Southampton Maritime Festival will raise awareness of the city’s rich seafaring traditions. The Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology is urging local residents in particular to get involved; whether people wish to enjoy the attractions or join in as a valued volunteer, they can help make the festival an event for Southampton to be proud of.
The Festival is sponsored by Associated British Ports, Southampton and Williams Shipping. It is supported by Southampton City Council and the National Oceanography Centre.

More information and updates can be found at:

5. May 2013 - 12:00 - 6. May 2013 - 18:00