Solent-based company, Hamble Yacht Services Refit & Repair (HYSRR), has demonstrated its versatility by building an ark for the 800th Lord Mayor’s Show in London.

The project came about because the new Lord Mayor of London, Lord Mountevans, is a member of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights (WCS) - an ancient City of London livery company made up of UK ship builders and brokers. The company’s coat of arms features an ark, so to provide an apt centrepiece for its float at the Lord Mayor’s Show, they commissioned HYSRR to build the real version.

The ark commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights

The Ark commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights took centre stage at the 800th Lord Mayor's Show in London (image courtesy of WCS).


The ark was designed by Guy Whitehouse Designs, with a structural overview from Richard Oliver of Applied Structural Analysis – a tenant of Hamble Yacht Services. The coatings were supplied by Marineware and all other funding for the ark was provided by donations from fellow shipwrights.

The WCS has already been involved in plenty of marine-related charity work over the years, assisting organisations such as the Sea Cadets, the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the Tall Ships Youth Trust, as well as various maritime schools. It also provides grants for yacht and shipbuilding apprenticeship schemes – after the Lord Mayor’s Show had come and gone, the Ark was donated to Oakfield Primary School in Totton, Hampshire.

The ark - Oakfield Primary School, Totton

The ark now resides at Oakfield Primary School in Totton near Southampton.


Head Teacher, Elizabeth Smith, already has big plans for it: "The children are thrilled to have been chosen to have the Ark. We already have an outdoor classroom and this will further enhance the children's learning.” The school plans to use the ark to aid literacy by helping make stories come to life, and to link it to the curriculum through both maths and religious education. A pirate-themed day has also been planned.

Inspired by this unusual commission? You should see: 10 of the most unusual homemade boats ever.


The ark – an unusual commission

An unusual commission for Hamble Yacht Services Refit & Repair – the Ark commissioned by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.


Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.