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‘Beyond repair’ Deliverance demolished

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Demolished: The 50-year-old replica of the Deliverance in St George’s was demolished this weekend (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An ageing reproduction of an historic ship in St George’s was demolished because it was beyond repair.

The Deliverance replica was built as a tourist attraction in the late 1960s but the structure had become unsafe.

A heap of wood was left in its place on Friday.

Then: The Deliverance at Ordnance Island when it was in good condition (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

George Dowling III, the Mayor of St George's, said: “The demolition of the Deliverance replica was a necessity due to it being in a state beyond salvage.

“This was previously determined by the engineers and shipbuilders that the Corporation of St George's engaged during our Ordnance Island redevelopment plan.

“We did issue a survey in which the majority of responses were that the Deliverance replica needed to come down.”

He added that a majority of responses supported the return of something “Deliverance like” but most respondents “were not in favour of contributing to the project“.

Mr Dowling said: “I am glad the survey results support the engineers’ recommendations and our decision to make the area safe until we can produce our brand new world-class exhibit/experience and event space."

The corporation earlier announced its move to phase two of the Ordnance Island Development Project, which included focusing resources on the Deliverance exhibit.

It contracted architects and structural engineers, and consulted with professional boat builders, historians and town partners the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Bermuda Economic Development Corporation on the feasibility of retaining the structure.

Demolished: The 50-year-old replica of the Deliverance in St George’s was demolished this weekend (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Dowling said last month that it was understood extensive remediation and rebuilding would be needed to keep the replica as it was.

He added then: “Currently, the structure is unsafe.

“To that end, we communicate with the community. We have created a poll to determine national awareness and desire to engage with the Deliverance."

The original vessel, along with a sister ship the Patience, was built from the wreck of the Sea Venture that foundered in 1609 on the reefs off St George’s, which led to Bermuda’s permanent settlement by Britain.

Crew and passengers from the Sea Venture used the two ships to continue on to their original destination, Jamestown in Virginia, where a settlement of English colonists had dwindled from hundreds to about 60 survivors.

The Deliverance replica needed extensive repairs after it suffered severe hurricane damage in 2014 and had $65,000 spent on refurbishments by 2018.

Work by the corporation to revamp Ordnance Island was designed to bring exhibits and activities into one location to boost economic activity in the Olde Towne.

As part of phase one of the project, the corporation completed the redesign of the Sir George Somers display by moving it to the centre of the Ordnance Island roundabout.

It also extended the original exhibit to include recognition of the six nations most responsible for creating modern Bermudian people, society and culture – Britain, the US, Canada, Portugal, Ghana and Angola.

Phase two is to focus on a Deliverance exhibit and is expected to include a new retail kiosk as well as outlines to show the sizes of ships built in the 17th to 19th centuries.

A recreation area will be at the heart of phase three.

Demolished: The 50-year-old replica of the Deliverance in St George’s was demolished this weekend (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published July 25, 2022 at 8:01 am (Updated July 25, 2022 at 8:01 am)

‘Beyond repair’ Deliverance demolished

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