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Ross Tiger as you’ve never seen her before! Historic trawler opened up to all in ‘ground-breaking’ new digital online tour

11:11 am, Friday, 17th September 2021 - 3 years ago


Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre is launching an exciting virtual experience, giving visitors the chance to explore the historic trawler, Ross Tiger, from wherever they are.

For the first time, the ship can be fully explored from the comfort of an armchair.

A 3D replica of the ship allows you to see the iconic trawler in new ways, including areas usually hidden below the water line.

Interactive layering allows the vessel to be viewed and controlled both in and out of water – with the opportunity to start the propeller turning, operate the rudder, sound the whistle or even belch smoke from the funnel.

The Ross Tiger virtual tour on a screen in the Fishing Heritage Centre

A cutaway feature allows for the chance to see the interior layout of the ship. From here, users can enter a fully interactive 3D photographic scan of the vessel and virtually walk through the ship. Along the way, you can discover more information, access videos of tour guides and former trawlermen and view archive images of the ship in action.

The new tour was funded as part of a £75,000 grant from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund, a £1.57 billion fund supporting cultural organisations through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Louise Bowen, collections officer at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, said: “We are really excited to bring this new experience to our offer at the museum. The new tour allows users to explore Ross Tiger in a unique way using incredible new technologies which bring the vessel to life through a combination of exciting visuals, interactives and information.”

Councillor Procter with centre staff and the designers outside the Ross Tiger

David Ornsby, acting operations manager, added: “Ross Tiger is a huge part of the offer at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre and is nationally significant as the only surviving example of her class and the earliest large diesel-powered side-trawler to survive to the present day. Those who may not have opportunity to venture around the real ship are now able to discover all about her and explore the ship in fantastic detail. We’re very thankful to the Cultural Recovery Fund and for the support of Arts Council England to allow us to bring this to our visitors and service users.”

Staff at the attraction worked with Interactive Digital Heritage, part of Bee3D Ltd, to produce the tour. Managing director, Chris Lightfoot, said: “Technically, creating the full interactive tour was a challenge of our skills and expertise in 3D scanning and digital modelling. Our aim was to recreate the ship as accurately and lifelike as possible. We set out to achieve a level of digital heritage that was unique and ground-breaking.

“It also challenged our flexibility, getting inside and over engines and motors in the tiny spaces to capture the parts that most people would never be able to see or access. I have huge respect for the crew who manned the ship in, sometimes, terrible conditions.

“Building the full interactive tour utilised 3D scanning, photogrammetry, 3D Modelling, animation and a custom user interface. We have captured a snapshot in the lifetime of this historic ship, digitally recreating the full exterior, 3D scanning the interior, so it feels like you are walking through the actual ship and then interacting with crew who manned the vessel and listen to their stories.”

Councillor Callum Procter, portfolio holder for economic growth, housing and tourism, added: “This is an amazing opportunity for the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre to showcase the historic trawler, Ross Tiger, in all her glory. It’s fantastic that we can bring the ship to the comfort of people’s own homes if they are not able to visit the centre or go on the actual ship.”

The tour will launch at Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre and at on 18 September 2021 during the museum’s Heritage Open Day celebrations.

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