Home-made beauty promotes new exhibition

The National Maritime Museum will be displaying one of the UK’s strangest submarines this autumn – the two-man home-made Marine Ranger.

Labelled at the time of its launch by the press as ‘the DIY submarine’, the mini-sub was built by Cornwall man Keith Julian, from Penryn, and Mike Spencer and Steven Carter from Falmouth company Spencer Carter.

The sub caused quite a stir when it first made an appearance in the 1970s and dived in Falmouth Harbour, off Plymouth and Oban in Scotland.

Now the Marine Ranger is on display in the museum foyer, promoting the future 2008 exhibition Under the Sea.

Keith Julian explained: “I’m really pleased to let the Maritime Museum display the Marine Ranger. My son also hopes to have it operational again soon, as it was great building it and forming an International Underwater Pilots Association which inspired others to make their own submersibles.”

Under the Sea will delve deep into the ocean to explore man’s quest under the waves; from the first oar-powered submarines to the latest in diving, from the myths of mermaids to real-life shipwrecks. Under the sea will be on display from February 2008.

Ben Lumby, exhibition manager, said: “Humankind has always been fascinated with going where we don’t belong – like into space, or under the sea – a quest which has pushed us beneath the waves in all sorts of weird contraptions and get-ups. There are the questions of why and how we have done it and the dangers involved. It is incredible to think that submarines were invented nearly 400 years ago and we’re looking forward to having on display a full-size replica of the very first one.”

www.nmmc.co.uk