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18th-century galleon replica sails back to pride of place

By West Briton  |  Posted: April 08, 2013

  • John Milan, tenant; Adam Luck, St Austell Brewery estate director; Steve Bellman, tenant and Lester Croft, Pandora manager, with the model.

  • From left, tenant John Milan, Adam Luck of St Austell Brewery, tenant Steve Bellman and pub manager Lester Croft admire the model picture: Simon Burt

  • The sign above the door at The Pandora Inn, named after the famous vessel that sank on the Great Barrier Reef on its way back from capturing the mutinous crew of the Bounty. The captain was court-martialled on his return to Cornwall, where he is reputed to have bought the inn, near Mylor

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After a 20-year absence, a model of the 18th-century galleon HMS Pandora is back in pride of place in its namesake pub.

St Austell Brewery has bought back the model which was displayed at the Pandora Inn, at Restronguet, for 40 years.

The 6ft galleon replica was sold in the 1980s and changed hands several times before being moved to the collection at the National Maritime Museum in London.

John Milan, who has run the 13th-century pub with Steve Bellman since 1999, said: "It is a piece of The Pandora's history and a very impressive artefact in itself.

"The model was part of daily life at the inn for decades and we're delighted."

Adam Luck, estate director at St Austell Brewery, said: "I had been aware of the model for a long time and always felt it would be fantastic to have it back in its rightful place.

"We are very lucky the previous owners decided it would be fitting for it to return too."

The museum's curator had restored the model's rigging.

The vessel was sent to search for the Bounty and its mutinous crew in 1790 and wrecked during the return voyage a year later. It is thought the model first came to Mylor in the 1940s when the owner of the Pandora, Major Huddlestone, bought it from an antiques shop in Clifton, Bristol.

A couple who first saw it in the pub 20 years ago later spotted it at a maritime exhibition in Shropshire, bought it and kept it at their St Mawes home for eight years. It went to the museum in 2010.

The Pandora Inn was severely damaged by fire in March 2011, reopening a year later after extensive restoration work, with the ground floor virtually unchanged.

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