Gun carriage project
We hope soon to embark on the important work of replacing the two gun carriages at The Needles Old Battery. Although the guns are original, dating back to 1873, the carriages on which they stand are replicas, made in the 1980s. The Victorian guns have survived many things, including being thrown over the cliffs into the sea. Unfortunately, the carriages haven't fared so well.
The Needles Old Battery is at the most westerly tip of the Isle of Wight. It's in a very exposed position, frequently subjected to strong winds and salty sea air. This has caused the gun carriages to corrode badly. Each carriage supports a gun weighing 12 tons so they need to be in a good condition. They're now near the end of their life and replacements are urgently needed.
The Needles and its guns
The guns are a popular part of a visit to The Old Battery. Visitors have often sat on them to have their photo taken - a very different use to when the guns were first installed in 1873. Then the challenge was firing the guns: it took nine men six minutes to load and fire each gun once. Our challenge in 2012 is to raise the £48,000 needed to replace their carriages.