"If every warship in the 19th century still existed and was available for preservation Warrior would still be my first choice". Sir John Smith.
As a pivotal Royal Naval ship, Warrior had not been forgotten. In 1967 people first started to talk about restoring Warrior. Prominent in this campaign was John Smith, at the time MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, who had formed the Manifold Trust five years earlier to restore threatened items of our national heritage
Even the House of Commons heard of Warrior'sfate. MPs were told that Warrior could serve as "a potent source of education and inspiration for our children...."
Smith's drive and persistence led to a committee, chaired by the Duke of Edinburgh, meeting in 1968 to discuss Warrior's future. From this emerged the Maritime Trust, formed to raise money for the preservation of our naval heritage. Following the announcement that the oil depot would close in 1978, and that Warrior would no longer be needed, Sir John Smith agreed that the Manifold Trust would underwrite the cost of restoration, estimated between £4-8 million, and the ship was handed over to the Maritime Trust in 1979.
Warrior was towed 800 miles to Hartlepool where the world's largest maritime project ever undertaken then began.
In 1983 ownership was transferred to the Ship's Preservation Trust, which became the Warrior Preservation Trust in 1985.