Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is full of history, stories and wonderful characters, and the Mary Rose is no exception. The new museum is fabulous with so many artefacts and objects from the ship, that designing the mug was easy. The crew members found around the mug are all inspired by items recovered from the ship. The Captain, Roger Granville, the Barber Surgeon, the Archers, the Gunner – can all be found at the museum. Check out the Archery exhibition, if you ever visit the Mary Rose – I was amazed by how heavy the cross bow is (Yes – you get to try out a cross bow!!). Those Archers had to be really strong just to fire a single arrow.

My son particularly loved the animal skeletons that were found on board. Several rats were found and so was the ship’s dog. There would have been a dog on board to catch the rats. The archaeologists named him ‘Hatch’ as he was found near one of the ship’s hatches, outside the Carpenter’s cabin. He has become quite a famous exhibit! Hatch, of course, is featured on the mug too, being carried by the Cabin boy. And look carefully, there is even a rat keeping away from his beady eyes. The crew member’s clothes and things they are carrying are also all inspired by the things on display in the museum, found on the ship.

There are so many stories of the crew and the lives they led to be found in the museum, or check out the Mary Rose website, which gives lots more details than I can.

It’s the stories of people that make history fascinating and inspiring. Perhaps that’s why I particularly love illustrating our nation’s great heritage.