Two Southampton organisations, the volunteer managed SS Shieldhall and not-for-profit SEE Southampton, have been announced as finalists in Tourism South East’s ‘Beautiful South Awards for Excellence.’
Steamship Shieldhall enjoyed a record breaking 2019 sailing season, welcoming nearly 4000 guests on board, and is currently listed as the ‘No. 1 Thing to Do in Southampton’ on TripAdvisor. Shieldhall is shortlisted in the ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ category.
SEE Southampton have been shortlisted in the ‘Experience and Event of the Year’ category, having run a number of initiatives, including a popular welcome desk for arriving guests at the city’s cruise terminals, events including a ‘Jane Austen Gift Fayre’ and a series of free talks at the city libraries. SEE Southampton’s Sandra Lochhead and good friend Roger Townsend (FEPOW75) have also been nominated in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category.
Both Steamship Shieldhall and SEE Southampton were forced to suspend their main activities in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, though SEE Southampton were able to open a new exhibition in Westgate Tower focusing on the Mayflower when restrictions allowed. Both organisations are looking to re-start their respective sailings and walks, hopefully in late spring. Judges would have been impressed with the close working of Shieldhall and SEE Southampton, who offer pre-booked groups of 10 or more an all-day experience in the city, consisting of an attraction visit (SeaCity Museum, Solent Sky or God’s House Tower), a guided walk on the subject of The Titanic, The Mayflower, The Spitfire or Towers and Vaults, and a cruise on the Shieldhall.
The awards will be hosted online this year on March 4, when winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies will be announced.
Maurice Keys, Chairman of SEE Southampton and Nigel Philpott of Steamship Shieldhall were both delighted with the short listings, issuing a joint statement: ‘It’s gratifying to see recognition in the Beautiful South Tourism Awards for Southampton. There is a lot of activity taking place which encourages staying visitors to the City, and we’re looking forward to March 4 when these and other initiatives will be celebrated.’