"We decided three years ago to get into the licensing business, but none of us knew anything about licensing," says Gould. "The first thing we had to do was ensure that we understood the demands that would be placed upon us and that we had properly protected all our assets and could offer all the necessary support to our partners."
The assets include a massive archive of sound and images, 11 ships and 99 aircrafts. Among the submarines are the HMS Alliance, X51 and Holland 1, and major ships include HMS Victory, HMS Caroline, HMS Trincomalee and HMS M.33. The most famous of the ships is Nelson's Trafalgar flagship, HMS Victory, an asset now protected by a community
A new museum has just opened in Portsmouth, England. Called Hear My Story, it tells the real-life stories behind the Royal Navy and contains a collection of 120 letters written over a period of years from a sailor serving in the West Indies to his sweetheart at home.
"Each letter is beautifully illustrated," says Gould. "The collection offers licensing possibilities," he adds, suggesting stationery and soft furnishings as licensing options.
Next year is the 250th anniversary of Victory's launch, and the museum will offer pieces from Victory herself. Pieces of wood and copper removed from Victory, known as "Victory Arising" for curatorial reasons, offer licensing opportunities in jewelry and also for products such as models of the Victory mounted on wood from the ship herself.
Of particular interest may be HMS Caroline, the sole survivor from the Battle of Jutland, which will open to the public on her centenary in 2016.
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