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Norwich’s young curator Shae given part of Nelson’s ship

PUBLISHED: 09:17 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:17 25 July 2014

Shae Williams, 9, with the latest addition to his Nelson's Museum in his bedroom at Costessey, an actual piece of the Victory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shae Williams, 9, with the latest addition to his Nelson's Museum in his bedroom at Costessey, an actual piece of the Victory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

copyright: Archant 2014

A history-mad schoolboy with his own Lord Nelson museum has a new centrepiece for his bedroom collection.

Shae Williams, nine, was surprised with a chunk of oak from the 104-gun flagship, the HMS Victory, when he was in his classroom at Bawburgh School.

It had been on display at nearby Ormiston Victory Academy, and when headteacher Naomi Palmer read about the young collector in the Evening News she decided Shae could help more people to enjoy it – so she got in touch with Bawburgh School headteacher Jan Staff.

Shae’s mum Karen, of Vanguard Chase, Costessey, said: “He didn’t know anything about it. He was completely dumbfounded.”

She revealed the first she knew about the gift was when she got a call telling her she might want to park her car near the school.

The three-stone artefact, which has copper, bolts and paint on it, had been donated to Ormiston Victory by James Boddy at Colney Hall before it was passed on to Shae.

It now has pride of position in Shae’s bedroom – which doubles as a Nelson museum which he shows to friends and family and which is overflowing with exhibits.

“We do talk about getting a shed as he’s getting so much stuff,” said his mum. “His bedroom is not his bedroom any more, but we want to display it and still invite people round.”

But Shae is resistant to the idea, explaining: “I want to see it all.”

He added that the oak was “awesome”, but his collection would continue to grow.

“I might look for a few more things,” he said. “I want to get a round shot cannon ball.”

He had a few slivers of authentic oak in his collection before, but his mum said the newest addition was “by far the biggest and most beautiful”.

Offers relating to his interest are flowing in to Shae who has been asked to launch Discover Nelson’s Norfolk app at the Forum on August 6, and has had interest from Great Yarmouth’s Nelson Museum who want him as a guest curator.

Shae has said he would like to go to Ormiston Victory Academy when he is older because of its name.

Has your child got an unusual passion? Email


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