Sarner creates immersive AV experience aboard the HMS Belfast

Sarner recently finished work on a new immersive experience installation aboard the HMS Belfast for an exhibit called Gun Turret Experience: A Sailor’s Story, 1943.

Known for its design of the Dr. Who Experience, Sarner combined lights, imagery, sound, smoke effects, movement and smells to recreate the atmosphere and conditions of a cramped Gun Turret with its crew at action stations for the Belfast project.

This Summer visitors to HMS Belfast, a branch of the Imperial War Museum docked in London’s River Thames, will be able to experience what it would have been like to fight at sea during World War II. The installation to the historic ship has been created, produced and installed by Sarner.

Commenting on the project, Sarner’s Head of Technical Installations, Shane Winterbourne, says, “As a child I used to stage battles with toy ships and fighter jets so I thoroughly enjoyed this project as it made me feel like a kid again!”. He adds, “We’ve used advanced technology to bring to life the stories of the sailors who served on board nearly 70 years ago and help people understand, both physically and emotionally, the reality of battle through this new Experience using moving platforms, smell and smoke machines, moving guns, projection, audio and sound effects.”

The Gun Turret Experience, which is housed within one of the original Triple Gun Turrets overlooking the ship’s Quarterdeck, has been developed with the help of Royal Navy veterans as well as eye witness accounts from the Imperial War Museum’s collections. These include a letter by a young sailor, M-D Withers, sent to his mother shortly after the Battle of the North Cape where HMS Belfast was instrumental in the destruction of the Scharnhorst.

Phil Reed, Director of HMS Belfast says: “The Gun Turret Experience gives visitors an exhilarating new perspective on life at sea and really enhances the ship’s historic surroundings. By immersing people in the sights and sounds of a naval battle we hope visitors will leave HMS Belfast with not only a greater knowledge of the Second World War but also a deeper understanding of its impact.”