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  #101  
Old 24-02-2010, 22:03
ekd
 
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Any chance of some Russian money for a new car, for an ex Belfast lad?

Yes, that's the Belfast in the background (see foto), just having been moved from Whale Island to No3 basin in 1970.
I was living on H.M.S. Belfast at the time, (Bellerophon accomodation ship); whilst we readied H.M.S. Palliser from reserve.

I was going on leave on the Friday, the day this event happened.

I normally parked my car in Whale Island whilst the Belfast was in reserve there.
The Belfast had been earmarked for the London museum job, and had to made safe for the public beforehand, hence the requirement to be worked on in No3 basin.
Because the Belfast was being cold moved into No3 basin, and my car was in the Whale island car park, I thought that it was going to give me a headstart in the Pompey traffic on Friday, if I moved my car around to the No3 basin area the night before, and get a flyer. This would save time in getting the ferry back from the dockyard to Whale Island to retrieve my car.

What a BIG mistake!

During the Thursday night at around 2 am, a stoker on a tug, berthed on the sea wall, went on deck for a smoke.

He saw about four drunken "sailors?" break into my car, remove the guard-rails of the basin, and push the car into the dock.
If he had not seen this, my car would still be there, I expect.

As we berthed Belfast alongside on Friday, I was piped to the Gangway. I was met by a Dockyard Admiralty Constable. "Is that your car?" and he pointed over the starboard side. I was just in time to see this photo being taken!

Nobody was ever charged with anything. But the tug guy said they headed for a County class destroyer, berthed nearby.

It ruined my leave. I'd just put a new engine in it. I was back on the train.

Happy days!

Yes, great and happy memories of the Belfast, despite this episode.


regards
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HMS BELFAST and my car-1.jpg (138.0 KB, 82 views)

Last edited by ekd : 24-02-2010 at 23:17. Reason: grammar
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  #102  
Old 25-02-2010, 01:36
Guz rating's Avatar
Guz rating Guz rating is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Thats a real sad story mate, I thought that kind of thing only happened to me. Did you ever get the car working again.

Guz
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  #103  
Old 25-02-2010, 10:54
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
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Thumbs up Re: HMS Belfast

That sounds like one of the many pranks that we used to get up to on returning from shore. Usually nothing as serious as your episode. It was mostly trying to nick your "Chummy" ships lifebelt at the top of the brow, or indeed trying to slip her mooring wires(an Impossible task sober never mind drunk). I was involved in an incident when on Hermes in Hamburg. Drunk as a skunk, I was stood alongside the ship trying to throttle a poor inoffensive German road sweeper (Who happened to be wearing a Uniform) and demanding to know what he had done with my ship! The Gangway staff were in stitches, and the bosuns mate was sent down to rescue the poor bloke and drag me back on board!!! Happy days...Regards Steve.
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  #104  
Old 25-02-2010, 12:15
ekd
 
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guz rating View Post
Thats a real sad story mate, I thought that kind of thing only happened to me. Did you ever get the car working again.

Guz
No, Guz. I just couldn't afford the time. The corrosion from the salt water had caused too much damage. I just claimed on the insurance, and bought another. I made sure how and where I parked it from then on!

regards
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  #105  
Old 25-02-2010, 20:30
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

wandering away from Belfast but reflecting on parking, portsmouth and Hermes; my father once parked the family navy blue cortina alongside H whilst at pompey while the mast was being painted, we were still picking off the tiny grey spots when it was sold for a mark 2 cortina years later. (He was a cortina fan, we went right through to a mark 4 and then after a passt interlude, back to a mondeo)
tim
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  #106  
Old 25-02-2010, 20:36
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
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Smile Re: HMS Belfast

Hi Tim.Remembering your Father,I bet he just put it down to his own fault for parking there! Some Skippers would have gone raging mad!...Regards Steve.
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  #107  
Old 25-02-2010, 20:59
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harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is online now
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve roberts View Post
That sounds like one of the many pranks that we used to get up to on returning from shore. Usually nothing as serious as your episode. It was mostly trying to nick your "Chummy" ships lifebelt at the top of the brow, or indeed trying to slip her mooring wires(an Impossible task sober never mind drunk). I was involved in an incident when on Hermes in Hamburg. Drunk as a skunk, I was stood alongside the ship trying to throttle a poor inoffensive German road sweeper (Who happened to be wearing a Uniform) and demanding to know what he had done with my ship! The Gangway staff were in stitches, and the bosuns mate was sent down to rescue the poor bloke and drag me back on board!!! Happy days...Regards Steve.
You Bl..dy medics, always knew there was a killer instinct in you!!!
Bet thats why they stopped letting you lot use the tourniquet
"Aaah yes, this looks like the best way to stop that blood pumpin out of his foot ...lets put the contrivance round this narrow part 'between his chin and his shoulders' ... tighten it up and that should clog up them two carotid arterial routes, oh yeh might as well give them two vertibral pipes round the back there a wee pinch as well while we are at it"
"Look I told you so .. his 'sole' has all dried up job done"...
"Lets get a few more hundred geezers and scratch one of their arms and make holes in the other we can say it's preventative medicine"

Little h
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  #108  
Old 25-02-2010, 21:09
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
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Talking Re: HMS Belfast

Now Now Little H. No need for disparaging remarks like that.Wot would we 'ave done all day,if you lot didn't want a few days of watch,and a sleep in anice sick bay bunk?As for the holes in your arm.We had to keep our darts eye in for a game o' arrow's ashore? Many regards Steve.
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  #109  
Old 26-02-2010, 05:42
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Absolutely right, or even "spot on"! i think a tiddley ship was better than a shiny car. Driving him home still in uniform once from H at portsmouth we passed through Cowdray Park where the village street were lined with waving people, we waved back and carried on. Only when we got home we worked out that HRH had been playing polo there that day and that everyone was so used to seeing him in uniform in a dark-coloured car they automatically thought we were him! I should add that I was wearing my "beatle cap" fashionable at the time...
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  #110  
Old 26-02-2010, 06:04
Don Boyer's Avatar
Don Boyer Don Boyer is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

ekd --- what a story! Over here in "my" navy, we have our pranks too, but it seems a bit much to cost a mate a car just for a laugh. Still, I have to say, seeing the photo of the car with Belfast in the background does cause a bit of a chuckle. Sorry it happened though, imagine it set you back a tad.

Tim: Good to hear Belfast is getting the attention it needs. I know we don't know each other that well, but something tells me you had more to do with that turn of events than you are posting.

Any chance they'll ever put her back in her original paint???

Take care, friends
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  #111  
Old 26-02-2010, 09:13
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

While working in Air Traffic Control at Arbroath, I was sent up to paint the railings round the roof and the flag pole. Finished the railings, but complained it was too windy to do the pole, told to get on with it so feeling a bit 'bloody minded', I did....Spent the afternoon with rags and white spirit,but with great satisfaction of 'I told you so!'
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  #112  
Old 26-02-2010, 11:01
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Thanks Don, to cut a very long story short it all began at a christmas party 3-4 years ago, at least well down over the horizon of memory now. Somewhere around the third glass of claret i found myself in conversation with the consulting engineer for the Museum who was bemoaning the state of the masts and that there was no budget to fix them.

Around this time the Russian steel industry was going great guns making money hand over fist so in an expansive gesture I asked him if he had ever though of asking the Russians. (sine qua non that Belfast had a long and intertwined history with them via Arctic convoys etc). He replied that he didn't know any and wouldn't know where to start. Knowing hundreds of Russians from my experience working there i said leave it to me and we'll have it done in a trice. Ha-ha....Russia is not a country where "trices" are much recognised.

We put our heads together and came up with a plan, and a project name of "Last Witness" for understandable reasons. We decided to prepare a document for general circulation (PDF attached which for some unaccountable reason has 2 copies the same). We later used this as the story board and commentary in Russian for a DVD. The DVD is on the web somewhere, it was made by a group of Russian artists. I will try to find it and re-post it later.

Initially we got some seed-money from some of the Russian industrialists but the main reaction was that the Govt would rather see charity funding be directed to Russian projects at home which was quite understandable, they urged us to get Govt approval of the project. This was not as easy as it sounds. Eventually we found our way to put the files on the desk of the President who immediately approved for us to seek funding from Russian industry. We held a major launching reception in the British Embassy in Moscow to which we invited all the great and good we wanted to approach plus all the heads of the Russian Military. Sods law then determined that the top Russian football team was drawn to play a game in Manchester, UK, so on the night of the party which we had spent months planning, all those with the dosh were in Manchester while we had a splendid get together with the admirals, generals and military attaches! great blokes but bereft of cash.

Another attack was planned and put into operation, just in time for the global economy to collapse!

Now in 2010 we are into the 65th anniversary of the ending of the War; the Russians take these celebrations very very seriously and thus our project "Last Witness" has once more come alive, it ticks all boxes and give a great opportunity to remember how "When the fate of the World hung in the balance" we forgot politics and did the biz.

The rest is in the article but we will keep the story going in the press as we are not quite there yet. It is the mainmast that need replacing first as this is now almost supported by the scaffolding round it; the foremast is in better condition but not good enough to repair. The main expense is lass in the fabrication of the replicas than in the works to dismantle the old and re-fit the new while still keeping the ship open to the public.

So no you know what we get up to in our spare time!
tim

The pdf was written by me and several of the pics are from my cardboard box, the PQ18 pic of the bomb was taken from Ashanti's bridge. The young bloke in the duffel coat is my father in 1943. I took the contemporary pics with my little digital camera (now broken) so you see, anyone really can do anything. Its not brains that gets projects like ths done, its not knowing when you're beaten
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File Type: pdf BELFAST Last Witness PDF.pdf (633.0 KB, 47 views)
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  #113  
Old 26-02-2010, 11:18
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

http://mft39.multiply.com/video/item...ip_HMS_Belfast

this is the link to the video, it was put on the web by one of the young security people at the party in the Embassy.
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  #114  
Old 26-02-2010, 11:36
steve roberts steve roberts is offline
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Thumbs up Re: HMS Belfast

Hi Tim.Thanks for those two links.It really shows the work put in to obtain funding for the project.Hope every thing goes well in getting the funds needed..Many regards. Steve.
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  #115  
Old 26-02-2010, 11:39
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

THanks Steve, the next two big dates will be 24th March when the Russians come to present medals to veterans onboard, then May 9th which is Victory Day. In Russia Victory Day is a public holiday, they also have a public holiday for Armed Forces Day which was last week.....we are not so respectful
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  #116  
Old 26-02-2010, 11:44
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JackW1208 JackW1208 is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Well done Tim, I hope you have the success that Belfast richly deserves.

Jack
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  #117  
Old 26-02-2010, 13:38
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

once things get going i will snow you all with photos of masts coming down , masts going up, veterans bemedalled and all the goings on that will be associated with the actions.
thanks for all the good wishes
tim
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  #118  
Old 26-02-2010, 18:58
INVINCIBLE INVINCIBLE is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hutson View Post
But then Jackaroo they would have to shell out for the meeting place.

My sis's office is adjacent to her berth and she recently had lunch on board. Said it was a great tour but still couldn't see why her brothers spent years in grey boxes on rough waters. Girls !!! I ask yer

Invincible - You probably knew Scouse Hill [Ronnie - Ex Chief Sparker] who operated the RNARS station on board, usually over the Easter Weekends ??

Dave H

Dave,

Just seen your post. I think I met Ronnie once, but not absolutely sure. Fortunately BELFAST is used a great deal and over a number of years I was lucky enough to meet many of those who came onboard. Some RNA Branches used my office at the weekends for their meetings. The only shame was the high costs charged by the onboard caterers - I am sure that if their charges were more reasonable then many more worthy ex Service organisations would use this unique venue.
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  #119  
Old 24-03-2010, 05:17
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Dear All,
Today is the day we should find out how much we have impressed the Russians withour appeal to fund the replacement of the rusty masts. Attached is the programme fotr the event which will see a high-ranked official from the Russian President's administration present medals to a representative selection of veterans, several from the Belfast Association.

There was an article in yesterday's evening standard who are being very helpful with publicity on the project but since the Govt in its infinite capacity for helpfulness has decreed today will be the day they add to our misery by issuing the budget most of the journalists who had promised to come have been redrafted to Westmenister. Which would we prefer to hear about!!

I will post as many pics as possible tomorrow or friday.

Tim
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File Type: pdf Belfast event programme.pdf (512.9 KB, 22 views)
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  #120  
Old 24-03-2010, 06:52
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Tim: Hadn't come back to this post very quickly....but my congratulations on the culmination of such great effort. Things are looking good, and I find that it's truly great from my point of view. HMS Belfast is the only British warship I've ever been "up close" to, when she stopped in Pearl Harbor enroute home from the Chinas Station for the last time.

Well done. I look forward to reading the .pdf.

Regards,
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  #121  
Old 24-03-2010, 16:42
INVINCIBLE INVINCIBLE is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Tim,

Very good news.
I still do not like BELFAST in her "war paint". When I joined her she looked like this - so much more attractive!!
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File Type: jpg BELFAST (MC).jpg (201.3 KB, 70 views)
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  #122  
Old 24-03-2010, 20:48
TheNavyWouldNotHaveMe TheNavyWouldNotHaveMe is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

I'm thinking of building a model of Belfast as she is today. One area I'm struggling for pictures of is facing forwards, looking at the rear of the superstructure from the boat deck - effectively looking at the 'hangar doors' as was.

Anyone able to help with a picture or two ?
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  #123  
Old 25-03-2010, 06:09
tim lewin tim lewin is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Is that a set of pics as she is now or as she was then? its no problem for me to send you all the pics you need as i am there more or less weekly, just say the period you need. Now pics are of course easier!

The event yesterday went very well;

the veterans, including some Russian, all got their gongs from Vladimir Osipov from the President's Administration. The ship got a special framed citation for her physical role as the "Last Witness" from President Medvedev in his capacity as Commander in Chief as well as President of Russia, signed and sealed in his own hand, and a copy of the signed Presidential order authorising support from Russia for the mast replacement project. This was presented by the Ambassador who was there with several of his staff. The shipyards and Lloyds Register were there ready to do the actual fabrication work and engineering so with a fair wind, all should now go ahead over the summer.
There was huge coverage on Russian TV, it was on all channels my friends in moscow called to say, but our own TV was pretty limp being overshadowed by Darling's utterly missable budget. The Evening Standard will cover it again today (i was told).
I left the picture taking to the ship's photographer so i hope to post these later today or tomorrow when they send them. Foolishly i dropped my digital camera a few months ago and havent got round to replacing it yet, it was one week outside its 3-year guarantee!
MacLaren stood above the boatdeck and piped his lament to HMS Edinburgh and the lost souls from the convoys; the Massandra winery gave some 1945 port to reception for the old chaps to drink a toast. There was a musical duo who played traditional Russian wartime tunes while the beautiful Russian lady journalist from the biggest circulation paper there danced with all of the old chaps to celebrate their medals. Admiral Alan West, Lord West, made a sterling speech, the 1st Sea Lord attended, Admiral Sir Jim Eberle was there as president of HMS Belfast Association, he served in her as a junior. A young Russian author, Ivan Mazur, who has written a book about the Arctic Convoys gave copies of his book to the veterans. I would say that it was a thoroughly comradely get-together which will ultimately deliver the goods in the shape of new masts. The mainmast must be done first, if it were not for the scaffolding genorously donated by SGB this would be a danger to life and limb.
All best and thanks to you all for the good wishes and support.
tim
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  #124  
Old 25-03-2010, 06:53
TheNavyWouldNotHaveMe TheNavyWouldNotHaveMe is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Hi Tim - thanks for the offer. I'm looking at her 'as is' and I have a pretty good general set, plus loads downloaded from the web.

It was only when sorting them I realised that I didn't have any looking towards the 'hangar' ( cafe !) and I need to see how this changed after her refit.
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  #125  
Old 25-03-2010, 07:59
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Don Boyer Don Boyer is offline
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Default Re: HMS Belfast

Congratulations Tim, on the culmination of the efforts to restore Belfast. We all know that you were the main driving force behind that all happening. I hope you receive the recognition you deserve for helping to preserve on of history's truly great ships.

We are all proud of what has been accomplished and look forward to pictures of those masts in place!

Best regards,
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HMS Belfast During the Battle of North Cape by Randall Wilson

Under lowering arctic skies HMS Belfast (Admiral Burnets Flagship) leads HMS Sheffield and HMS Norfolk in the race to protect convoy JW55B from Scharnhorst.

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