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Bulwark - trip to E Berlin

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Looking for a bit of help here!

I was on Bulwark 77 - 79 and after a while bringing her out of mothballs, we headed off to Hamburg for a jolly.

While in Hamburg an opportunity arose for several members of the Ship’s Company to attend a ceremony in East Berlin.

I cannot remember the dates we were in Hamburg or what the event in E Berlin was and would like to know, as today I was talking to a chap from Berlin.

I do recall the trip to W Berlin, seeing all the rows of Soviet tanks from the train, staying at Spandau Barracks and going through Checkpoint Charlie in a coach - but have no recollection of what or precisely where, the ‘ceremony’ was. On the way back to Hamburg, we took a detour to Belsen.

Can anyone help me out here? Even the dates we were in Hamburg would be a start!
 
With Helpful Head on for @SONAR-BENDER

Have a trawl through the back copies of the Navy News for that period:


ATT a ship's visit for a carrier would probably have gained a worthy mensh & perhaps even a photo or two. IDC Would be interested in your findings...

(plus a call round on a rainy day...?) :WINK:
 
Looking for a bit of help here!

I was on Bulwark 77 - 79 and after a while bringing her out of mothballs, we headed off to Hamburg for a jolly.

While in Hamburg an opportunity arose for several members of the Ship’s Company to attend a ceremony in East Berlin.

I cannot remember the dates we were in Hamburg or what the event in E Berlin was and would like to know, as today I was talking to a chap from Berlin.

I do recall the trip to W Berlin, seeing all the rows of Soviet tanks from the train, staying at Spandau Barracks and going through Checkpoint Charlie in a coach - but have no recollection of what or precisely where, the ‘ceremony’ was. On the way back to Hamburg, we took a detour to Belsen.

Can anyone help me out here? Even the dates we were in Hamburg would be a start!
When I first read the thread title SB, I thought You had taken the old girl overland... ;)
 

soleil

War Hero
SB

Your post caught my eye because you mentioned Berlin and Hamburg, two cities I've been to and liked very much. I read German (and French) at University and spent a lot of time in Germany when I was younger.

I couldn't resist the chance to have a look around for something relevant to your post and thought that you might like to see this:

 

soleil

War Hero
I've had a look to see whether there were any big events taking place in East Berlin during the period covered by the travel permit. I've been able to see one immediately, but am not sure whether this is something you would have been taken to see.

At the beginning of June 1979, the Nationale Jugendfestival (National Festival of Youth) took place in East Berlin. Could it have been this which you were taken to see, odd though that may sound?

The following is an image of the guide issued to participants in the Festival, which shows the specific dates, followed by a YouTube clip showing images from the Festival.


 
Last edited:

soleil

War Hero
One other thing, I think that the reason why you were in Hamburg was because of the annual Port Anniversary Festival (Hafengeburtstag); it takes place each year on or near the first weekend in May. All sorts of ships come up the Elbe to participate, including military ships. I wouldn't be surprised if HMS Bulwark came in to Hamburg in May 1979 for the Hafengeburtstag.
 
SB... I couldn't resist the chance to have a look around for something relevant to your post and thought that you might like to see this:
An excellent find there, Jane. SB should snap that it up at a mere £35.00 or 41.35 Euros.
I snipped this detail from the Permit as it might trigger SB's memory -

1578026135981.png

This Group leader was a "Chief Radio Electrician (Air) named G HULL accompanying a group of 19 persons listed on the Nominal Roll attached". Whilst there is no Nominal Roll evident in that ebay offering SB's name could well have been among those 19. (OTOH there might have been more than one group from the BULWARK, each with a separate but similar Permit.)
 

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Looking for a bit of help here!

I was on Bulwark 77 - 79 and after a while bringing her out of mothballs, we headed off to Hamburg for a jolly...Can anyone help me out here? Even the dates we were in Hamburg would be a start!

For @SONAR-BENDER

Wiki Summary of the Rusty B's activities around 77 - 79 =

<<...In March 1976, Bulwark was withdrawn from service and placed in Reserve. Also during this year the Ministry of Defence offered Bulwark to the Peruvian Navy. After two years of negotiations finally the Royal Navy decided to keep the ship. Furthermore, she underwent a refit at Portsmouth in 1978, and was recommissioned as an anti-submarine warfare carrier on 23 February 1979, due to delays with the new aircraft carrier Invincible.

On 28 June 1979, Bulwark was involved in exercise Whiskey Venture, with 820 Squadron (flying Sea Kings) and 45 Royal Marine Commando embarked. Also during 1979, Bulwark was involved in trials of the Sea Harrier.[1]

At the start of 1980, Bulwark visited the United States of America; participating in Exercise Safe Passage off the east coast of the United States in late February. On 15 March, while alongside in Philadelphia, a fire destroyed one boiler, which could not be repaired to operational status. The carrier returned to Portsmouth on 2 April, and on 15 April embarked 45 Commando for Exercise Dawn Patrol off Sardinia. In August, Bulwark was involved in Exercise Teamwork 80 off Norway. On 9 November, a major fire damaged the forward hangar and some messdecks. Minimal repairs were performed to both areas in order for her to stay in service until HMS Invincible was commissioned in the spring of 1981...On 27 March 1981, Bulwark returned to Portsmouth for the final time in her career...>>

From the above, & @Soliel's eBay find, that Hamburg/E Germany visit of 24 June 1979 slots in nicely between recommissioning on 23rd February & Ex Whiskey Venture of 28 June 1979.

HTH...
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
WOW, just wow!

Sol, Bob, yet again you have proved to be a stars in the firmament (or whatever!)

I had looked on t'interweb and found very little - I wasn't even sure when we went to Hamburg and I couldn't access the Navy News archives. I also wanted to see it there was a picture of the re-commissioning, as Mountbatten was the Guest of Honour.

I'm going to contact the guy on E-Bay to see if my name is on the nominal list!
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Nice to see Mountbatten wearing his dolphins. He was on K boats after WW1, well known as the calamity class due to the high number of accidents.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Jeez Sol - how do you do it?

What a great find and even a very quick shot of me at 1.03 between the cake-cutter and Mountbatten! I'd forgotten Charles was there too!

I haven't changed a bit.........
'Tis Black Magic oi tell 'ee!

Sol would appreciate other choccys though ;)
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Yep, pretty grim! It got better - not a lot! That's why I was unafraid of telling you about it, as NOBODY would recognise me from that! No HBM needed!!

//Thread drift//

I had a (better!) set when I met the current Mrs S-B, but I was bored with it (the set, not potential Mrs S-B!)
She had long hair and was bored with it too. So a pact was made - I'd shave off, she'd get her hair chopped and we'd meet up and go out for a meal to celebrate our new looks.

One skin matelot and a long haired pash went out that night....... Yep, she welched on the deal!

//Carry on with the E Berlin stuff!//
 
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