I'm an 'old Bristolian' and was lucky enough get get a walk around a few weeks ago. Even lay down on my old pit! I was informed there are discussions going on even as we sit here, and if successful will give her another 10 years on site.
First commissioned way back on 31 March 1973 HMS Bristol was paid off in 1991 and refitted to again replace HMS Kent, this time as the permanently berthed training ship located at the whale island shore establishment HMS Excellent, Portsmouth.
Primarily used as a training ship and accommodation ship for Royal Naval personnel and youth organisations.
Many young people from the Sea Cadets, the Combined Cadet Force and the Sea Scouts have their first experience of life on board a warship on Bristol.
The Air Training Corps and Army Cadets Units also make use of the facilities. The ship has also been used by a number of colleges running the Edexcel BTEC Public Services course. The ship's company is made up of a mix of Royal Navy and civilian staff.
But every dog has it's day - The latest News (as far as Sea Cadets etc are concerned) was announced just a few hours ago and is repeated at this update to the above background from Wiki
On the 14th of February 2020, the Sea Cadet Corps announced that HMS Bristol will no longer be used as an accommodation ship by the end of the year...>>
To replace Bristol with a shore based dormitory would be to lose something very special. An old retired warship gives something unique. My TS was not Bristol, nor indeed Kent, her predecessor, but HMS Ulster, a wartime emergency destroyer, later rebuilt as a Type 15 AS Frigate. We ate ashore, always making the short trip at the run, returning to make our way out to the ship via the pontoon bridge, these pontoons chained together, rising and falling with the waves, no handrails and so slippery. Each morning awoken by a CPO wearing carpet slippers, a manic grin on his face and waving a gas rattle. We loved it ! So, keep Bristol in place ! Worth every penny
In this day of tight budget constraints is she worth every penny?
We are having to scrimp and save in every other area of defense why should a shore training ship not escape the budget cuts?