HMS Belfast

wet_blobby

War Hero
Moderator
#2
HMS Belfast is cool. Many moons ago a young Blobbs honeymooned in London.....I know, dont ask.....me and the new Mrs Blobbs visited HMS Belfast and as soon as the ex matelots manning the thing found out I was a serving Booty on honeymoon whisked us down to the off limits parts of the ship and got us royally drunk...bless them, good blokes to a man.
 
#3
Fluffy - This thread on the World Naval Ships Forum may be of interest, particularly this post by Tim Lewin, son of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin, who has been instrumental in acquiring Russian support including the personal involvement of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.

WNSF said:
...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...
 
#5
I served on the Belfast, when she was part of Bellerophon at whale Island.
Then when I was in the Devonshire we took her up to the port of London and got an extended weekend for our involvement. Then we had a week tied up alongside her so got a good chance to try London wenches. :wink: :oops: :D
Nice ship at sea.
 
#6
A dear old friend, now departed, was responsible for Belfast's last move. His obituary is well worth reading:

Lt-Cdr Robbie Robinson
Daily Telegraph 13 Mar 2004 said:
...For his last appointment in the Navy in 1971, Robinson briefly commanded the cruiser Belfast before handing her over to the museum authorities. Surprisingly, despite his array of campaign medals and the dangers he had met, his only honour was an MBE...
 
#7
Naval_Gazer said:
A dear old friend, now departed, was responsible for Belfast's last move. His obituary is well worth reading:

Lt-Cdr Robbie Robinson
Daily Telegraph 13 Mar 2004 said:
...For his last appointment in the Navy in 1971, Robinson briefly commanded the cruiser Belfast before handing her over to the museum authorities. Surprisingly, despite his array of campaign medals and the dangers he had met, his only honour was an MBE...
NG, that's when we took her in '71 and I met the bloke. Like that bit said in the paper, he was very popular with all the hands, and he sat me down and had a good talk to me about a personal prob I was having at that time.
He was spot on with his advice, but more so he made you feel that it was not a problem without a solution.
I did not know anything of his history except he was ex lower deck.
Sorry to hear he crossed the bar, smashing skipper.
 
#9
Managed to organise a party onboard the ship last year for my wifes' 40th birthday.(friends in high places an' all that :wink: )

The curator is a top bloke, as well as the staff.They let us stay onboard for the weekend and we had the run of the ship moreorless.

Reccomended!

GH
 
#10
Previously on this forum: Keeping HMS Belfast Afloat

From my Branch's perspective, HMS Belfast is a very special ship indeed. I was involved in organising an on board lunchtime reception on 26 Nov 2009 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Cdr John Ouvry DSO RN first rendering safe a German 'GA' magnetic mine at Shoeburyness on 23 November 1939. Two days before Ouvry's feat, Belfast had been seriously damaged by a similar mine and put out of action for three years. She now has Ouvry's mine on display.



For more details and photos of this event, see the entry for 27 Nov 09 in News Archive 28 of the MCDOA website.
 
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#11
ME n mine went round the Belfast a few years ago when we went down for beating retreat by the RMB .We got lashed up as well didnt pay the full wack eitherthey saw my crest on my shirt .only other time i was on her was one night before jioning my next ship
 
#12
One reason a lot of the ships company at Whale Island used to go aboard her when she was Bellerophon was to visit the barber.
The barber at the Island was used to cutting the hair of the bods on 2's courses, and you ended up scalped no matter how you pleaded, it was short back and sides. :cry:
On Belfast you got a boston and none of the crap about sideburns cut to the lobe of your ear as per DCI's. :D :D
 
#13
Rumrat - I remember MAA George Ivan (Henry) Cooper, our Coxswain in HMS Laleston in the early 1970s, telling me tales of serving in Bellerophon as a young lad. From Ben Warlow's 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy':

Lt Cdr B. Warlow RN said:
BELLEROPHON: Portsmouth Reserve Fleet.
Commissioned 1 Jul 1950. Paid off 1 Feb 1971.
Senior Officer Reserve Fleet in ADAMANT 1950-52, MAURITIUS 53, CLEOPATRA 54-55, VANGUARD 56-60, RAME HEAD 65-66. On 28 Dec 1956 VANGUARD became both Flag Officer Commanding Reserve Fleet (ex-DIDO & CLEOPATRA) and Senior Officer Reserve Fleet Portsmouth (ex-LIVERPOOL & BOXER).
Note: Sailor's name for this ship "Billy Ruffian".
Nominal Depot Ship: FMB (Fast Motor Boat) 43111 Jul 1950 to 6 Dec 1956. FMB 42407 6 Dec 1956 to 1970 (at least).
Presumably, HMS Belfast was a member of the Reserve Fleet under the auspices of HMS Bellerophon. Technically speaking, she was a cruiser that became a tender to a 45' Fast Motor Boat. :)
 
#14
Naval_Gazer said:
Rumrat - I remember MAA George Ivan (Henry) Cooper, our Coxswain in HMS Laleston in the early 1970s, telling me tales of serving in Bellerophon as a young lad. From Ben Warlow's 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy':

Lt Cdr B. Warlow RN said:
BELLEROPHON: Portsmouth Reserve Fleet.
Commissioned 1 Jul 1950. Paid off 1 Feb 1971.
Senior Officer Reserve Fleet in ADAMANT 1950-52, MAURITIUS 53, CLEOPATRA 54-55, VANGUARD 56-60, RAME HEAD 65-66. On 28 Dec 1956 VANGUARD became both Flag Officer Commanding Reserve Fleet (ex-DIDO & CLEOPATRA) and Senior Officer Reserve Fleet Portsmouth (ex-LIVERPOOL & BOXER).
Note: Sailor's name for this ship "Billy Ruffian".
Nominal Depot Ship: FMB (Fast Motor Boat) 43111 Jul 1950 to 6 Dec 1956. FMB 42407 6 Dec 1956 to 1970 (at least).
Presumably, HMS Belfast was a member of the Reserve Fleet under the auspices of HMS Bellerophon. Technically speaking, she was a cruiser that became a tender to a 45' Fast Motor Boat. :)
I couldn't say what status she held at Bellerophon, there was Belfast, Rame Head, and either Broadsword or Battle Axe and Agincourt, but as its about 40 years ago................... 8O :oops: :D
And if you went down that a way during turn too, you could even get an "Interview" with the posh sailors who were Royal servants off the Yacht. :wink:
 

Levers_Aligned

War Hero
Moderator
#16
Dit on:

In 99, Belfast was brought down to Pompey for a docking a defect spell, where she sat in one of the longer locks. Coincidentally, my ship was in 13 or 14 dock, undergoing some emergency underwater work as well, and my father, an ex-killick stoker then in his mid-seventies came down to stay with the family. I took him to the ship, showed him my empire and down in the dock, under the ship and the like. We then strolled round the dockyard, him regaling how it used to be, which ships were tied up where and as he spoke, I could see Fountain Lake full of destroyers and cruisers. We blagged our way on to the Belfast, because the old feller shipkeeping could see a fellow old hand when he saw one and we were both treat to an impromptu tour round the ship. We went down below into the engine room and stood on the magnificent top plates, where the Chief ERA would stand and watchkeep and my old man was in his element. Both of them spun dits to outdo each other and it was magical to see these two blokes, with so much in common chatting bollocks and just living the moment. We spent about an hour down there and maybe two elsewhere on the ship. As we left the gangway, by dad said to this guy, “I noticed ... that nowhere in that engine room have you got a wheelspanner.†The bloke explained that nothing bolted down is quickly nicked, and he hadn’t seen a wheelspanner in years. My dad said, “I have one. It is hung in my shed back up north at home. It’s my own personal on from when I was serving. I’ll bring it down next time I am in London visiting and you can have it.†This bloke was delighted. A couple of days later I waved goodbye to my dad as he got on the coach for home. It was actually the last time I saw him and he died peacefully at home two weeks later. My sisters and I tasked ourselves to clear his belongings and as I turned out his shed with his engineering tools and artifacts, I found the wheelspanner, now dull but once filed and honed clean. It had his initials stamped across the ‘V’ cradle. I took it back down and found the bloke on the Belfast, two days before she flooded up. When I told him that my dad had died, he was choked, big style and thanked me for the wheelspanner. I’d like to believe it is still on there some eleven years later.

levers
 
#17
In 1963 Belfast took part in Rockhaul 1 when flying the Flag of ACR she escorted 10MS to Gibraltar. I was a rather skin JME on loan from Forth Division RNR to HMS Venturer from Bristol RNR. The passage accross the bay was quite rough for the sweepers but Belfast just cut through it all majestically. We called in at Lisbon and Tangeirs as well as Gibraltar and I had my one and only La Linea run as Franco closed the border after then

Also dod Roclhaul 2 the following year In Killiecrankie just before going to BRNC.
 
#18
Russian team help repair HMS Belfast's masts 'as war thank you'

Daily Telegraph 11 Sep 2010 said:
A team of Russian contractors has travelled to Britain to help repair the (sic) HMS Belfast to its former glory as part of a “thank you†for its services during the Second World War. The 11 workers from St Petersburg are undertaking the £250,000 project to install two new masts on the warship in gratitude for her service to Russia in defeating the Nazis. Six of the contractors are sleeping on board the ship during the three-week project. It is the first time in almost 50 years the cabins have been used...
The driving force behind this project is Tim Lewin, son of the late Admiral of the Fleet Terence Thornton Lewin, Baron Lewin, KG, GCB, LVO, DSC, who took part in the Arctic Convoys in which HMS Belfast was so heavily involved.

The new masts were manufactured by Russian companies. Here is the replacement work as shown on Russian TV:

Russians repair HMS Belfast, by NTV


The coins shown in the video are being placed under the masts in accordance with this naval tradition.
 
#19
Maxi_77 said:
In 1963 Belfast took part in Rockhaul 1 when flying the Flag of ACR she escorted 10MS to Gibraltar. I was a rather skin JME on loan from Forth Division RNR to HMS Venturer from Bristol RNR. The passage accross the bay was quite rough for the sweepers but Belfast just cut through it all majestically. We called in at Lisbon and Tangeirs as well as Gibraltar and I had my one and only La Linea run as Franco closed the border after then

Also dod Roclhaul 2 the following year In Killiecrankie just before going to BRNC.
Off topic sorry but:-
You sure about the dates there maxi, as I was in Gib in 67 and 69 and the border was closed in 69 in response to the passing of the Gib constitution.
I have pics of the riots there at that time as we were all turned out for them. They were Pro British riots and the locals were destroying all the Spanish property and Yachts in the Marina. It didn't fully reopen until 85, but it did open partially in 82.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar
 
#20
Rumrat said:
Maxi_77 said:
In 1963 Belfast took part in Rockhaul 1 when flying the Flag of ACR she escorted 10MS to Gibraltar. I was a rather skin JME on loan from Forth Division RNR to HMS Venturer from Bristol RNR. The passage accross the bay was quite rough for the sweepers but Belfast just cut through it all majestically. We called in at Lisbon and Tangeirs as well as Gibraltar and I had my one and only La Linea run as Franco closed the border after then

Also dod Roclhaul 2 the following year In Killiecrankie just before going to BRNC.
Off topic sorry but:-
You sure about the dates there maxi, as I was in Gib in 67 and 69 and the border was closed in 69 in response to the passing of the Gib constitution.
I have pics of the riots there at that time as we were all turned out for them. They were Pro British riots and the locals were destroying all the Spanish property and Yachts in the Marina. It didn't fully reopen until 85, but it did open partially in 82.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar
Rumrat - ROCKHAUL 1 definitely took place 10-24 August 1963 with ACR flying his flag in HMS Belfast. Although the border was not closed in 1964, the Spanish certainly made it much more difficult to cross to the point that it wasn't worth trying to go for a run ashore in La Linea:

40 YEARS ON THE CLOSURE OF THE GIBRALTAR/SPAIN FRONTIER

Gibraltar Chronicle 9 Jun 2009" said:
In May, 1962, the British Vice Consul in Algeciras, Sir Edward Cottrell, was informed by José Picatoste, the Spanish Frontier delegate for the Campo de Gibraltar, that he had received orders from Higher Authority that only the transit of tourist cars registered in Gibraltar or belonging to residents of the Colony would be allowed through the La Linea frontier. The order was to be applied to cars proceeding from or to Morocco as from the 21st. May.

Two years later, after the United Nations Committee of 24 had adopted a consensus inviting Britain and Spain to hold conversations about Gibraltar bearing in mind the interests of the population, it was not long before the repercussions were felt at the Gibraltar/La Linea frontier! Passage of goods and vehicles, particularly those carrying visitors and tourists in transits were being delayed and obstructed in a deliberate and calculated manner. Matters continued to deteriorate in the ensuing days with deliberate delays and discourtesies which virtually brought vehicular traffic to a standstill. Visitors were being openly discouraged from entering Gibraltar by threats that it would take them two hours to go through Spanish Customs and Police formalities and four hours to return and that all goods purchased in Gibraltar would be surcharged at the rate of 22½% ad valorem...(more)
 

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