I have asked on Facebook "Buddies in Boats" and a couple said it was Turbulent without voicing any reservations.
Yeah, I remember watching the removal of the SRC crane, massive undertaking. The legs stayed, but are gone now too. A lot of the cranes in the yard have gone, moved to mobile cranes mostly.Good to see a picture of the SRC still intact! Having been one of the small MoD team preparing the complex for commissioning, I was located on-site during the latter stages of its construction. In between fitting it out with furniture and certain equipment items (ironically, all supplied by the Royal Air Force) and convincing dockyard/naval departmental heads that their allocated spaces were suitable for their needs, we were involved in giving guided tours to numerous visitors including MP's, Government officials, Military Chiefs, local dignitaries, Press and TV etc - a dubious pleasure at times.
During one of these visits by a group of very senior Whitehall Civil Servants, one of them was thrilled on seeing his first nuclear submarine afloat in 14 dock. Unfortunately, I had to quickly point out that the dock had been flooded-up for test purposes only and the fin of the submarine he was excited about was in fact a floating dockyard caisson! And he was an Admiralty man too!!.
Forty years on, the Complex is a shadow of its former self with the CMO block and Refuelling crane just a distant memory. A little disappointing for me having witnessed the expertise and effort that went into their creation. But then again that's progress I suppose - Hey Ho!
I was duty on the boat the night of those high winds. We were on 9 wharf at the time and walking home the following day I well remember the crane lying across the two frigates.During my occupation of the SRC's CMO building around 1980, I recall the night when the huge rail mounted dockside crane that ran along 11/12 wharves was blown over during a severe gale, crashing down on the hangar of the Leander class frigate HMS Minerva and the rear end of the the outboard Type 21 frigate HMS Ambuscade. Luckily, because of the extreme weather, duty RN personnel were taking shelter away from the affected areas so no injuries were sustained although the ships were badly damaged. The subsequent enquiry established that the crane's jib had become locked into one position instead of being able to swing free in the wind. In so doing it had acted as a giant sail. The two ships were berthed together in the position where the single Type 23 frigate is shown in your picture.
Regarding the taking of official pictures in the Yard or in Plymouth Sound, this has been going on for around a century and was always carried out by the old dockyard photographic sections or, for aerial shots, either by the HMS Seahawk photograhic section at RNAS Culdrose, or further back, RAF photographers onboard aircraft from the Cornish RAF bases at St Eval and St Mawgan. It used to be common practice for ships to be photographed from every angle whilst in pristine condition immediately after refits. This was usually achieved whilst they were secured to Charlie buoy in Plymouth Sound. Many of these old photos can be found on the internet.