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SAVE HMS CAROLINE 1914 Light Cruiser

I can't help thinking that Portsmouth is the most sensible place for her, given the wealth of expertise in maintaining historic ships (and that's just on FLJ....). Also, either that petition is either incredibly badly worded or they really do want to either keep her in Belfast or see her scrapped....
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
Our primary role is to save HMS Caroline, and to keep her in Belfast for future generations to enjoy, as a part of a Titanic Quarter Maritime Trail

How's this confusing, we want her save AND kept in Belfast!!! If she's destined for Pompey so be it, but as long as she's saved.
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
I'm on the 'Friends of HMS Caroline' committee here in Belfast campaigning for her to be saved, although we would also like for her to remain in Belfast where she's been since 1924. As long as shes saved, that's the main objective.

We've just launched our web site Activity Stream - HMS Caroline, have a look and join.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
She will be saved and not scrapped as she is on the historic ships register. The issue is the fact that Belfast appear to be doing sweet FA to warrant keeping her. It makes sense to send her to pompey.
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
PT FYI the register does not guarantee her survival as she is worth big money as scrap pre atomic steel.i doubt you've seen her recently if only you could see her now, in a sorry state".......which isn't Belfasts fault but the RN's one ship keeper to maintain her since her decommission and very little funding. Local Government are still compiling a report to see if she'll be kept in Belfast or not. They couldn't do anything until 1st Aug even if they wanted to as she wasn't there's. Down to civil servants as usual piuing the purse strings. Belfast also has the experience to restore her.....Nomadic nearing complete restoration. You shouldn't believe everything you read in the press !
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Book Reviewer
...[this] isn't Belfasts fault but the RN's one ship keeper to maintain her since her decommission and very little funding...

While I agree that we as a Nation should keep items of historical significance for our future generations (including HMS Caroline) but I don't agree with you passing the blame to the RN. I have highlighted your use of the word "decommission" because, in effect, once decommissioned, a vessel is of no further military use or but becomes a commercial interest. What would be a better use of the MOD funds? Using limited resources to maintain and operate existing warships or provide funding to one that has not seen operational service for several decades? Yes, her many records and honours are admirable but there are other means of securing her future, other than expecting the RN to maintain an interest in her.

As an aside, it does bother me to hear (on various social media networks) ex-matelots who moan about:
a. The decaying state of former warships, or
b. The tiny number of current warships alongside in Pompey/Guzz.

With regards to the former, I refer to my previous point - once a vessel is decommissioned, it is no longer the ship you or I served on; it becomes a piece of rusting metal. The memories of time served on board are based on the Ship's Company you lived and worked with, not the vessel itself. Yes, it is tragic to see pictures of HMS NONSUCH being cut up by scrap dealers on an Indian beach somewhere but it is worth more in that capacity than sitting like a ghost in the upper harbour somewhere.

As to the second point, the older ex-servicemen have to accept that today's Fleet is smaller (but no less efficient). One Type 45 destroyer can do the tactical work of many smaller, older ships, so there is no longer a need to have several ships in a Squadron. Additionally, if a dockyard is empty then surely that's a good thing? Warships are designed to do a maritime job, not tied up alongside three abreast at FLJ. The modern RN has changed and is moving forward (too slowly for some but at least it's in the right direction). The sooner some of the older generations accept this, the better.
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
Apologies SPB worded it wrong. After being decommissioned she was under DEMS/DENS and will be handed over to the museum when the funding runs out 1st August. It will then be decided Belfast or Portsmouth.
 
Save caroline!

Some supportive comments from local readers in this story:

Pompey News: "Race Against the Clock to Save Historic Warship"

I can understand Belfast's wish to keep her as she's been there so long,but I don't quite see her inclusion as part of a TITANIC story as being apt.As to SGB's comments,I can't agree that a decommissioned ship is a 'piece of rusting metal'.CAROLINE represents a major part of our naval history and much could be done to bring Jutland - and other WW1 battles for that matter - alive for the public in a way books only partly achieve.Navy Days at Portsmouth etc. are hugely successful,and to have CAROLINE fill the gap between WARRIOR and M33 can only serve to increase the number of visitors,interest in the RN's history,as there will be many people who will have had family members - still in their memories - who served in WW1 and even fought and died at Jutland,and may even help to encourage future recruitment.A Jutland memorial like CAROLINE,just like more recent memories of the Falklands' War,will help to show how our navy,without wishing to denigrate the achievements of the other services,sacrificed so much to defend our shores and contribute so much to our long naval heritage.Portsmouth has long been recognized as the home of the Royal Navy and more Dreadnoughts of the Grand Fleet were built here than any other port,including DREADNOUGHT herself.Single museum ships scattered around the country,like HMS BELFAST,on the Thames,HMS CAVALIER and the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA,are intersting in them selves,but to have a collection of such ships in one place means so much more to visitiors,especially if they have a naval interest already.They would be more likely to travel a long distance if neccessary to see such a collection than to see one ship.Portsmouth is the ideal place to give CAROLINE a home and she would be of permanent benefit to future generations of the public and the navy,rather than go to the breakers and have her memory and heritage lost forever.I also think a ship's company would disagree about memories as for many a ship becomes home,and sailors can grow to love their ship to the extent of endowing her with a personality,especially in wartime.I've read many personal accounts that confirm this,so any memories created as part of a crew belong just as much to the ship too.Finally,a ship needn't sit as a 'ghost'(although to my sorrow I've seen many that have) if preserved as a museum for the public - better than being discarded or being sunk as an artificial reef for divers only to enjoy.
 
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sinbad

Lantern Swinger
Some supportive comments from local readers

Believe me SJP we have had similar press releases in our local papers too, supporting her staying in Belfast. I hope this isn't a big chess game being played by various groups as the stakes are too high!!
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
If she comes to Pompey, they'll have to find somewhere to put her as part of the "historic dockyard" bit of the base. Pretty much limited to either 1 basin across the 4 & 5 dock entrances, along the South Wall (adj to SRJ) or SRJ itself. Not much scope to stick 450ft of light cruiser anywhere else really..........
 

tomm90

Lantern Swinger

Very good Mr Needham, but are you going to put your hand in your pocket to help with the £5 million needed to remove the asbestos and return the ship back to its former glory? Furthermore how are you going to get all republican city councillors and MLA's at Stormont to support the ship staying in Belfast?



HMS Caroline loss inconceivable, says former NIO minister


A former Northern Ireland Office minister whose great-uncle was commander of a historic warship now berthed in Belfast has said moving it to Portsmouth would be "inconceivable".

BBC News - HMS Caroline loss inconceivable, says former NIO minister
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
Tomm90 we currently have a very unique situation in Northern Ireland with ALL parties agreeing that we should keep her here! INCLUDING REPUBLICAN parties That doesn't happen to often over here.

Belfast Lord Mayor and MLA's on board this morning to promote campaign for her to remain in Belfast.

Can't comment on the £5 million but he has donated to get the campaign started,
 
Tomm90 we currently have a very unique situation in Northern Ireland with ALL parties agreeing that we should keep her here! INCLUDING REPUBLICAN parties That doesn't happen to often over here.

Belfast Lord Mayor and MLA's on board this morning to promote campaign for her to remain in Belfast.

Can't comment on the £5 million but he has donated to get the campaign started,

Has berthing her on Londonderry been considered? It was a major port for the Battle of the Atlantic in both world wars, and you would have the financial input from another city council.
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
It has been discussed and I went down to Lisahally to have a look and only a skeleton is left of the jetty, so important history wise but largely forgotten!
 

sinbad

Lantern Swinger
The launch of the 'Friends of HMS Caroline' website HMSCaroline.com was a great success today onboard HMS Caroline despite the rain Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson and MLS Nigel Dodds attended and showed their support. UTV interviewed most people involved and hopefully it'll be televised next week. The Belfast Telegraph, News Letter & Irish News all had photographers & reporters onboard to record the event. We also had slots on BBC Radio Ulster Talkback & Frank Mitchell U105.


A big thanks to all involved BZ
 
If she comes to Pompey, they'll have to find somewhere to put her as part of the "historic dockyard" bit of the base. Pretty much limited to either 1 basin across the 4 & 5 dock entrances, along the South Wall (adj to SRJ) or SRJ itself. Not much scope to stick 450ft of light cruiser anywhere else really..........
Dear NAB,With so few ships in our navy now finding a space in Portsmouth may not be so difficult,even allowing for the new carriers.On harbour cruises in the 60s and 70s I saw many ships double-berthed right round to near Whale Island,now the harbour often seems deserted,a sad sight that needs livening up and if increasing our heritage collection with CAROLINE will help then let's go for it.
 

tomm90

Lantern Swinger
sinbad, the new Lord Mayor & Nigel Dodds, MP for North Belfast are both Unionist DUP. The other MLA's you mention are no doubt either DUP or UUP Unionists. It is understandable Unionists want HMS Caroline to stay in Belfast. To lose the ship to Portsmouth would be a huge loss to their propagation of Britishness and their political support for HM Armed Forces and its history. If you say Irish republican SF or nationalist SDLP city councillors, MLA & MP's support this project to keep the ship in Belfast please inform us who are they. What are their names?
 
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