HMS PLYMOUTH LATEST NEWS UPDATES 2009

Updates from 2009 and 2010

Postby sidanee » 16 Nov 2008 17:45

short sharp and concise as usual andy :evil:
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Business Plan With John Howard

Postby andy hayler » 21 Nov 2008 11:53

Friday 21st Nov The revised business plan has been shipped back to JH for his comments.
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Response from John Howard Friday 21st Nov

Postby andy hayler » 23 Nov 2008 00:20

I have had a response from John Howard to the revised business plan, and I quote 'there is no margin for manoeuvre'
The rental he wanted for his berth was 4 times the initial sum quoted to Ian, albeit some time ago.
This makes the berth impossible from a commercial perspective.

We are renewing the attack on the 'South Yard' option , so watch this space.


Andy
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South Yard Attack

Postby andy hayler » 23 Nov 2008 16:17

As I mentioned in my last post we are renewing the attack on South Yard.

This is the situation as of Sunday 23 November 08.

Lord Owen was due to meet with the Devonport Base commander Commodore Ian Jess on Friday 21st Nov. I understand his intention will be to raise the issue at MOD level if Ian Jess is unable to make the decision.

I met the 2SL on Friday evening and raised the berth predicament, he had been very well briefed by Crispie on the general situation; however I followed up with a letter, please see below.

"
Vice Admiral Alan Massey CBE ADC,
2nd Sea Lord, C in C Naval Home Command,
Navy Command,
HQ, MP 3-5,
Leach Building
Whale Island,
Portsmouth PO2 8BY
22 November 2008.

Reference HMS Plymouth



During the very brief encounter we had last Friday evening I mentioned some of the problems we have had in securing a future for HMS Plymouth.

I have to say, I was both surprised and delighted to realize how conversant you are with the situation.

However, there was one aspect which I had hoped to expand on but was unable to do so at the time.

While the preservation of HMS Plymouth may have many laudable aspects there is one particular feature that may assist the Royal Navy of today.

The feature I refer to, is of recruitment.

In the article in the Navy News of November 2004, the then First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West was extolling the qualities of those recruits who had experience of Cadet Forces, both with retention and progression through the Senior Service. His article also warns of ‘looming crises in camps accommodation’ I feel confident that any reasonable steps taken to encourage young people to experience life onboard would have a positive outcome in how they view the Senior Service and potential recruitment.

I understand the facilities for hosting Sea Cadets in the South West have to be shared with HMS Brecon and plainly the requirements of HMS Raleigh must take precedence.

Undoubtedly the berthing of HMS Plymouth in South Yard could provide dedicated facilities and address this particular issue.

I am aware that Lord Owen was intending to raise the issue of berthing with Commodore Ian Jess on the same day that we spoke but as yet I’m unaware, of the outcome.

As a purely personal experience, I can very clearly trace my desire to join the RN after visiting on old WW2 destroyer in reserve during Navy Days in Portsmouth in 1962. The particular aspect that ‘hooked’ me was the scale of electronic engineering onboard which illustrates the point that it is not necessary to have the latest ship on display to create interest. With the limited number of ships in commission and available for display purposes this could provide an additional resource to promote the Royal Navy.

For your information, I am acting on behalf of Warship Management Limited where we have been trying to secure the future of HMS Plymouth for some considerable time. Our business plan is quite robust but the essential element missing is a berth.

The bottom line … I would be delighted if you could do all within your remit to facilitate the berthing of HMS Plymouth, even if it is for a limited period, in South Yard Devonport. "


Once I had produced the letter I drove down to Crispie land and passed it to his partner, who happens to be the 2SL PA so it should be on his desk first thing Monday morning. where with luck it might be fast tracked through the system thanks to the Tony Crisp connection, big BZ to TC.

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SITREP Sunday 30th November

Postby andy hayler » 30 Nov 2008 16:28

Latest News, all rather depressing;

Lord Owen has not secured a berth in S Yard.

I have not had a response to my 2SL letter.

The deadline for WML to respond to Peel Holdings is Monday 1st Dec. stand by for a press release from them, explaining the situation.

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Postby Martin » 03 Dec 2008 00:31

In Andy's absence for the next week ~ he flies out to the Falklands tomorrow with H.M.S. Collingwood band to give a series of concerts around the islands, as well as drum up some support for the ship ~ it falls to me to be the bearer of news, good, bad and indifferent 8)

The first piece of news which I must impart, is something which we have been expecting for a number of weeks now, and is definitely of the middle variety :-(

Warship Management Ltd. have decided to abandon their efforts to take the Plymouth back to Guzz :cry: please note in the list of people to contact whose phone number is the only one quoted :!: :roll:

For Release at 0800 3rd December 2008


From Warship Management Ltd, 9 Branson Court, Plymouth PL7 2WW

"DISGRACE" AS FAMOUS WARSHIP IS SNUBBED

Three years of intensive efforts to return the Falklands veteran frigate HMS PLYMOUTH to her home port of Plymouth to go back on public display appear to have failed today (Tuesday 2 December) . After being bombed in action, this historic frigate hosted the surrender of South Georgia by Argentine forces in 1982 and went on to serve in the Royal Navy until 1988 after which she was purchased at full market value by the charity The Warship Preservation Trust (WPT) from the MoD . She was successfully opened to the public at Plymouth (88,000 visitors in the first year), Glasgow and since 1991, Birkenhead, but in 2005 the location in which her berth stood was sold to third party developers and alternative short term berths were unacceptable to the management of WPT. With no acceptable berth, the project closed and the WPT was placed into administration.

As the last surviving warship to have been built in Devonport, fund raising has continued ever since to purchase and re-open her in Plymouth as a focus for tourism and maritime heritage education. This has included a massive effort by her former crew members in the HMS PLYMOUTH Association who raised more than £30,000. Other donors across this country and abroad have raised enough money to purchase the vessel and tow her from Merseyside to Plymouth. The first possibility was at Commercial Wharf outside Sutton Harbour but was blocked by development, the second possibility, Howard's Quay on the Plym (owned by John Howard Marine), was ruled out by berthing costs & increased by technical doubts raised by the local harbourmaster, Capt. Tim Charlesworth and the previous Commander of HM Naval Base, Devonport, Commodore Simon Lister. It is believed that Commodore Lister commissioned a "Limited Survey" on this privately-owned ship, presumably at taxpayer expense. This report curiously declared that "as a warship" she was not fit to sit on the mud, despite surviving heavy seas around the world and an Argentinian bombing raid. WML commissioned extensive and expensive reports by professional Naval Architects whose calculations from the ship's original structural plans showed that there would be no difficulty. All has been on course to tow the ship south until unfortunately Howard Marine then trebled their charge for their potential berth.

Following this, an emergency meeting was held last week between Lord David Owen and the current Commander of HM Naval Base Devonport, Commodore Ian Jess, to ascertain if the Navy would allow the vessel to be berthed in Devonport's South Yard until this transfers to civilian ownership in the future. Commodore Jess however told Lord Owen that there was no room for the vessel. He also informed Lord Owen that the listed dry dock which the project might have hoped to use, No 2 Dock, had had its gates removed in the last three months and was now tidal, making it impractible to berth HMS PLYMOUTH without reinstating the gates at a cost of over a million pounds. This has led to WML despairing of finding a berth for HMS PLYMOUTH in the city, which, having to leave Merseyside soon, may swell be sent to the scrapyard.

Councillor Dr. David Salter of Plymouth City Council has given the project his full support and has been assisting and encouraging the project for two years, including many meetings with owners of potential berths. He said "I believe this outcome is a local and national disgrace after enormous effort by WML, the men of the HMS Plymouth Association and by well wishers all over the country. It is outrageous that in her namesake City with a huge waterfront and international maritime reputation, no place at all can be found for this historic warship with a proven ability to attract tourists and educate youngsters."

Speaking last night from his home in Liskeard, Mike Critchley (former Royal Navy officer and first CEO of the Warship Preservation Trust which took the vessel over from the Navy in 1988) said “It is a very disappointing day – particularly for those many volunteers who have spent thousands of hours keeping the vessel in a superb shape and open to the public for many years. Even today after three years awaiting her fate in the docks at Birkenhead and now looking scruffy externally, inside she is still ready to receive visitors. Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, the current owners, have given her plenty of care and the lights and ventilation are still on – she would just need a power supply in any new berth and someone somewhere could have a great tourist attraction of historic significance.

What concerns me the most is the beautiful chapel that was built into the ship as a memorial to all the UK seafarers lost in the South Atlantic in 1982. Many a parent and family member has returned to the ship over the years to see their sons name on the chapel oak panels....and I have never heard of a group of sailors raising OVER £30k amongst themselves to preserve their old ship with this memorial onboard.

What next? the owners, following this disappointing news, will no doubt reconvene to discuss the ships future – they have been more than generous in awaiting a favourable response from Plymouth and they feel Plymouth is letting them down at this final hurdle. Very soon she becomes the maritime equivalent of a listed building when she is 50 years old and that may bring them many a potential problem.

I am aware of two organisations overseas and one in the UK which have expressed an interest in hosting her in the past, but in recent times more inquiries have come to Merseyside to release her for scrap. The owners have always resisted this option in favour of seeing the ship return to her natural home – PLYMOUTH. I see the possibility of a breakers yard looming – a fate from which she was saved in 1988. Surely this should not be the way that her story ends?”

Ends

CONTACTS. You may want to contact the following who have been major players in this long running story in recent years

Ian Stockdale ( W M L Company Secretary)
Cllr David Salter (Plymouth City Council)
Dave Briody – Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
Captain Tim Chalesworth ( Cattewater Harbourmaster)
Captain David Pentreath ( HMS PLYMOUTH Captain during Falklands war)
Martin Slater – HMS PLYMOUTH Association Secretary . Tel 0151 286 6992
Sir Philip Goodhart – former Chairman of Warship Preservation Trust – ex MP and Govt Minister
John Howard Marine


Fear not however, we will not give up and have been working towards an alternative solution for the last few weeks.

I will tell you more in the next couple of days :wink:

Meanwhile, please have a look at the Comments & Ideas thread where you will find a missive from Dave Lock which should give you a clue as to what we are proposing 8)


Yours Aye



Martin Slater
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Postby Martin » 03 Dec 2008 14:48

That then, is officialy that :?:

HMS Plymouth could go to scrap
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Postby Martin » 03 Dec 2008 17:01

Response from the Association


HMS Plymouth Association’s Response to WML’s Press Release


It was with a sense of profound regret that HMS Plymouth Association, an organisation of former crew members, learnt of Warship Management Ltd’s (WML) intention to abandon all attempts at preserving HMS Plymouth in the City of her berth [sic].

The Association has been closely involved in a great many aspects of the negotiations in trying to obtain a suitable berth for the Falklands veteran; soon to be officially listed an Historic Vessel; and appreciate the frustration which WML has endured when dealing with a City, who for the most part, appears to be totally indifferent to not only saving this iconic warship, but where some elements appear to be actively attempting to thwart those efforts.

While the ship herself is fundamentally just the same as when she was last in RN service, there is one significant and poignant feature which makes her unique. A wood-panelled, dedicated chapel of remembrance was created on board which very quickly became a valuable asset, not only for many participants of the conflict, but also for families of the bereaved, providing for them a place to reflect and come to terms with those traumatic events.

Many view the failure to find a suitable berth as symptomatic of a society willing to expose its members to all manner of dangers, but once the immediate need is satisfied, equally willing to ignore their subsequent needs.

The Association, having taken a proactive role with WML - its members having raised significant funds - stands poised to support any venture that will facilitate opening the ship to the public once more; from ships husbandry to interpretation of the systems employed on board, and all points between.

In the current financial crises many members of the Association have found it difficult to reconcile the needs of bankers with the needs of some of the more ordinary members of our society.

1982 became the most recorded chapter in H.M.S. Plymouth’s history, when she took part in every significant action in the Falklands conflict, from the recapturing of South Georgia Island (the surrender document being signed in her wardroom), to the British re-entry into Port Stanley harbour when she took on the role of Queens Harbour Master

In what was the last naval battle of the 20th Century, a ship designed for the Cold War, was to see action in a Hot War, a war which cost this country 4 RN ships sunk, Sheffield, Coventry, Antelope and Ardent, 1 Merchant Navy ship sunk, Atlantic Conveyor and 1 Royal Fleet Auxiliary sunk as a war grave, Sir Galahad.

It does behove us to consider, in a more sympathetic way, the significant heritage that H.M.S. Plymouth represents.









CONTACTS. You may want to contact the following who have been staunch supporters of the bid to ‘Take H.M.S. Plymouth Home’

Andy Hayler, Association Vice Chairman Tel 01483 892 074 e-mail andy.hayler@btinternet.com (currently touring the Falkland Islands with the band of H.M.S. Collingwood. Available after 11th December)
Martin Slater, Association Secretary Tel 0151 286 6992 e-mail sec126club@btinternet.com
Rt Hon the Lord Owen, CH PC
Sir Philip Goodhart, former Chairman The Warship Preservation Trust
Capt David Pentreath, Commanding Officer H.M.S. Plymouth 1982
Lt Cdr Mike Critchley, CEO Warship Management Ltd.
Ian Stockdale, Co. Secretary Warship Management Ltd.
Cllr Dr. David Salter, Plymouth City Council
Dave Briody – Mersey Docks and Harbour Company
John Howard, John Howard Marine
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Postby Martin » 03 Dec 2008 22:53

Also posted by Blue Boy in the Closure forum

HMS Plymouth could go to scrap

I think Lord Owen was a bit miffed 8)
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Postby Martin » 04 Dec 2008 10:16

Report on ITV Westcountry last night

Just over 7 minutes in

Westcountry News
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Postby Martin » 06 Dec 2008 19:13

A further article to ponder

Navy veterans lose warship fight

It quotes me, but that was from our press release and was penned by Andy :roll: But I don't mind taking the glory :P
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Postby Martin » 10 Dec 2008 14:24

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Postby Martin » 14 Dec 2008 01:00

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Postby Martin » 27 Jan 2009 20:53

Following the announcement on 3rd Dec that WML were discontinuing their efforts to take HMS P back to Plymouth, Andy and I discussed the possibility of the Association taking over the reigns and running the project ourselves.

If this were to be a possibility, we felt that we must ‘get ahead of the game’ as quickly as possible and in preparation a ‘management team’ has been formed, comprising of myself and Andy; the 'Save the Plymouth Fund' Sub-Committee, Tiger, Percy and Taff; along with others who have been most vocal up to now with their ideas, or were identified as having a particular skill to offer ~ Dave Lock, Tony Crisp, Paul Clarke and Jim Simpson ~ each of us has taken on a ‘task/tasks’ to move things along.

Our first meeting was held on Saturday 10th Jan at Tiger & Mo’s in Milton Keynes where we discussed the various options open to us ~ do we carry on trying to save her; what could we do to save her etc. etc.

The outcome was that we will continue to do what we can to keep her from the scrapyard; a cut-off date of the end of August being what we would work to, this being we believe, when MDHC might just be thinking about scrapping her.

Those of you who pledged & paid into the ‘Save the Plymouth Fund’ will be receiving correspondence from Tiger requesting your continued support.

Prior to Christmas I was contacted by Bob Mims, who lives in Hayle, Cornwall, who informed me that a huge regeneration project was being carried out down there by the real-estate arm of the bankers ING. He was very enthusiastic about getting the ship down there as part of this and has already spoken to ING.

There are more details contained here. He sees her as sitting in Penpol Creek, which is in the centre of the picture on page 2 of this document (the one with the two foot/cycle bridges), where she would be berthed just ‘under’ the railway.

Last Wednesday, Percy, who doesn’t live a million miles away in Falmouth, travelled to Hayle to meet with Bob, who gave him the guided tour and introduced him to a few of the locals. There is a large groundswell of enthusiasm for this scheme, with many wanting to see her down there.

The project featured on the Laurence Reed lunchtime phone-in on BBC Cornwall today, with an interview with Bob (live from Hayle) and myself (live from work!) 5mins 20secs in ~ autographs £10 each, proceeds to the fund 8)

Percy will be attending a development meeting in Hayle tomorrow with Bob and putting forward the Association ‘overview’ of what we believe can be done with the ship ~ stay tuned for further info.


Yours Aye


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Postby Martin » 01 Feb 2009 00:41

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