Historical Warships Birkenhead

19th March 2006, 20:59
The Historic warships HMS BRONNINGTON, HMS PLYMOUTH, HMS ONYX and LCT 7074 have been abandoned this week by the receivers who have disclaimed the ships.

It would appear that ownership of them is now with the Crown as they are abandoned assets. What on earth will happen to them now is anybodys guess.

The U Boat, U534 is still owned privately as is the ex Mersey BAR LIGHTSHIP which has been moved away from the other vessels.

This is a very sad day and the parties responsible for the breakup of this Historic organisation should be ashamed of themselves.

To do this, just to covert an old flourmill into luxery flats that nobody can afford to live in and wont want to anyway ( its on the side of a smelly dock surrounded by industrial sites and over run with rats ) is a disgrace and their greed is an example of the large property developers of today. The destruction they have wrought in the name of developement is despicable. (Cloud)


19th March 2006, 22:46
Wasn't HMS Bronnington commanded by Prince Charles at one stage? Maybe they should appeal to him for assistance>

John T.

Geoff Bray
20th March 2006, 09:19
I am with you on this one, it's a disgrace

Frank P
20th March 2006, 10:42
I agree with all that you have said. I think that it is typical of the majority of property developers all over the world, they think only of several things money and more money.

Duncan Robinson
6th May 2006, 16:43
Is there any more news about these vessels, it all seems to have gone quiet!

6th May 2006, 18:02
Irish sea shipping website does good updates.

6th May 2006, 18:28
Would'nt it be nice if they could find a home for HMS Plymouth, somewhere appropriate like..Oh, off the top of my head...PLYMOUTH??

6th May 2006, 19:46
Update so far, the ships afloat have been moved to another part of the dock and the U Boat has been moved further down the quay from where she rested.

Discussions are apparantly taking place between Wirral Borough Council and an unknown person as to the future. So far nothing else has been released.

We can only keep our fingers crossed as to the outcome, we have already suffered the Manxman blow this past week I just hope we dont have to suffer the loss of these ships as well.


6th May 2006, 20:27
Here's yet another opportunity for the National Maritime (sailing boats only) Museum in Falmouth to step in and do something..!

What the hell their remit is, and their audacity to be named as they are is beyond me. I would have thought one of their priorities would be to secure some sort of national collection? Surely that's the point of investing public and lottery money in the venture?

Why not moor the Plymouth in Carrick Roads and run boat trips out to her? I know a ferry operator who would love to do it. HMS Plymouth has a long history with Falmouth, I certainly visited her there in 1969 when she was on a port visit.

I'd much prefer to have a tour round a proper historic ship rather than learn how they make canoes in the Solomon Islands.

Grrrr Rushie (Cloud)

7th May 2006, 05:38
Fully Agreed with Rushie.

The Bronnington is a fine vessel as well. I would be happy to make a trip on it as well. Seems that ship preservation is made of a few islands of success in a sea of failures.

Too many people just see ships as a disposable commodity when old. If we had the same view with buildings, Tour Eiffel , the Tower Bridge and all Buildings over 50 years should be demolished and replaced by modern and functional ones.

I plan to offer a cruise myself, but don't want those plastic cubic& blank "Star of the seas" floating resort.

23rd May 2006, 10:32
Why not place them in the Albert Dock complex, under the auspices of the mersyside maritime Museum ?? Cheers Bob

5th June 2006, 18:36
I fully agree, our Maritime history is being ALLOWED to vanish from under our noses by greedy Councils and Port Authorities.

We cant blame the property developers as they are just trying to conduct their business. It's the fault of the people who give planning permission, then knowingly stand by counting the profit while ships, dry-docks etc etc are consigned to the history books.

It's time a National Maritime Heritage Agency was set up with powers to prevent this sort of thing happening and a letter to Charlie might not be a bad idea to get things started!

A :@

5th June 2006, 19:16
There is supposed to be one, and it's called the National Historic Ships Register, and it fits in the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Unfortunately it has no powers so that a listed ship does not have the protection enjoyed by a listed building (or tree or electricity pylon!!!)

You may also be interested to know that we did seek help from Prince Charles re the Manxman project. However the main angle of the response was would we invite him to the opening.

Do I sound depressed? Yes

Bill Ogle

5th June 2006, 19:47
Familiar with the Historic Ship register but as you say it's a bit of a toothless tiger.

What's the latest on MANXMAN? is it bad news?

I remember her at Ardrossan for her summer visits, what a classy ship and mighty impressive flying in through the harbour entrance stern first.


7th June 2006, 14:06
The latest on the warships is that "Onyx" has been bought by a Barrow business man Joe Mullen for a sum said to be more than 100,000. In the meantime all sorts of sad excuses are being put abroad for the inability to find a home on the Mersey.

13th June 2006, 12:31
Have just seen "Onyx" under tow heading out of Mersey .

22nd September 2006, 12:06
Good thread - any update?

I visited two years ago - mainly to see U-534 (owned by Karsten Ree (I think that is how you spell it!) and on loan to the Trust. The whole experience was great, with the guides knowing their stuff.

It is a damned shame that developers have once again ridden roughshod over our heritage. I hope they can set up again elsewhere although the U-534 would need more than a windy hammer, some red lead and loads of ovies to get her away in one piece.

Keep us posted if you find anything out?

yorky jim
13th October 2006, 18:34
on Yorkshire t.v last NIGHT
a new program started ,and the very first part was the birds eye view of the north west around LIVERPOOL ,great views down the mersey and the shipping.
then over BIRKENHEAD .looking down on H.M.S PLYMOUTH.now it,s all gone.:mad:

20th October 2006, 11:42
Mad idea this ----- madder than being mad in a mad house (and I should know all about that........)

We have, on this site, Master Mariners past and present, ex Chief Mates and 2-oh's, Chief and lesser engineers, sparkies, lekkies, bilge rats, deckies, cooks and possibly bottle washers too......We have ex MN and RFA, RN, RCT, RAF, fishing fleets and RNLI - plus the odd coastguard, a policeman and - I bet - a Customs and Excise Officer.

We have ship enthusiasts coming out of our ears...........We have, in short, a couple of very experienced crews available.......

We are or were a maritime nation. We have a heritage and a history. The ships at Birkenhead are historic and should be preserved. There are a few merchantmen out there that deserve that as well.

I'd be willing to offer my time some weekends and possibly as a working holiday to do my bit and see whether we could rescue the ships or indeed one of them - sleep aboard, work day work and chip, scrape, paint, splice etc. I can also write newsletters.........and basically all because it is a part of my history, the sea, and I would be willing to stand up and be counted in an effort to see what could be done to preserve that.

How many tugs and coasters, cargo ships, tramps and tankers have soldiered on, then been left to rot when they had years more life in them? Look at the 'Shieldhall' - a good example of a trust coming together to keep the past alive. Look at Holland, who not only ensure ships live on but actually sail them, exhibit them and generally ensure the past is not forgotten. They make the past pay for the future. Look at the US, who save Liberty and Victory ships, work on them in their spare time and beg, steal or borrow parts - with the aid, often, of the government - and then get the ships back to a condition where they sailed the Atlantic for D-Daycelebrations!

Here in the UK we have forgotten how to stand and fight those who see money and today rather than history and the glorious past.

Anyone else feel that we could lend our weight to this argument?


20th October 2006, 15:59
Not such a mad idea at all. This is exactly the process planned for restoration of the Manxman (see www.ssmanxman.co.uk)
One of the key issues on Merseyside is that there is no support from the owners of the dock estates, Peel Holdings, for restored ships to feature. That is why the Warships had their lease terminated which has lead to the present situation. Similarly the owner of the restored Bar lightship is finding it almost impossible to operate in Albert Dock and recent media articles suggest a move to Salford Quays is likely.
In Manxman's case our conditional offer of a berth in Birkenhead was withdrawn following the Peel takeover. Since that time we have been unable to approach any of the key funding agencies, although a meeting which will take place in 3 weeks time will try to address these issues.
Not bad for a port which won World Heritage Status for it's docks areas, but has chosen to ignore a basic question from the UNESCO Judges who asked "where are the ships?"- and could be the first to lose this important honour.
A frustrated

Bill Ogle

20th October 2006, 16:48

Just trying to get on the site to see the 'Manxman'. My only 'claim to fame' with the IOMSPCo was towing the 'King Orry' up to Glasson dock on the 'Afon Goch' - well, actually to 15 miles off Anglesey where we handed her over to the 'Afon Wen' (that's the old deep sea tugs - not the new ones nowadays!)

I'd give serious thought to volunteering on a project like this one. One, I think I need the sea again and two, I just like to get my hands dirty! My partner would be handy doing her share too - a working volunteering holiday!

Seems a shame that the port of Birkenhead appears to be going down the same route as others and buying in people, not ships. The tourism angle would generate revenue and if she was seagoing again, revenue from day trips, cruises, educational tours, seagoing conferences, training....the list is endless. But hey, the fat ar**s that sit and make decisions aren't interested in history, are they?

I hope they do lose their World heitage status - they deserve to. That might knock some sense into them!


20th October 2006, 17:11
The big problem is that Peel Holdings are a Developement Company and are primarily concerned with building developement. The ironic thing about the lightship "Planet" is that it is now berthed at Albert Dock which is managed by British Waterways and some of the businesses there feel that a lightship intrudes on their space. Personally I would have thought that it provided interest to their customers.
I do feel that Liverpool seems to be turning its back on the Port it used to be.Even the Maritime Museum does not feel as maritime as it was originally.

21st October 2006, 00:45

Thanks for that. Interesting about inland waterways and their apparent lack of wanting links. A personal experience for you which may have some bearing on the attitude.

The Oxford canal runs about a quarter mile from my house and it is a good place to walk on a fine day. Three weeks ago, out with my partner, and there is this length of rope lying on the towpath. Being an ex sailor and seeing it lying there with horse's tails both ends, I sat down as we had lunch - by the lock - while I spliced a back splice one end and an eye the other. Generated a bit of interest from a couple of boat owners. One was flying the Red Ensign (which I have always thought was daft on a canal boat anyway!)

One of these august boatmen looked at my effort - I intended it to be a lead rope for the partner's horses as she is always on at me to make a few up and it was good quality cordage, despite being discarded - and he says 'That's gimmicky. Why did you do that? ' I looked at his own warps - knotted both ends and not even bowlines - and said it used to be my job and I could never pass a length of wasted rope. He sniffed and shrugged and said it was very fancy and very rustic - but what was the use of it? If he'd have been better mannered, I'd have whipped and spliced his ropes for him for nothing!

I told him it was for a horse (somewhat sarcastically) and he nodded, sagely, and said 'Ah, you're equestrian then, are you?'

His boat was called 'Ocean Venturer' (fat chance with that freeboard and 40' in length!) and he wore the semi yachting rig of yellow wellies, psudo mariners peaked hat (with anchor and braided edge) and a fisherman's smock.......

Now if he - august, weatherbeaten and grizzled old mariner he probably thinks he is - couldn't tell what I was doing, is it any wonder the waterways lot don't want a real ship spoiling their marina? Even that tradition has become an excuse for waterborne caravaners who remain insulated, it seems.

I sometimes wonder whether we have lost our proud maritime heritage altogether - if it wasn't for many volunteers after thin slices of National lottery money to keep something for the future, they may as well tarmac the whole docks system and hand it over to property developers for new housing and marinas!

By the way, the rope is now in daily use as a lead rope for the horses!


21st October 2006, 04:08
I can see why you were annoyed Jonty but there are prats in all walks of life and it would be wrong to think all canal wallahs are as stupid and arrogant as the bloke you came across.

Reading the earlier account of Liverpool, it sounds like it is the people renting the apartments and offices that were objecting rather than British Waterways. Probably accountants and financial advisers! (My turn to air my prejudices now!).



21st October 2006, 06:22
I may be able to help with a sorce of willing and able volunteers. PM me Jonty and I'll give you details. I am tied up at the moment assessing the Quetzalcoatl here in Pajaritos, so I may take a couple of days to get back.



21st October 2006, 15:46

Oo'er - no furrin travel!

UK great and looking forward to hearing from you

27th June 2007, 17:18
It is reported today that the U 534 of the ex Historic Warships collection has been bought by Merseytravel who plan to exhibit her as a tourist attraction at the Woodside Ferry Terminal Birkenhead. Lets hope the news is true and hooray for common sense.


Gavin Gait
27th June 2007, 17:29

Looks to be true thankfully as it was pretty close to this submarine being cut up for scrap or shipped back to Denmark.


27th June 2007, 17:49

Good news - and something Birkenhead should be proud of having done and bah humbug to Liverpool which appears to want to do zilch. Liverpool was home to the Battle of The Atlantic but do they want a genuine U-boat? Nope. Where's the sense in that?

Any news on the other ships?


Frank P
27th June 2007, 19:26
It has just been said on the local TV station that the U534 has been sold for 1 Euro. At least she is not going for scrap.

Cheers Frank

28th June 2007, 18:06
I have six Euros in my change tin........drat!


13th July 2007, 21:59
Wasn't HMS Bronnington commanded by Prince Charles at one stage? Maybe they should appeal to him for assistance>

John T.

Thats right she was Charlie's ship back in the '70's, my father in law was the L/Cook at the time, he was absolutely beside himself when he found out she had been laid up.
Speaking to some guys from the Ton Class Association, she is now in a perilous state - the upper deck is leaking badly and 2 deck is awash with rain water, she can't be long for this world me thinks without some serious TLC!
I passed her yesterday and she has a 2 or 3 degree list to port, which I have not noticed before.
It's Scandalous at how selfish and greedy these bloody developers (and the local council) can be when fat profits from developments are on offer - 'Bugger the Maritime Heritage that once made this country great' seems to be the order of the day as of late! (Cloud)


13th July 2007, 22:02
TOM - HEAR HEAR (Thumb) - I agree with every word you said - developers 'Spit ' (Cloud)


14th July 2007, 10:18
Prime minister Brown has given 100 million to sport why can`t they give that or part of it to Birkenhead to keep these old ships for the enjoyment of the public, I`d rather go to see them instead of watching football any day but of course I`m not a football fanatic.(Thumb)

25th January 2008, 20:43
I rember seeing these to an extent when I was about 7 at Birkenhead and its just unbeliveable that the goverment (Which clearly has tons of money) won't even keep them in a decent state.

25th January 2008, 20:46
The Government cant even keep the Government in a decent state Tom, so there is no hope whatsoever for the ships. At least the Mary Rose and the Cutty Sark have been helped, I suppose we should be very thankful for that.


25th January 2008, 21:06
Yea and the Vicctory is still around as is HMS Warrior and HMS Caroline in Northern Ireland. And the Great Britain in Bristol.
But they clearly have the money and they must be using it to fill there own pockets. Because if we can build 2 super carriers as well as 8 destroyers plus about 6 new RFA landing ships wit shouldn't be too hard to keep a pair of ships in a decent state for viewing.

Gavin Gait
6th February 2008, 15:30
Looking like she will be open to the public again in July
^^Photos of her


6th February 2008, 15:54
Gordon Brown has a History Phd, so one would think he'd have SOME interest in our REAL heritage! But perhaps not.
I've said on a thread elsewhere that what I'd love to see is a preserved British 1950's general cargo ship, if only one existed.

6th February 2008, 16:31
Lastest talk about U-534 is that they are in the process of cutting it up into three sections,putting glass or plastic over the ends so people can see inside,said to be moving the sections to Woodside.(Hope it is not true,I am down there a lot taking photos,will try to keep you up to date,will try and have a chat with the workmen.)

yorky jim
16th March 2008, 18:49
The first section coming over to WOODSIDE,the river was choppy at the time,

4th April 2008, 03:15
Do we have any news about the HMS BRONNINGTON, ? As she is in wood, I fear she is likely to get down much quicker than any other "remaining" ship of the exhibition.

THank you


4th April 2008, 18:43
Still afloat a couple of days ago, but for how long is anyones guess.


SAS Amatola
7th May 2008, 21:00
Anyone have an update as to condition of HMS Bronington and HMS Plymouth?

7th May 2008, 21:03
Still afloat yesterday


9th May 2008, 07:18
Hi Chris

Would it be possible for you, should it not be too inconvenient, to take one or several pictures of her before she sanks at her berth ? I don't find any good close-up picture of her on the site.

I like the Bronnington. A shame nobody wants her even for a private operation

9th May 2008, 13:11
The Sub is now it several bits.on show at Woodside.

9th May 2008, 20:08

I will try, but last time I tried to get in the Security knocked me back. Cant get a good shot from outside the perimeter, but I will try.


10th May 2008, 05:27
Hi Chris

Thank you.
As one migh expect they have some money to put in security and not a penny for those ships.

10th May 2008, 16:19
Hi vchiu,

Just got back from Vittoria Dock entrance, where I was left in no doubt by the Security there, that MDHB ( Peel Ports ) and the Docks Police, " will not tolerate any photographing of PLYMOUTH or BRONINGTON whatsoever ".

I wonder why - scared of bad publicity I bet.

Sorry I did try - they have now berthed a laid up coaster so that it completely blocks the view of the two ships from the roadway, so I could not even get a distant shot through the perimeter fences now. I could just see the tops of their masts which were upright so they are still on an even keel and afloat as far as I could tell.


yorky jim
10th May 2008, 16:56
i was there in march this year,and i found it very difficlt to get any where near the ships,but this was my best shoot.

11th May 2008, 11:26
Thank you Chris and Jim

I can't understand why such a restrictive policy. Hopefully it seems they put some bilge pumps in action, as Jim's picture was showing some list


25th May 2008, 22:56
Hi All

I am a new poster to this forum so please excuse me if I may of overlooked something when reading it before I registered,

I will do a short introduction here as I want to ask a few questions on the HMS BRONINGTON but also say a little bit about myself as well to quantify who I am and what we are trying to do.

My full name is Graham Pickles, I am at present living in Hemlington near Middlesbrough and for anyone who knows the area I live in a good part :-) I have a Nautical History Society which at the moment is trying to save the HMS KELLINGTON in Stockton, We are at the moment in a position where we have secured meetings with the Council and forewarding our business plan to them for our project. This is where the BRONINGTON comes in. Firstly I have tried to find out latest information n this ship from the local council press offices and associations as well as private people, and I have not got one reply from any of them. Actually that is a bit unfair as I have received replies from members of another board regarding the ship but not from the people who should know.

I also notice from posts here that a great amount of secrecy seems to be in place regarding the BRONINGTON, Does anyone feel this may be as they are dismantling her and selling on pieces worth money? This would also account why I cannot find an information from the council etc.

We are trying to not only preserve but fully restore these ships as well as giving them a great opportunity for the future to not only sail again but educate at the same time in a unique way which we have been in talks sorting out.

I also have to agree with many of the posts, Our heritage is been sold down rive ( sorry for the pun not intended ) It would seem that the nautical part of Great Briton should be forgotten, I feel we should through groups societies and individuals let our voices be heard and show not just the Government but also press councils and the Developers that we will not stand for any more of our ships been scrapped to make way for a building or buildings that will be probably only a white elephant in a couple of years and torn down in the way of improvement.

The younger generation of today are accused of all sorts of things, and OK there is some of them who deserve to be classed in this way but what of the ones who are truly interested in history and the past. the ones who ask of there parents and grand parents what they did in the war or service. We will soon be unable to show them any of the older ships which saved and served our country or worked in order to make us a country to be reckoned with,

I have books full of information on past ships which I am able to find out about there history, but in most cases as in the ton class am unable to go see a good specimen. We are trying to alter that but getting no where on the BRONINGTON.

What I truly cannot understand is why the people who are supposed to matter, the council, Peel docks etc and the media do not want to discuss it with us or even tell us the latest position of this ship. I thought we had a hard time with the Kellington but at least we could get answers and do something.

I apologies for going on in this and I would hope someone can point me in the right direction to maybe help. or if anyone has any photo's hey could allow me to see I would be most apreciated they can be internal external old or new.

Graham Pickles

26th May 2008, 07:23

Thanks for the reply but for some reason I cannot see it on the board but email notification says it is here??????.

HI Santos, many thanks as I say for the reply which was as follows.

"I don't think that at this moment in time, parts of BRONINGTON are being sold off etc. I think that Wirral Borough Council and Peel Holdings just dont know what to do with the ships, except that they dont want them they are not part of their plans."

You could be correct in that, We had the same trouble with the Kellington as parts disappeared and blamed on the vandalism which seems to be very selective, plus apparently our Vandals except for the fire damage use correct tools. and pieces of pipes that matter are the only ones missing apparently. I also agree that the people in the know do not know what to do with them, What grieves me is that they will not even reply to mails which we have sent nor does the media there, a rather strange blanket secrecy seems to be the order of the day. If they will not talk or reply how can anyone help or put ideas foreword ?

"Personally I think that they are concerned about adverse publicity, so they dont want the public to see any decline in the vessels and also they are perhaps hoping that if they are hidden away longer enough, people will forget about them and then they can be disposed of without publicity."

Again if this is the reason and I have no reason to disagree with you on it as it is feasible, surely the lack of interest shown to people who may be able t help will only cause more adverse publ;icity which I am sure they do not want anymore. The problem we had here was the fact they where hell bent on scrapping but due to the position of the Kellington it could not be hidden away, although after saying this a lot of things went on behind the prying eyes of public, Scaremongering was and is still been used and only adverse publicity to words the ship is reported not the good publicity or even hopes of Saviour.

"I dont know other than to say its a very sad and trying time for anyone trying to preserve anything nautical at the moment. Developers seem to think that maritime history is not a part of today anymore and will not enhance any maritime historical developements. This I think is a big mistake and that they should be remembering what made ports like Liverpool and Birkenhead big and try and capitalise on that rather than destroy it."

I totally agree with you here. At the end of the day it all boils down to fat cat profit. It is a big mistake they forget about heritage as one day we will not have any left for the nautical world to look at. Maybe we should listen more to the elements the Dutch and other people tell us and do. Not just in the preservation of old ships etc but in the defenses of our land. But that is another story for another day and quiet possibly another thread or board.
Regards Graham Pickles

There may be other replies also, but you will not receive any more notifications until you visit the forum again.

All the best,
Ships Nostalgia

26th May 2008, 18:56
I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments on the venerable old ladies that have been left to rot in Birkenhead Docks, as you and Santos quite rightly say, it's all about profit and the big , cash strapped local councils will be unwilling to provide cash to save our maritime heritage - it's just not 'en-vogue' at the moment, far better putting money into lucrative Urban regeneration schemes (which strangely enough closed the Historic Ships Collection here in the Wirral in the first place).
Anyway I will leave the politics of this alone as it is a very emotive subject with me (and many others on this website), having Served in several Ton Class Ships and a short spell in HMS Plymouth on loan back in the '80's.
I think HMS Bronington is materially in a very bad way, prior to her being closed as an attraction (on HSE grounds) she had some problems with leaks on the upper deck (like most Tons Broni has wooden decks) particularly around the Focsle area, this has progressively got worse and a fair amount of water has penetrated her decks and is on pooled on 2 Deck - causing the rather ungainly list she currently has. (This was confirmed in a TCA sponsored survey last year)
I think Santos will agree that she has sported this list for at least 12 months - god knows what she now looks like internally - but it can't be pleasant.
If you are having trouble getting anything out of the authorities, It may be worthwhile speaking to the Ton Class Association, I know they did a fair bit of work with Broni and Kellington/Iveston and they do have a fair amount of contacts to call upon as well as a vested interest in seeing the remaining Ton class ships preserved, there are not many left in the UK now - They also have HRH the Prince of Wales as Patron, he was a previous CO of Broni back in the 70's (with my father in law as Leading Chef).
The President of the association is Admiral Lippiet who is another ex Ton man.
The TCA website is www.tca2000.co.uk - If you go to the website and select TCA committee there is a link to the email address of each of the key members, it may be worthwhile firing an email to them of your plans, maybe they could help or point you in the right direction?
Let me wish you all the very best in what you are trying to do.
Fair winds and following seas.....
Yours Aye

27th May 2008, 07:33
Anyway I will leave the politics of this alone as it is a very emotive subject with me (and many others on this website),

HI Tom

I could not agree more with you, Politics is a very emotive subject with me as well especially as I am battling with it most days with the Kellington.

think HMS BRONINGTON is materially in a very bad way, prior to her being closed as an attraction (on HSE grounds) she had some problems with leaks on the upper deck (like most Tons Broni has wooden decks) particularly around the Focsle area, this has progressively got worse and a fair amount of water has penetrated her decks and is on pooled on 2 Deck - causing the rather ungainly list she currently has. (This was confirmed in a TCA sponsored survey last year)
I think Santos will agree that she has sported this list for at least 12 months - god knows what she now looks like internally - but it can't be pleasant.

I am led to believe this by reports I have been issued with from people who are not associated with the owners or councils etc. And yes the wood decks are a problem, I am at moment trying to source wood decking for the Kellington and Hull planks. ( politics again make this harder as a lot of mahogany for the hull planking comes from Africa ) The Kellington has the same problem here with a leaky deck section from the Focsle, But as we are going to renew all her decks we are not too worried. apart from the obvious work involved of course and cost.

The Kellington also has a list to Port of a few degrees, but again we can soon sort that it is not a worry to us. What I did not know was the TCA had sponsored a survey last year, I will have to get back in touch with Rik or Bob regarding this,

If you are having trouble getting anything out of the authorities, It may be worthwhile speaking to the Ton Class Association, I know they did a fair bit of work with Broni and Kellington/Iveston and they do have a fair amount of contacts to call upon as well as a vested interest in seeing the remaining Ton class ships preserved, there are not many left in the UK now - They also have HRH the Prince of Wales as Patron, he was a previous CO of Broni back in the 70's (with my father in law as Leading Chef).

Thanks for the pointer here Tom and yes the TCA is a big help , I have been in touch with them on many occasions with ref to the Kellington and got good solid advice and help from members there, I also asked about the Bron and was again given advise and help by members. I do have to stress here though that the TCA is not associated with us or our projects as we are not in association with them. But they are a great and knowledgeable association who I hold high esteem for.

I am still totally staggered that no one from the Liverpool or Birkenhead council is prepared to do a simple thing like answer a email. As for the press it would seem they may be gagged on the subject as even they do not reply or acknowledge mails.

Thanks for the well wishes Tom they are apreciated.


31st May 2008, 22:32
Hi even though I never served on Hms Plymouth, I spent time on Her sister Berwick, I'm in the position to rescue her but just dont know where to start, I am willing to purchase her and have her towed to Sheerness and maybe restored, please help folks with who to contact etc

1st June 2008, 07:27
HI Jeffuk13

Basically it depends where you are now, To recover a ship is not a easy task as I am sure people here will tell you. It is a matter of contacting many people. With your proposed project you have the added problem unless you are better than I am as to contacting someone who knows about the ship, has authority and can help, I have wrote to just about everyone regarding the BRONINGTON and got NO reply from anyone in authority including council and press. You also need authorisation to place the ship at you intended location and insurance guarantees etc.

Before you tow here you will also need to arrange for a hull survey in order to establish she is safe to tow in tidal waters. this and the above is all the easy bits ( well most of the time) there s many more things to do and a project takes a long time to set up before you even get to the stage of moving her and starting the restoration.

I really do wish you luck as I truly believe that our past maritime heritage should be saved. If you want any help at all and feel I may be able to help please send me a email I will try to help in any way possible. But as I say be warned it is not a easy task. and it does not happen over night unfortunately.

Just to give you some ideas, we have been doing the Kellington and wanted to move on to the BRONINGTON. On the Kellington since Feb this year we have sent and received replies to the Government,council,Mp's and other officials over 4000 emails. All or most have replied and followed up on before we could even start to prepair plans.

1st June 2008, 12:10
Hi Jeff,

Suggest you start with Wirral Borough Council. I dont know which department however the tel no is 01516387070.

Good luck I hope you achieve your aims.


2nd June 2008, 17:50

What you are doing is admirable, let me wish you all the very best of luck.


19th August 2008, 11:54
Hi All

Apology for lack of posts and replies, To anyone who has sent replies I thank you for your interest and we are still gaining speed on the project.

The following is this months updated abridged for message boards, I can send the full report to anyone who wants a copy or I can add anyone to our mailing list

The report for August

Progress report

1. At the end of last month and the beginning of this month we approached 2 maritime agencies, The Historic vessels, and Sunderland Maritime Heritage, We felt they may be able to help with letters of support. The replies we obtained where very favorable. And these have been added to the support letters already obtained.

2. We also approached the Stockton Council water Authority regarding keeping the Kellington where she is and renovating her to a standard to use for training. They quickly blew this out of the water so our original plans to remove her are now the only option.

3. Two possible sites has now been found for the lifting out of the ship both of these sites fall within the Stockton area so all permissions will have to come from them. We hope to be in a position to apply for the permissions through the council by the end of this month. A draft planning permission is been wrote up by our solicitors as we speak.

4. The BBC made a report on a similar project although this was land based. They asked us to put our project foreword. We have not done so as yet but we do have a contact for this. We will also be preparing the news press release and awaiting the outcome of the meeting with the council before sending it to the press.

5. We have also been in touch with the MNTB (Maritime Nautical Training Board) regarding obtaining details certification we require. We have been granted the correct ones in readiness and courses have been prepared in readiness.

6. A dry dock near the Kellington’s position has been secured.

7. A meeting with the Wivanhoe’s museum has enabled us to work out tonnages for the lift. A lot more work needs to be done on this so if anyone can estimate the lightest we can get the ship down to it would be appreciated.

8. We now have a second offer for another long term Berth for the Kellington when work is complete.

9. We are also now in talks with a European Sea Cadets Society regarding sponsorship deals. Several companies have also shown a big interest in this form of backing. Our latest figure for financial backing now stands at 666,300.00 plus possible sponsorship on top of this. This figure has the possibility of been higher if we chose to operate as a charity. And not a non profit making organization as we are at the moment.

10. Full insurance cover has been arranged for the Kellington project.

11. Stockton Council informed us after we contacted them that 6 workers where aboard the Kellington removing litter.

12. as well as the Kellington Project, we have also started talks to obtain a second ship, This ship is a ex RN Survey vessel. An initial viewing was done last week where we also met up with, Don Smith of the Nottage society, Hans Ng of Brooks Bros and Bob Dean of the TCA. The purpose of this second ship is for two reasons, Firstly to show we are serious and not as been suggested just playing around. And secondly in order to have a ship working and starting the all important business base.

3. Where we are with the council

1. We have applied for the follow up meeting to take place in September with the aim of removing the Kellington by end of year.

Regards to all and if you

19th August 2008, 15:16
To what extent are the Ton class minesweepers that important a part of our maritime heritage that we need to preserve 2 or 3 of them? Surely efforts could be combined more effectively to ensure that 1 of them is saved, possibly by cannibalising the missing important parts from the others? Then these laudable efforts won't be diluted by spreading them too thinly.

SAS Amatola
21st August 2008, 20:00
Makes sense. Is HMS Bronington the most important one?

23rd August 2008, 18:24
I think the question we need to ask is which ship is the best preserved and would cost less to repair & maintain as a museum, they are all 'Tons' at the end of the day?

SAS Amatola
24th August 2008, 16:58
Ja, good point. Not forgetting we have the SAS Durban preserved at Durban in SA. Also the modified ex-SAS Pretoria is also around but no longer in naval service.

24th August 2008, 19:15
I would imagine the woodwork (almost 80% of these ships) in the SA Tons would be in a much better material state than the UK based ships due to the hotter/drier climate in SA?

SAS Amatola
25th August 2008, 08:55
Depends on the upkeep. Museum ships tend to receive minimal care.

2nd July 2009, 19:43
For those interested, there are some very recent pics of the Plymouth and Bronington on the ISS site - HERE (http://www.merseyshipping.co.uk/photofeatures/historicships/warships300609/warships300609.htm) they look very sad I am afraid.