Flying Fox

david smith
1st October 2004, 11:03
The Flying Fox beached prior to demolition, Cardiff.

Bob S
2nd October 2004, 15:52
RN Sloop HMS FLYING FOX. She became a training ship for the Bristol Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1924 berthed at Bristol. Bristol Division became the Severn Division after WW2 and HMS FLYING FOX became a shore establishment in 1972. Dare say this was her fate.

She look very similar to HMS PRESIDENT moored in London which was also a sloop, HMS SAXIFRAGE I believe.

julian anstis
1st December 2004, 11:40
Dave .......if you check out the website for HMS FLYING FOX ( put in a search on google or msn and look in history section) there is a photo on there of HMS FLYING FOX that the Royal Naval Reserve used until 1972 which say's she was an ex sweeper. Totally different looking than your photo.
I belive that the boat in your photo was connected to HMS FLYING FOX in that she was possibly used as the headquaters for the reserve ( before they went shoreside) and the sweeper was used for sea going training. As I live fairly close to Bristol and have travelled those roads many times I am pretty certain the two of them were at Mardyke berth just off the Hotwells Road under Clifton. Right opposite the dry dock for the SS GREAT BRITAIN. The dates would certainly tie in for this and Cardiff being only across the Severn......I will try and find out a bit more when I bump into the right people.

Regards Julian

john2365
1st December 2004, 14:34
Had a sortout of old slides and photos, thought they might be of interest.

Doug Rogers
3rd December 2004, 02:16
FYI Janes Fighting Ships of WW! indicates sloop Flying Fox commisioned March 1918 so I guess it would all work out very well.if she got the chop in 1924.
I have a problem though with HMS President and Saxifrage which name rings no bells. I may be deluding myself (often do) but I thought she was out of the Victorian era - a sloop certainly and I seem to recall that she has been restored to her original configuration and is now open (or close to) to the public at Chatham...or have I got the wrong ship??. I will be back in the UK next April and I want to visit Chatham so any information on the subject would be much appreciated. Cheers...Doug

Bob S
3rd December 2004, 11:54
Hi Doug,

HMS PRESIDENT is moored on the Thames Embankment in London, the one preserved at Chatham that I believe your refering too is HMS GANNET. I'll dig out some photo's and post.

Doug Rogers
4th December 2004, 00:48
Hi Bob,
Thanks for that, yes Gannet is what I was thinking of but I think she still had connections with the Embarkment and was moored there for a long time. You would not have recognised her though from what she was in Victorian times. My perspective is somewhat screwed by time and distance now and I cant think of the names..but there were a number back in the 50-60's and I am sure Gannet was one of them. Thanks for the assist and Gannet is on the list to visit next year.
Cheers..Doug

Doug Rogers
5th December 2004, 02:18
Thanks for the info, I can understand my confusion now with the President and why I thought what I did about her!!.
Will look forward to seeing the Gannet at Chatham when we are over there next year - and some of the other vessels there as well.
Once again thanks..

anson div
21st September 2012, 17:44
Dave .......if you check out the website for HMS FLYING FOX ( put in a search on google or msn and look in history section) there is a photo on there of HMS FLYING FOX that the Royal Naval Reserve used until 1972 which say's she was an ex sweeper. Totally different looking than your photo.
I belive that the boat in your photo was connected to HMS FLYING FOX in that she was possibly used as the headquaters for the reserve ( before they went shoreside) and the sweeper was used for sea going training. As I live fairly close to Bristol and have travelled those roads many times I am pretty certain the two of them were at Mardyke berth just off the Hotwells Road under Clifton. Right opposite the dry dock for the SS GREAT BRITAIN. The dates would certainly tie in for this and Cardiff being only across the Severn......I will try and find out a bit more when I bump into the right people.

Regards Julian


Ah Julian.
I was training on the 'Fox' (as we refered to her) in the fifties. We were told that she was a 'Racehorse class Sloop' pointed at each end (Fore' & aft') with a bridge like deckhouse also (Fore' & aft') to fool 'U' boat commanders as to in which direction she was travelling. Because she was an anti-submarine hunting sloop!
Further to your comments - I think you're refering to the 'Ton class 'sweeper' attached to Severn division after I'd gone to national service! Prior to then, our 'Bym's class minsweeper for sea training was down at Portland [both renamed 'Venturer' when with Severn division RNVR (RNR)] But also there was 'HMS Locust' The 1939 insect class ship that took such a pounding off Normandy beaches that she was afterwards only fit enough to be a classroom trainer. as such, she was used to train us in the engineering branch with her turbines opened up,but with her boilers removed, this was our classroom spaces.(Flats!)
The 'Fox' herself had a deck space removed below the main deck training shed in which she had a Twin 4.5" mounting, twin Bofor's, Orlikon plus other stuff including an eighteen inch torpedo & a .22 rifle range across the open deck space [shocking when they let the WREN's loose on it. They had a knack of pinging the underside of the main deck!!]
Digressing back to the 'Ton class' an admiralty error was made when the class went to refit in that - number & name changes happened - so reserves got another not necessarily the original ship back from refit. - [Hodgeston] I think was their last ton before getting a new river class (HMS Carron) This class no longer took the division name [HMS Venturer] They just kept their RN names!

Arnie'.

John Rogers
21st September 2012, 18:31
Julian, I always thought Cardiff was across from Bristol via the Bristol Channel,and the Severn started up from Avonmouth to Sharpness.

Union Jack
21st September 2012, 22:11
Digressing back to the 'Ton class' an admiralty error was made when the class went to refit in that - number & name changes happened - so reserves got another not necessarily the original ship back from refit.

Perhaps not so much an error as the result of a deliberate policy whereby the minesweepers/minehunters which were the seagoing tenders of the RNR Divisions, and made up the 10th Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCM10), were rotated between the different divisions so that when one went into long refit loss of continuity could be avoided by reallocation of another, either within the squadron or from one of the RN MCM squadrons.

Divisional morale, pride, and tradition were maintained by each ship taking on the traditional name of each division's tender until the system was overtaken as described at the end of Anson Div's interesting post.

Jack

anson div
22nd September 2012, 10:51
RN Sloop HMS FLYING FOX. She became a training ship for the Bristol Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1924 berthed at Bristol. Bristol Division became the Severn Division after WW2 and HMS FLYING FOX became a shore establishment in 1972. Dare say this was her fate.

She look very similar to HMS PRESIDENT moored in London which was also a sloop, HMS SAXIFRAGE I believe.

Arnie' here.
Interestingly Bob to put a bit more flesh on the bones of the Severn Division RNVR (RNR) Prior to the sloop HMS Flying Fox arriving to take the divisional role. The then 'Concrete frigate' was in Jamaica st. just along from the Bristol Royal Infirmary!

ATB.
Arnie'

anson div
22nd September 2012, 11:12
A further thought has just surfaced in this old man's memory... In WW2 HMS Flying Fox became a 'transit vessel' for RN survivor's from ship's sunk. Two of my brother-in-law's were of this lot and as my wife's family lived directly above the Fox's mooring in Clifton Wood it became 'A Mecca' for the young women around there to home in on & go with the matelots to dances. [Incidentally - one,a Grimsby trawlerman had his trawler shot out and sunk from under him at Narvik. The other, a DEMS gunner from Pompey spent five days in an open boat on the western ocean after his ship was torpedoed!] - The trawlerman got a BYMS berth from the Fox that took him later to the first close in coastal sweep off the Normandy Beaches before the landing's!

Arnie'

anson div
22nd September 2012, 11:31
Another thought: HMS Flying Fox. Being a real ship, you in the 1954era had a weekend of training aboard [Slinging/sleeping] in a hammock... But come the Sunday morning after breakfast we got a shock. 'UP THE MAST' you lot of Wanabies, was the order! The ratlines was okay but by the time you got the the top spar that bloody deck looked about the size of a postage stamp! I make no bones about this. I chickened out at the rope ladder and stayed firmly on the ratlines holding like hell onto a middle shroud! - Not one of us done the rope ladder I'll tell you!! But God it was exhilarating! [Elf & safety - My Eye!]

Arnie'