Still looking as good in No3 Basin yesterday as when she departed Hebburn in 1970!
Even more surprising is that she still has her name and A269 on the hull after 6 months! Maybe there's something they know that we don't.
I hope she still has the Black Top on her funnel. We restored that in Monte during a Maint period last year so that she looked like a proper RFA for her final fling. Great ship and it broke my heart to see her go.
You will see from Phill's post of today that she still has the black top. You have answered a question I'd posed elsewhere as to when the black top had reappeared, much prefer it.
You and your fellow COs, officers and crews over the years made a great job of maintaining this fine lady. Like you I will always have fond memories as I was the Engineer Overseer when she was built at Hebburn - albeit with the dreaded AOs !!
I have wondered for ages why some of the other RFA's have had their black funnel tops restored. Some of the Leaf class, Sir's and the Argus are now showing the black top again. Was it a decision made a few years ago?
I try to ensure any ship that I have Commanded has a Black Top. List so far:-
SIR TRISTRAM, BAYLEAF, SIR BEDIVERE, GOLD & GREY ROVER, ARGUS. Also had the funnel in FORT AUSTIN painted as XO. Others have followed the lead and so hopefully it will become the norm soon. Question is what do we do on the BAY Class as they have no funnels.
Great picture by Shaun. Sorry to see the "Grey" has gone. Spent many months in her when she was the Windies support tanker. Also known as the "Gay Raver" by Barbados Port Control who replied to her initial VHF call on our visit to that port in 1981.
Thanks for clearing that one up Shaun! Your list includes most of the ships I was thinking of, the only other one I have seen is the Oakleaf. Maybe a stupid question but is it entirely up to your discretion how they are painted? I have always wondered why HMS Liverpool is the only Type 42 with a black top.
Very much down to the CO so long as the work done at "no cost" e.g during a Maint period etc and covers the area normally stained by funnel gas anyway. The funnels were painted grey during the Falklands and Gulf wars along with the lifeboats. I am not sure why LIVERPOOL has a black band..............maybe a more traditional CO with a sense of individual flair was appointed!
OAKLEAF was painted by one of my ex-XO's so the word is spreading.............DILIGENCE also has black tops.
Cheers Shaun, these ships certainly look smarter with the black tops. Its a shame it can't be brought back across the RN/RFA fleet. I distinctly remember when the black was painted over in 82, I was only 10 and whilst I appreciated the importance of the ships being toned down for war, it completely screwed up my ships spotting hobby for a while. On the subject of the new Wave class, don't they have 2 stacks side by side that could be painted?