I worked on AFD60 twice the first time was in 1977 when I joined her she was in KG V drydock in Port Glasgow for a 6 month docking and hull check, at that time I was killick stoker. she was affecionately known in Faslane as the penal colony due to the number of former inhabitants of RNDQ that were posted there, despite this the crew were some of the most sociable characters I came accross in my time in the RN The crew were generally RN and a mix of Submariners and General Service led by a Lt Cdr Shipwright designated The Dockmaster, there were also 2 civillian crane drivers to cover operations during normal working hours. The second time was as a PO Stoker between 1982 -1985 during that time I became much more familiar with the operation of the dock and became qualified to sink and pump out with whatever we were docking all under the guidance of the Dockmaster (Mike Cammish & Charlie Chaplin are 2 I remember). The dock may not have been commissioned but we flew a White Ensign every day from a jackstaff outside the Valve House (the forward end) and woebetide anybody who forgot to see to the flag at colours.
The Monty Python theme tune was used to summon all hands to docking stations and man the capstans and breast for actually docking a vessel. in my second stint most vessels were piped into the dock by one of the Shipwrights Duncan MacKay from Inverness or a recording if Duncan was not available. One of the most memorable dockings we did was for a US submarine which lost her prop in the irish sea and had to be towed back to the Holy Loch only to find out that their drydock was broken so she was punted to Faslane for AFD60 to take of her. During her visit I was doing round of the dock bottom as duty senior rate and as i emerged from under the blocks supporting the boat I was presented with the business end of a pump action shotgun in the hands of a very short ethnic gentleman who demanded to know why i was snooping about the dock bottom, ther followed a stand off until their Duty Chief appeared and enlightened the young man to the fact that I was the defacto duty officer on the Dock and he better not piss me off. The duty Chief and myself then headed to the SR bar for something to calm my nerves.
I have a very greyish einsign in my loft which I salvaged from the skip and will someday give it pride of place in some space where it wont offend the wifes sense of taste.
Originally Posted by Georgezx9
Hi All, I used to manage the design and maintenance of the last 7 UK floating docks, for the RN.
I have a metal blank of the AFD60 crest, this can be used as a plug to make moulds from.
The crest was not Official, she was never commissioned, the description is correct, it was neptune (or poseidin?, with a trident and a submarine, we used to joke that one of the last dockmasters, modelled for the character in the crest.
I also have amassed a collection of information.
History of all UK AFDs, and what happened to them
History of AFD60, and why it was located where it ended up, this includes details on all the dockmasters from the start to the end, it also lists all the ships docked by AFD60
I also have a very brief of why faslane, is where it is.
I have a set of layout drawings for AFD60 and AFD59 (AFD59 was much stronger, and did not suffer the overloading of thje tank bulkheads).
I also careened AFD60, in the early 90s, this was part of the drive to obtain a partial nuclear safety case for SRD.