Ark Royal

British Aircraft Carrier Class Invincible: HMS...

Invincible Class - two down (Image via Wikipedia)

Sadly I missed Ark Royal coming into Portsmouth this morning, having been snowed in at my girlfriend’s place in Felpham, just outside Bognor Regis (of King George V ‘Bugger Bognor!’ fame, or less famously Albert Steptoe‘s “but Harold we always go to Bognor!”).

By all accounts it was a bit of a non-affair, not many boats to welcome her in, and I’m sure the crowds were much smaller than they would have been in more clement weather. I’m told that the Harrier flypast didn’t happen either.

All this was probably quite convenient for the Government, who would probably far rather that the Royal Navy’s decommissioned flagship went quietly and without a fuss. It’s a sad day for the Royal Navy, for Portsmouth and for Britain. It’s squeaky bum time for the next ten years, hoping that nothing happens that calls for naval-projected air cover – because we won’t have any.

In other Carrier-based news, HMS Invincible has been put up for auction on the MOD‘s disposal website… in true ebay style the auction ends early in January 2011, and viewers of the website can even ‘add to cart’ the 20,000 ton warship!



Filed under defence, Navy, News

20 responses to “Ark Royal

  1. x

    I have been holiday in Bognor at Butlins. During that week I visited Portsmouth for the first time.

    As I said I missed it thanks to the BBC.

    Victory looked very pretty in the snow.

    And I think both the BBC and Sky managed to find fathers and sons who had served in the Ark. Nice touch. Nice photo on the MoD site too.


    Will you ranting about Wiki-leaks James?

    • James Daly

      wikileaks is on my radar x, dont you worry about that!

      From what I’ve seen the BBC coverage was pretty poor. Mind you as I said there wasnt much to cover. If the weather had been OK it might have been like Hermes coming back from the Falklands.

  2. John Erickson

    So – what’s say we all chip in and buy her? Believe me, if I thought I could squeeze enough money out of my acquaintances, I’d put together a bid, then sell her back to Portsmouth for a buck (or pound, or euro, or whatever). I think that would be hilarious – have Americans rent her back, be it to Portsmouth or the Royal Navy!

    Wikileaks – aren’t those what come out of peoples’ ears when they try to rely on data from Wikipedia?

    • James Daly

      every time a warship decomissions there are calls for it to be saved as a museum, but it never happens. The worst gap in British military history museums is the lack of a decent 20th Century warships – and I include HMS Belfast in that. HMS Fearless might have made a good floating Falklands Museum, with her vehicle deck and dock.

      My guess is Invincible for scrap (its completely gutted, no engines, gens or anything mechanical), Ark Royal prob scrap too and Illustrious might go for sale to a foreign navy as she will be coming fresh out of a refit soon.

      • John Erickson

        You might want to check out this site:
        NavWeaps not only covers just about every gun used on a warship in the past 130 years, it also has a host of technical information. This treatise explains many of the pitfalls by way of USS Cabot, a CVE that was supposed to become a museum and ended up scrap, despite the best intentions of those involved. A sad, but enlightening, piece for all those wanting a museum ship.

      • x

        What do you mean about HMS Belfast?

        The situation with Plymouth is upsetting. Especially as there appears to be the perfect space for her on that jetty next to Warrior.

        Of course all the money goes on Mary Rose (nothing to look at compare with the Vasa, costs a fortune to keep) and Cutty Sark (which is more of a reconstruction than Victory.)

  3. It’s very depressing. Let’s hope that ILLUSTRIOUS can be retained. ARK can be used to source parts.

    As for muesuem ships, I think it can safely be said that the UK has a poor record. There just isn’t the public interest.

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