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Farewell HMS Hermes.....


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The former HMS Hermes has left her final naval base mooring on a 2 day trip to a ship breakers in India. Given her history, specially her role as the Falklands Task Force Flagship its really sad that she is being broken up. I had read recently that an attempt to preserve her was moving in the right direction, but it woukd appear not.

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Sad,I can't belive its almost 40 years since the Falklands Conflict.I remember pretty well as my union was on strike for six weeks in May and June,probably the first thing I followed on 24 hr news channel

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Its a real shame this has been allowed to happen. Sadly those with the interest and enthusiasm for preserving our heritage just don't have the money, those who don't, do.

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On 9/19/2020 at 10:21 AM, Whitewolf said:

The former HMS Hermes has left her final naval base mooring on a 2 day trip to a ship breakers in India. Given her history, specially her role as the Falklands Task Force Flagship its really sad that she is being broken up. I had read recently that an attempt to preserve her was moving in the right direction, but it woukd appear not.

This is such a shame! I had heard that there were plans to turn her into a museum. Considering the ships historical importance I had hoped that the UK might save her and turn her into a museum if the Indian government decided to scrap her, wishful thinking I know.

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Sadly, despite being a maritime nation, there is no appetite in this country to preserve our maritime heritage from the public purse (unlike the millions of pounds that the RAF invest in the BBMF from the defence budget each year).  But as the US is finding out with USS Texas, preserving old, large warships is a hugely expensive business which precludes most private investors.

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On 9/25/2020 at 8:16 AM, Chewbacca said:

Sadly, despite being a maritime nation, there is no appetite in this country to preserve our maritime heritage from the public purse (unlike the millions of pounds that the RAF invest in the BBMF from the defence budget each year).  But as the US is finding out with USS Texas, preserving old, large warships is a hugely expensive business which precludes most private investors.

I would have thought the Hermes would have been ideal as a museum especially if they could of had some Harriers and other aircraft onboard. Sadly just too expensive for private investors and both the Indian and UK governments, apparently she's going to be turned into motorbikes.

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Problem with gash barges and like chewy Ive done a few is that they corrode and once it sets in its a "dockyard job "to keep up with it .I assume (never check) that BELFAST is being supported by corporate money from the city...doubtless its costly so an aircraft carrier is crazy money.

Its bad enough keeping the RN at sea let alone a ship that left the RN in the 80s ....memories for those that served and as for educating the public well the list is quite extensive....BELFAST,CAVALIER, CAROLINE ,ALLIANCE, VICTORY etc....how many do you need .....you could always bring back DNR canal fleet ala 1970s 

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And then we have the brave attempts that ultimately foundered in the face of official and public indifference eg HMS PLYMOUTH.  The sad evidence is that tHe Great British Public don’t care about the active fleet, let alone relics from the past.  Better to let the old girl go with some dignity rather than let her moulder away.

Edited by Seahawk
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On 26/09/2020 at 16:20, junglierating said:

.....you could always bring back DNR canal fleet ala 1970s 

I'd forgotten about those.  Great idea at the time.

 

15 hours ago, Seahawk said:

And then we have the brave attempts that ultimately foundered in the face of official and public indifference eg HMS PLYMOUTH.  The sad evidence is that tHe Great British Public don’t care about the active fleet, let alone relics from the past.  Better to let the old girl go with some dignity rather than let her moulder away.

Sadly that is too true.  I know I've said it before on here but about 12 years ago when I worked at CNR, a poll was commissioned to ask the Great British public what RN warships they could name.  The one that came out head and shoulders above the rest was VICTORY.  But I'm afraid to say that is a failing of the RN's own making where their PR team never seem to get the message out to the public about what they are doing unlike the other 2 services.  

 

7 hours ago, junglierating said:

Of course the scrap yard if they were can could flog bits of Hermes on a chunk of wood for a jolly good profit if they could get the interest 🤔

NavyWings are doing that now with the remains of the canopy that Simon Hargreaves released as he brought the Sea Vixen in for its wheels up landing in 2017.  £40 each for a plexiglass key ring made from the canopy to help raise funds to get it flying again.

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In similar vein there were last-minute efforts to save the Egyptian Tariq (ex HMS Whimbrel, Black Swan class).  That was in 2016.  I imagine she’s long since gone for razor-blades?

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6 minutes ago, Whitewolf said:

Hermes has already arrived at the ship breakers and dismantling has begun. No chance of saving her now.

I thought she was still sitting in a queue at Alang Beach waiting to be dismantled. It looks bleak for Hermes if dismantling hasn't already begun.

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Stripping starts almost as soon as the ships hit the beach; normally a number of openings are cut in the hull through which easily removable items are dropped for immediate removal and sale, either as-is or for further processing.  With the ships normally being run aground head-on the demolition crews normally work downwards and aft although I’ve also seen from outside inwards.  Even a complex ship will normally be unrecognisable in a very few weeks.

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It would be interesting to see some views of the work being done.  I'd like to get a look at my messdeck, when they get to it.  I wonder if they will find the Maltese fiver I lost behind my locker?

 

Mike

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On 09/10/2020 at 19:49, Viper78 said:

I thought she was still sitting in a queue at Alang Beach waiting to be dismantled. It looks bleak for Hermes if dismantling hasn't already begun.

If in fact she was in a queue, I'm not sure she could be resold by the scrap company?

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It's a simple fact that not every ship can be saved. There will always be someone that cries a river over any old rust bucket, but reality is that saving a vessel and keeping it in the water is a horrifically expensive deal. One that most simply don't care to pay their taxes for. Truth hurts, but that's it. Meanwhile, although focused mostly on US Navy ships, this blog has an excellent article on ship scrapping, and is one you should be reading if you have any interest in the weapons of WW2 - https://wwiiafterwwii.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/scrapping-the-warships-of-wwii/

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4 hours ago, Whitewolf said:

If in fact she was in a queue, I'm not sure she could be resold by the scrap company?

The scrap company bought her for 38 crore and are apparently open to selling her for 100 crore, likely due to the interest in saving her and not a bad profit for next to no work.

 

 

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It should be pointed out by those who say saving ships like this is too difficult that the US has preserved: 4 Essex-class carriers (Intrepid, Lexington, Hornet, and Yorktown), a Midway-class carrier (Midway), all 4 Iowas, 2 South Dakota’s (Alabama and Massachusetts), USS North Carolina, USS Texas, USS Olympia, a Cleveland-class cruiser (USS Little Rock), a medium-size fleet’s worth of destroyers and submarines, as well as two Liberty ships and two Victory ships. It’s still hoped to save the USS John F Kennedy (CV-67).

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_museum_ships_of_the_United_States_military

 

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And here is an article from back in 2012 that explains the financial difficulties of maintaining these old vessels as they slowly rust away at their moorings.

 

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-ships-cost/preserving-old-ships-is-dear-to-u-s-veterans-costly-for-museums-idUSBRE88T08420120930

 

At least one of those vessels, the sub USS Clagamore, is now scheduled to be sunk as an artificial reef next year with fund raising to raise enough funds to resurrect her clearly having failed.

 

The pool of veterans willing to put their hands in their pockets, or persuade family members to do so, to preserve their old ship is a shrinking resource.

 

Even the commercial company that leases the the Queen Mary in Long Beach  was being told last year that it was in danger of having its lease terminated as it wasn’t maintaining the vessel to the required standard. 

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14 hours ago, Viper78 said:

The scrap company bought her for 38 crore and are apparently open to selling her for 100 crore, likely due to the interest in saving her and not a bad profit for next to no work.

 

 

If that were indeed true, it would be a first!  Interesting idea though! Has anyone come with the money to buy her? I can't see them waiting too long to start breaking her up.

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4 minutes ago, Whitewolf said:

If that were indeed true, it would be a first!  Interesting idea though! Has anyone come with the money to buy her? I can't see them waiting too long to start breaking her up.

 

There was a discussion on the group wanting to buy her on the video on my previous post, also found this article.

 

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ready-to-sell-former-aircraft-carrier-ins-viraat-for-rs-100-crore-current-owner-2304099

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It would appear agreement has been reached with the owner of the scrap merchants parent company for the sale to a company owned by an Indian patriot intent on her preservation. But the sale is reliant on the Indian MOD agreeing to change the designation from scrapping to preservation as a museum. It appears the potential new owner is confident this will be achieved! This is incredible! Why on earth did he not come forward before she was sold for scrap?????

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