Visit to Babcock's Rosyth Dockyard Facility on the 14th July 2012
The visit to "Dreadnought" was arranged through Ken Munro, a former Resolution back aftie, now a Director of Babcock. Ken used his business skills to negotiate very advantageous terms at the Queensferry Hotel for the forty or so members who stayed there.
Led by the President, Rear Admiral Paddy O'Riordan, about fifty stalwarts visited the boat on a surprisingly sunny day - (sun - Rosyth, miracles do happen!). Babcocks arranged the boat inboard of three boats on the trot and the groups were taken through the boat in groups of about eight - guided by six Babcock employees. They were assisted by Leanne Muir and Helen Adamson, both of Ken Munro's staff.
The boat was in much better condition than expected and appeared to be as she used to be, apart from the fin having been removed. The fin was removed to try and confuse those nasty spy satellite cameras, which it didn't if you go to Google Earth and search Rosyth Dockyard. You can clearly see four bombers and three hunter killers.
A great deal of the instrumentation, including the "fruit machine" is still in the control room and the airlock doors at 44 bulkhead are still in place. Both doors are now open allowing free access to the tunnel. The reactor compartment is partly empty and has had the inspection port blanked off so the visitors could not see inside. The upper level AMS (named "idiots alley" on the USS Skipjack ) The lower level AMS, remains about the same, apart from the lathe being removed - maybe it had some secret part nobody knew about. For those that got caught short on watch, Hammersley's folly on the port side has also been removed.
The upper level engine room has changed very little, apart from lots of lagging being removed to cut down on the asbestos risk. The manoeuvring room instrumentation, including the 2TU alarm panel on the rear bulkhead is still mainly in place with the exception of both watch keeper's seats. Both evaporators are still in place, minus the lagging. The whole boat in general was remarkably clean for which a lot of thanks must go to Babcock and in particular Ken Munro. The Dreadnought has not been visited before by a large party and had been more or less left derelict so it had to be spruced up and the lighting sorted out to make it suitable for visitors. The old Resolution seemed well maintained and is the boat normally used for visits.
Babcock laid on a lunch of fresh sandwiches, cakes and biscuits, so much so, Florrie couldn't finish it!
The group was also shown round the new build skimmer aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth which on completion will be the biggest (target) ship in the Royal Navy.
The photo at the top was sent by Leanne, one of Ken's young ladies who helped with the logistics. The large photo above was not subject to MOD clearance but the rest were and forwarded on completion.
The visit went very well and all those who attended thought it a worthwhile visit.
Thanks go to Ken Munro and his able staff for making it a memorable visit which was appreciated by all.
A transcript of a report by Bruce & Florrie Van Winkle