The Battleship HMS Vanguard

So What does the Spinnaker Tower and the Royal Navy’s last Battleship have in common? Nothing really accept it spiked in me an old memory. The tower was not there during my Naval career, it was built in 2005 and modeled after a sail, hence the name Spinnaker. The tower is 560 feet and was erected at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. The Battleship HMS Vanguard was built during the Second World War and was scraped in 1960. She was a huge and beautiful ship of 8-15 inch guns (four turrets) as her main armament, she was 814 feet long with a beam of 107 feet and weighed in at over 46.000 tons. But what was my connection? well at the Old Harbour Point there was a well known pub by the name of the “Coal Scuttle” we often sat in the pub window seats drinking pints of bitter and watching the ships coming and going. On one particular sunny day in 1960 my shipmate Michael Chislett and I were just finishing our second pint when the pub suddenly went very dark. A large shadow had blanked out the sun, looking out the window we were confronted with the bow of a huge ship looming over us. The Vanguard was under tow going to a scrap yard on the Clydebank. As she entered the narrow harbour entrance the strong currents overwhelmed the tugs. The great battleship slewed sideways and the bow run up onto shore plugging the harbour. Standing at the base of the ships bow was an amazing sight as we looked upward. It was a sad demise for a great ship. For me It is a wonderful and lasting memory of the last Royal Navy battleship HMS Vanguard. If it had been my choice I would have named the tower “Battleship Tower’ or maybe “Vanguard Tower” but alas no one asked me!!!!
God Bless and keep reading

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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