Tuesday, 20 December 2011

ABC Wednesday - Warrior

HMS Warrior, now preserved in the Portsmouth historic dockyard.  Just to show it on contrasting English summer days, here it is again
Built in 1860 it was the first iron hulled, armoured warship.  Powered by both steam and sail it was a cutting edge design but only 4 years later it was superseded by faster, better armoured and bigger gunned warships and downgraded to coastguard duties. In 1883 her main masts were found to be rotten and to save cost she was converted to a Naval School.  When she was put up for sale in 1924 no buyer could be found so the ship was once again converted but this time to a floating oil pontoon  and renamed Oil Fuel Hulk C77 to spend her remaining working life in Pembroke, Wales.

By 1978 the Warrior was the only surviving example of the 45 iron hulls built by the Royal Navy between 1861 and 1877,  happily the navy had kept her hull in good condition during her stay in Wales so when it was announced the oil depot would be closed the Maritime Trust made great efforts to ensure it was not scrapped.  Towed to Hartlepool for what turned out to be a £8M nine year restoration project (mostly financed by the Manifold Trust) starting with the removal of 80 tons of rubbish  including the thick concrete layer encasing the upper decks poured on when she had been an oil pontoon.  Once the restoration was finished she left the Coal Dock in Hartlepool  to travel 800 miles down the east coast of England and round into the English Channel to be greeted by fireworks, gun salutes and cheering crowds and at last dropping anchor in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard which has been her home ever since.
 HMS Warrior by the naval artist WF Mitchell (1872)

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey from A to Z which this week has moored at W

10 comments:

photowannabe said...

Interesting information. Thanks for enlightening me. Great choice for the letter W.

VioletSky said...

What a life this poor old Warrior has had!!

Roger Owen Green said...

great piece of history

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

How wonderful that she was restored and is now happily in port at Portsmouth. I will have to try to get down there when I'm in England next summer.

Leslie
abcw team

Kathy said...

Love your first photo. The clouds are magnificent.

Meryl said...

I also loved that first photo. Great post and tale of woe...

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday.

Paula Scott said...

I got sidetracked with the HMS-I love how that acronym sounds! But, the ship is very mighty. Can't imagine sailing on a war vessel like that.

Rajesh said...

Great looking warship. Lot of history associated with it.

Tumblewords: said...

Absolutely amazing ship!

ChrisJ said...

Wonderful old ship. Somewhat like The Star of India we have here in San Diego, but built in the Isle of Man!