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Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Clyde Marines Fencer seen tied up in the city centre Glasgow.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

HMS Liverpool

Liverpool was taken up by the Royal Navy in April 1982 from Cammell Laird. After an accelerated trials period sailed for the South Atlantic in early June 1982. Though Liverpool did not see active service in the Falklands Conflict, she remained on station for the next six months before returning to the UK.
Liverpool departing from Portsmouth Naval Base, 21 September 2009.
Liverpool fired what is believed to be the first salvo of Sea Dart missiles in well over a decade, along with possibly the second only salvo ever. The firing took place approximately 250 miles (400 km) south-west of the Isles of Scilly on 8 September 2002, against a sea skimming target to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Sea Dart missile and Liverpool's systems following a 12-month refit at Rosyth Dockyard.
She was part of Naval Task Group 03 (NTG03), intended to take part in exercises in the Far East as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement. The task force was, instead, sent to the Persian Gulf where they took part in the 2003 Iraq War.
In 2005, Liverpool was sent to the Caribbean, where her duties included patrols to crack down on drug smuggling. In 2008, 18 sailors onboard tested positive for cocaine in a routine drug test.
She entered refit in 2009. On returning to service in 2010, Liverpool acted as an escort to fleet flagship Ark Royal's task group during a four-month deployment to the United States and Canada as part of Exercise Auriga.
Operation Unified Protector
In late March 2011, Liverpool was ordered to the Mediterranean to relieve Type 22 frigate Cumberland as the Royal Navy's contribution to Operation Unified Protector, NATO's naval blockade of Libya during the country's civil war.
On 18 April, she intercepted the vessel MV Setubal Express heading for Tripoli, conducting a boarding party search with Royal Marines and finding trucks of potential use to the Gaddafi regime. The merchant vessel was ordered to divert to Salerno in Italy.
On 12 May 2011, while engaged in surveillance operations off the coast of the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata, Liverpool came under fire from a shore battery, making her the first Royal Navy warship to be deliberately targeted since the Falklands War. Liverpool had been tasked with other NATO warships, to intercept small, high-speed inflatable craft spotted approaching the port of Misrata, the type which had been used previously to lay mines in the Port of Misrata. Libyan rocket artillery on the coast fired an inaccurate salvo of rockets at Liverpool. Liverpool returned fire with her 4.5 inch main gun, silencing the shore battery, in the Royal Navy's first use of the weapon since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
On 28 June 2011, Liverpool used her main gun to fire warning shots at pro-Gaddafi maritime forces moving along Libya's Mediterranean coast just west of the city of Misrata, amid concerns a threat was posed to civilians due to recent repeated attempts to mine the harbour. After initially ignoring the first shell, a further three were fired and the vessels were forced to return to their port of departure.

On the morning of 3 August 2011, several rockets were fired at Liverpool. She returned fire with her 4.5 inch main gun. The attack came after the ship had fired a barrage of illumination rounds in support of an air attack on the stronghold of Zliten.
On 16 August 2011, Liverpool was involved in the most intense shore-bombardment of the war. Liverpool had been tasked by a patrol aircraft to fire illumination rounds over the city of Zlitan. While conducting this mission, Liverpool came under fire from a Loyalist shore-battery. Liverpool responded by firing three rounds from her 4.5 inch gun, silencing the battery. Later on the same day, a patrol aircraft spotted a large pro-Gaddafi vehicle convoy carrying weapons and ammunition. Liverpool fired 54 shells from her 4.5 inch gun at the convoy, destroying or severely damaging many of the vehicles. During the ensuing chaos on the ground, NATO aircraft destroyed the remainder of the convoy.
Liverpool returned from Operation Unified Protector on 7 November 2011, entering Portsmouth Harbour after more than seven months of operations off Libya. She had fired over 200 rounds from her main gun during the conflict.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

SD Dexterous

Sd Dexterous seen at the Great harbour Greenock for the last time on the 24 February 2012,she departed for the west coast of Africa.

West Quay Greenock

Winter lay up for the Clyde paddle steamers,post card dates from 1904,the dock has long since been filled in.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

RMS Rangitane

Magazine clipping from the early 30s,built at John Browns in 1929 and sank by German raiders in 1940 .

Below is information lifted from Wikipedia but for a more in depth article go to

The RMS Rangitane was a passenger liner owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company. She was one of three sister ships (the other sisters were Rangitata and Rangitiki) delivered to the company in 1929 for the All-Red Route between Britain and New Zealand. Rangitane was built by John Brown & Company and launched on 27 May 1929.[1]

The three ships each displaced 16,700 tons, 530 feet in length and nearly 70 feet in the beam. They could carry nearly 600 passengers in 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes, 200 crew members and substantial cargo. They had Brown Sulzer diesel engines with a total output of 9,300HP, turning twin propellers. In wartime, they carried token armament.[1]


On her final voyage, which had been delayed by labour disputes, she carried 14,000 tons of cargo, including foodstuffs and silver bullion, valued at over £2 million at 1940 prices. She carried 111 passengers, including CORB nurses, Polish sailors, servicemen and Radar technicians. The Captain was Lionel Upton, a naval reservist who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his "services in action with enemy submarines" during his command of auxiliary boats based at Scapa Flow during World War I.[1]

Rangitane left Auckland harbour in the early afternoon of Sunday 24 November 1940, en route to Britain via the Panama Canal. She was intercepted early on the morning of 27 November, 300 miles east of New Zealand, by the German surface raiders Komet and Orion and their support ship Kulmerland. Another ship, the SS Holmwood, had been stopped and sunk by the German raiders on 24 November, but warning of the danger had not been passed on to the Rangitane.[1] This was later held to have been a factor in her sinking.[2]

The Germans signalled Rangitane to stop and not to transmit anything. Following standard Admiralty instructions, however, Captain Upton ordered "QQQQ" ('suspicious vessel') to be broadcast, which prompted signals jamming and shelling by the Germans. The main transmitter was quickly disabled and the emergency set was used to send "RRRR" ('raider attack'), which was received and relayed. There followed a brief period of confusion. One German raider, suffering steering problems, sailed directly at Rangitane, which in turn, with steering damaged by the shelling, also steered directly at a German ship before circling. The helmsman reported loss of steering.[1]

The interception had been made in the dark and the German ships were unsure of what they had found, believing that it was probably a cruiser-sized warship. Their attack was made on the basis it was the tactic most likely to allow their own escape.[2]

Once he knew that the distress signals had been received in New Zealand, Upton ordered the ship's surrender. The shelling had caused widespread fires and some casualties, and, with her steering damaged, the Rangitane's escape would be unlikely. Once hove to, sensitive documents such as code books were destroyed, and the crew instructed to destroy key engine components, to prevent Rangitane being taken as a prize. Despite the surrender, shelling continued and, angry, Upton ordered full speed and return fire from the ship's guns, but this was prevented by destruction of telephones. The German shelling ceased and Upton gave the order to abandon ship.[1]

Sixteen people, eight passengers and eight crew, died as a result of the action, including those who died later of their injuries. Elizabeth Plumb, a 59-year-old stewardess, ship's cook William Francis and deck mechanic John Walker were awarded British Empire Medals for their selflessness in rescuing and caring for survivors. Prize crews took control of Rangitane at dawn and supervised an orderly and rapid evacuation. The survivors, 296 passengers and crew, were taken across to the German ships by lifeboats or German boats and sent below.[1]

The Rangitane's broadcast warnings required that the Germans clear the area quickly, before allied aircraft arrived. Although she was clearly afire and sinking, Komet fired a single torpedo and Rangitane listed quickly to port and sank at 6:30 am. The Short Empire class flying boat Aotearoa, civil registration ZK-AMA, was the first Allied aircraft on the scene at about 2:30 pm, but found only an oil slick and debris. A subsequent air search missed the raiders, although they themselves saw one of the search aircraft.[1]

German treatment of their prisoners was humane and as good as could be expected in the crowded conditions, and those who died were given proper funerals. The number of prisoners aboard the German ships caused concern to the German commanders and they decided to release most of them. After an intended release at Nauru had been thwarted by poor weather, and further actions had led to the capture of more prisoners, the survivors were released on the tiny island of Emirau, off New Guinea. The remainder, mostly of military age, were transported back to German-occupied Bordeaux and eventually to prisoner-of-war camps in Germany.[1]

Rangitane was one of the largest passenger liners to be sunk during World War II.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Sunday, 19 February 2012


At anchor off Gourock before heading for Glasgow with wind turbines.


Passing under the Erskine Bridge on her way to Shieldhall Glasgow.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Passing Greenock on her way to Rothesay Dock in Clydebank.