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Author Topic: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool  (Read 2135 times)

justboatonic

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Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« on: April 22, 2012, 10:01:20 AM »

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16376

Not sure how many people are aware of this. Following HMS Liverpool's decommissioning, there is a campaign to have the ship saved as a piece of our naval heritage and become a tourist attraction on the mersey. Early plans would also see Liverpool become available to organisations such as scout and have short stays aboard.

I know a similar scheme with Plymouth and Bronnington over the river at Birkenhead failed but, I think there is real value in trying to retain this ship a la Belfast, Cavalier and one or two others.

Far too easily, we sell off our naval heritage to tin pot countries for a bit of money or worse, sell them off for scrap.

If you wish to join the campaign, may I ask you sign the e petition? It only takes a couple of minutes to add your details. Make sure you use a valid email address as you have to click a link on a mail sent to you to actually add your name to the petition (Im sure people know the drill!).

Thank you.
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jimmy2310

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 10:23:30 AM »

Have just added my signature, would love to see her permanently berthed here in Liverpool.



Jimmy
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Circlip

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 10:49:51 AM »

The road to Hell is paved with blunt razor blades and empty Kit-E-Kat tins.  Let it become useful instead of a money pit.

 Regards   Ian
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mikearace

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 10:57:40 AM »

Well I have added my signature but whilst I would love to see any aspect of our naval heritage saved, this is doomed to failure IMHO.  Liverpool, whilst a fine ship, doesnt have the history of many other ships where concerted efforts to save them fell on deaf ears.  30 years ago last week my ship HMS Intrepid sailed for the South Atlantic and was a key player in the campaign to get the falklands back.  There was significant pressure from petitions etc to save her including strong fights from our association but it all fell on the deaf ears of the MOD.  The most her ships company could get was the chance to take a lot of souvenrs.  Likewise Plymouth which was originally saved has now been sold to the breakers and will go.  The MOD arent interested in things like this unlike other countries.   As well as that of course when the interest wains it would be sad to see any ship slowly deginerating into a sad eyesore as happened to Bronnington if the money dries up which it would eventualy do.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 10:59:38 AM »

Wishful thinking I'm afraid - where's the money to come from?

These ships are notoriously cramped inside and are known to be rustbuckets now. I think there are better causes.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 11:08:51 AM »

Well it's certainly 'doomed to failure' if we sit on our collective bums, wringing our hands saying 'turn it into razor blades' then in the next breath complain that yet more of our naval heritage has not been preserved.

He who expecteth nothing shall not be disappointed  :P
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 11:44:21 AM »

I think you just have to be realistic about these things.

To stand any sort of fighting chance of successful preservation there needs to be a fully funded business plan in place to assume responsibility for the ship as soon as it is taken out of service. Nothing deteriorates faster than a ship sitting idle and once on the slippery slope it is almost impossible to get it back up to scratch since as fast as you fix one bit another part needs urgent attention.

Relying on the public visiting the ship is rarely sufficient to provide enough income. Once the people in the immediate catchment area have toured the vessel, few will return within a five year timescale so you are then dependent upon tourists to maintain turnover and they have to be tourists with an interest in visiting that particular type of ship. Women are rarely interested in clambering over old warships so that cuts down the potential income even further.

The ship needs to be iconic in some way and of at least national if not international interest. Very few ships come into that category. Victory, Warrior and Mary Rose at Portsmouth, Britannia at Leith, Belfast and Cutty Sark in London and Great Britain at Bristol are ones which come to mind and even they struggle despite international visitors to draw upon and a full programme of supporting events and social functions held aboard to boost funds. Even Waverley would probably be out of service this year had it not been for the generosity of a couple who won the lottery. A lot of money is being poured into rebuilding rather than preserving the Medway Queen but whether she can cut it commercially remains a moot point as she will be competing with both Kingswear Castle and Waverley - probably to the detriment of all three.

The preserved ships at Chatham are on the edge financially and they are all better representations of our naval heritage than HMS Liverpool would be.

People complain because developers and owners of berth space are reluctant to host historic vessels and while it is true that there is often little sympathy, these people are also well aware that after a couple of years the enhusiasm and money falls away and they are likely to be left with an expensive rotting eyesore to dispose of.

Whatever HMS Liverpool's merits while in service, I really don't thinks she offers much as a visitor attraction as she simply doesn't tick enough of the boxes which would be essential to maintain her.

Colin
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bikerdude999

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 12:11:59 PM »

Hms Caroline would be worth saving though, can only find articles about her from last year though, and nothing seemed definite. Apparently the last surviving ship from the battle of Jutland, and the 2nd oldest commissioned RN ship? I'd even consider travelling to Ireland to see her.
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justboatonic

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 09:40:57 PM »

I think you just have to be realistic about these things.

To stand any sort of fighting chance of successful preservation there needs to be a fully funded business plan in place to assume responsibility for the ship as soon as it is taken out of service. Nothing deteriorates faster than a ship sitting idle and once on the slippery slope it is almost impossible to get it back up to scratch since as fast as you fix one bit another part needs urgent attention.

Relying on the public visiting the ship is rarely sufficient to provide enough income. Once the people in the immediate catchment area have toured the vessel, few will return within a five year timescale so you are then dependent upon tourists to maintain turnover and they have to be tourists with an interest in visiting that particular type of ship. Women are rarely interested in clambering over old warships so that cuts down the potential income even further.

The ship needs to be iconic in some way and of at least national if not international interest. Very few ships come into that category. Victory, Warrior and Mary Rose at Portsmouth, Britannia at Leith, Belfast and Cutty Sark in London and Great Britain at Bristol are ones which come to mind and even they struggle despite international visitors to draw upon and a full programme of supporting events and social functions held aboard to boost funds. Even Waverley would probably be out of service this year had it not been for the generosity of a couple who won the lottery. A lot of money is being poured into rebuilding rather than preserving the Medway Queen but whether she can cut it commercially remains a moot point as she will be competing with both Kingswear Castle and Waverley - probably to the detriment of all three.

The preserved ships at Chatham are on the edge financially and they are all better representations of our naval heritage than HMS Liverpool would be.

People complain because developers and owners of berth space are reluctant to host historic vessels and while it is true that there is often little sympathy, these people are also well aware that after a couple of years the enhusiasm and money falls away and they are likely to be left with an expensive rotting eyesore to dispose of.

Whatever HMS Liverpool's merits while in service, I really don't thinks she offers much as a visitor attraction as she simply doesn't tick enough of the boxes which would be essential to maintain her.

Colin

I think you may be wrong. Berthed on the Liverpool side of the mersey, she would be easily accessed by tourist especially if she can be berthed as close as possible to the merseyside martitime museum. The two ship and sub over at Birkenhead failed because people wouldnt make the short trip over the mersey.

In any event, Hartlepool have made a good fist of their maritime musem and Trincomalee (sp?) so it can be done with committment.

In any event, until Liverpool can be saved for the nation rather than turned into razor blades etc, it's all about discussion. I just dont get why we see threads here with people saying our heritage is always sold off \ scrapped yet when there is potentially a chance to become involved in changing that, people then turn out and effectively say 'why bother?' Well, may be 'why bother' was the reason there are hardly any preseved naval ships north of the south coast?
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pettyofficernick

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 10:21:59 PM »

Signed! :-)) :-))
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 10:25:10 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of retaining as much of our maritime heritage as possible, but you have to be a bit cold eyed and calculating about these things. The fact is that most attempts at preservation fail and those that don't struggle, even the most famous examples. When preparing articles on some of these ships for Model Boats magazine, including the ships at Portsmouth, Chatham and HMS Belfast I have talked at length to the PR people responsible for promoting them and all have stressed how difficult it is to keep the money coming in. The basic problem is that when everyone who is likely to be interested has seen the ship the visitor numbers reduce to a trickle.

The MOD can't even afford operational warships and certainly have no money for preservation projects, in fact they have even offloaded HMS Victory to a trust so any money for a jobbing Type 42 would be completely out of the question. The public at large are not much interested in maritime history either which is why the Science Museum are putting their model collection into store and during my visit to the new Southampton Sea City museum last week I discovered they have done just the same. Other museums are doing the same too - it's all touchy feely interactive stuff these days - not hardware.

So official funding is pretty much non existent and preserved ships must depend upon commercial appeal. Even if you moor HMS Liverpool on the right side of the Mersey she will only prove to be a transient visitor attraction and after a couple of years or so income from that source will be vastly outweighed by maintenance liabilities. I doubt if her hull is in first class condition with decommissioning looming and replacing thinned plating is prohibitively expensive. You can't stage weddings or corporate events aboard a type 42 like you can on Warrior, Victory or Cutty Sark etc., she is just too small, and without that sort of income you simply won't have a viable business plan.

I wish things were otherwise but to be honest I do feel that there are more deserving causes for preservation than HMS Liverpool who the majority of the population will scarcely be aware of. Belfast's situation is precarious and just look at her prime location below!

Colin

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tony52

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 10:59:03 PM »

I think we need to be realistic, in the area the Manxman finished up having to be scrapped and the Duke of Lancaster is not going to be around much longer. A nice idea to save her but I for one wouldn't like invest in a project like this. DVD sales and a summer tourists won't keep a ship like this in good condition.

Wish you well.
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pugwash

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 09:42:54 AM »

I must agree with Colin.  Even in the best of financial times ships preservation projects struggle ( remember Cavalier in South Shields)
and it will be a long time before we have the best of times back again - yes Im sure a few people in Liverpool would love to have their
named ship parked outside the Liver building - Likewise the the Geordies and the Jocks would like theirs as well but to use a football analogy
the fanbase is too small
Personally if we were to preserve anything it should be HMS Whimbrel  it saw convoy service in WWII and is the last of our ships around that
was at the Japanese Surrender - Now that is a ship that should mean something in our maritime history as its just about the last chance to
preserve something of import from that era

Geoff
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Circlip

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 11:04:49 AM »

A small fanbase cost Bradford ratepayers £11 million for a Transport "Museum" dedicated basically to the Trolly Bus, well we were the last city to run them. Lasted about four years and was closed due to lack of interest.

  Britain was fast becoming a museum island before the disposible income of many other countries dried up. Time to tighten the belts and take a reality check.   O0


   Regards   Ian.
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justboatonic

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2012, 10:52:00 PM »

The point being if the ship is sold off for scrap, then the chance to save her is lost forever. Of course there needs to be a business plan in place to make any presevation possible but the fact that there is already a maritime museum on this side of the river shows the project could be viable.

But, without the petition to stop her disposal, the ability to preserve her will be lost forever.

Have to say Im amazed at the negative comments especially when this particular forum had a massive thread over the scraping of Ark Royal and how nothing is done to preserve some, not all, of our modern day naval heritage.

In any event, what harm is there signing the petition and at least giving the people who want to try and preserve Liverpool that chance? They may fail, I dont know. But what I do know is they'll fail if people dont give them the chance to succeed first.
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mikearace

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2012, 11:25:49 PM »

its not a case of being negative but realistic.  And the reality is it wont happen.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Campaign to 'save' HMS Liverpool
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2012, 11:37:21 PM »

It's not a question of being negative, just being realistic.

The Ark Royal situation is quite different and irrelevant to this argument. The point there was that the Government decommissioned an operational warship which was a valuable asset to the country. Subsequent events and continuing delays to the new carriers only go to reinforce this view.

The fact that there is a maritime museum in Liverpool doesn't necessarily improve the viability of a preservation project unless the museum is willing to finance it which I would think is very doubtful indeed.

HMS Liverpool is unlikely to be sold off for less than her scrap value. When she is decommissioned she will be stripped of anything useful or anything which has a security classification which will include most of her electronics and a lot of other gear. The result will be a hulk with little external visual appeal and much of the interesting bits of the interior missing.

Any preservation effort must first raise the money to buy the ship and then fund the repairs to the hull and structure that will be almost inevitably needed given that the maintenance of the ship will have been run down prior to decommissioning. I visited HMS Exeter not long before she was decommissioned and there was rust everywhere. Then lots of money needs to be spent in restoring her external and internal appearance to some extent to make her attractive to visitors. And that is just the start as an ongoing revenue stream will be needed to keep the ship maintained, promoted and staffed etc.

This degree of organisation needs to be in place now, not when all you have is a decommissioned rusting hulk which is going downhill fast to work with.

This is not a new situation, it has happened again and again and the pattern is all too clear. HMS Liverpool, as Geoff quite rightly points out, lacks the 'fanbase' that would make her a viable preservation proposition. The ship is unsuitable for many potential revenue generating uses such as hosting corporate events, weddings, converting to a bar/restaurant or teaching facility which is what keeps other preserved ships going. Signing a petition with nothing behind it to back it up will make no difference whatsoever to the underlying situation. It will simply be ignored.

If you have some spare money then put it into HMS Cavalier at Chatham which is badly in need of it and is a much better preservation prospect with greater historical significance.

Colin
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