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Author Topic: HMS Hermes  (Read 3084 times)

Rob47

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HMS Hermes
« on: June 26, 2020, 10:50:01 am »

Well it seems that all being well we could be seeing HMS Hermes return home.  The latest news on the update page is, that India is very positive about it coming back, a site for a dry dock and maritime museum has been found and most importantly backers and funding have surfaced.  It looks like she is to have a dry dock built to house her,, so its good news although thta could change at a moments notice.  Fingers crossed.


Bob
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 11:16:01 am »

Have you got a link to the update page?

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Rob47

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 01:00:36 pm »

Colin its a FB group HMS Hermes R12, some brilliant images of her inside as she is today


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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 01:15:13 pm »

I'm not on Facebook.

It will be interesting to learn just how they can make her commercially viable over an extended period. It wasn't possible for one of the Invincibles. I have visited USS Intrepid in MY and she is very impressive but she is in a prime waterfront location in probably th most famous city in the world with (in normal times) a huge tourist footfall.

I believe the Indians really wanted to preserve her themselves but couldn't come up with a solution.

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Rob47

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 03:26:25 pm »

Illustrious was never going to be saved, despite the spin put out by Cameron, when the signal came through about it, all knew it was never going to happen, bids for her from external sources were well over the mark of the scrap bid by several noughts, but lost out


As the location is being secret, although itís up north, the backers must feel confident, to put money into her and the museum.



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JimG

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 08:17:18 pm »

What makes me doubt the viability of this is the fact that they are supposed to be building a dry dock for her. I can't imagine how many millions this would take and could they repay this cost through visitors? Never mind the cost of buying Hermes and towing or transporting her back to the UK.  Portsmouth historic dockyard was able to host the Victory, Mary Rose and Monitor bescause they had existing dry docks for them. Even rebuilding an existing old dock, how many ones that can take the Hermes are still in existence and unused.
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Rob47

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 08:22:28 pm »

Jim
I think that they have it fully worked out, and if it was in any doubt why would investors be interested,  We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.  I really hope they pull it off.
Bob
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RST

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 08:30:03 pm »

Gosh, I'm all for preserving heritage but I can't see it happening. Maybe if there was an existing dock. It's very difficult to get funding for anything, moreso now. They would probably have a better chance if they said there would be a Starbucks or Costa Coffee outlet on it.  One can but hope though, otherwise there will be a big gap in heritage in times to come.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2020, 09:35:31 pm »

Perhaps they will do something quasi corporate with museum elements. Have they not still got dry docks in Barrow they could use, or are BAE still using these?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2020, 09:57:07 pm »

Much as I'd like it to be true I just can't get my head around a viable financial plan for a ship of this size as a business proposition, particularly in the North of the country.

99% of preservation projects like this come to nothing and it is hard to see how this one would be any different although I'd love to be proved wrong.

Plus of course the ship now looks nothing like it did in RN days after so long in the Indian Navy.

Colin

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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2020, 09:59:44 pm »

It would need serious reconstruction, and what era will it be preserved to? WW2, Falklands, a bit of both?
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Rob47

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2020, 01:30:02 pm »

Guys, all I did was post what I thought was positive news about actually saving one of our warship's rather better than the save HMS Bristol campaign.
I do believe she is coming home, if you had been following the events over the last three years it will be obvious why the optimism.  The first bid fell through due to the crowdfunding not being enough, then the Indians found that no one wanted her for scrap, then it went silent  The guy organising this has put a lot of his own companyís money into this.  He has been promised the funds but is keeping who it  is quiet at the moment.  yes she needs work but looking at the images of her as she is, it is not as bad as you would think, lots of areas still have furniture and other fittings,, the equipment that the public like to see has been removed , BUT yesterday the group were informed that instead of being sold for scrap it is all in storage.


I really do think she is coming home and I for one cannot  wait to be working on her,  guess only time will tell
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2020, 02:08:06 pm »

Rob, yes, we do appreciate the heads up but I have heard this sort of thing so many times before and it pretty much always comes to nothing in the end. The acquisition and initial setup costs is just a fraction of the funding that will be needed down the line year after year and you need a business plan that consistently brings in hundreds of thousands every year. The reason we have relatively few preserved ships is the crippling costs of maintaining them, ashore or afloat. It has only been barely possible to keep the Waverley operating and she has had a hand to mouth existence for most of her life despite being able to travel all round the UK to maximise income.

A huge aircraft carrier perched in a drydock somewhere up North is not a prospect which inspires confidence in terms of financial viability. Just keeping it painted and combatting the inevitable rust will cost thousdands a year alone. And when it comes to visitor numbers, once everyone within striking distance and with an interest in the ship has visited the vast majority of them won't come back for several years if at all.

Colin
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justboatonic

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 02:35:18 pm »

Crikey, they cannot get enough funding to keep Jacinta, a trawler, afloat as an attraction in Fleetwood due to maintenance costs so goodness knows how anyone will manage with an aircraft carrier. They couldnt preserve Plymouth, Liverpool or a host of other RN ships.
As for location, Barrow is off the beaten track (sorry any one wheel town inhabitants from CB days!). There's no motorway link and the rail service is well, not up to holiday traffic. Middlesbrough maybe but again, not the best place to access. Scotland maybe where they built the QE class carrier but would Hermes fit?
Good luck I say but the record of RN ship preservation makes this look a big ask.
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John W E

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 04:35:24 pm »


hi there, like everyone else I myself would love to see Hermes being kept and turned into a museum - when you look at the track record of our preserving such things - its not very good as everyone says.


What springs to mind was HMS Cavalier, she was going to be the be all and end all in the North East - she ended up going down to Chatham as a museum piece there, as it failed to become a profitable attraction in the North East through lack of public support. 


Also, we have 2 huge vacant docks in the North East - middle docks on the Tyne and Sunderland shipyard dock on the Wear - quite capable of taking the Hermes; but if they couldn't accommodate HMS Cavalier and turn that into a money maker - what chance have we got of HMS Hermes - so if they are thinking of putting Hermes there good luck to them.  If it goes to Middlesbrough (as has been suggested) it would be stripped of anything valuable before it got anywhere near the dock and we would be buying all bits of it on Ebay - especially the brasswork.  %%   Just my twopenneth worth.



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SailorGreg

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2020, 04:53:19 pm »

I have a bit of a soft spot for Hermes, having landed on her once (in a Wessex) when she was anchored in Scapa Flow.  I can still remember stepping out onto the flight deck and being amazed at the size and solidity of it all.  My previous experience of RN ships had been frigates and as soon as you stepped aboard you were aware of an underlying buzz, hum, vibration, the ship working around you.  Hermes might just as well have been carved out of rock!  (I should point out that I have never served in the RN, but my job took me to sea on occasion, as well as lots of other interesting places.)

But will she return for preservation?  I don't know.  There are clearly some ex-RN ships that are going concerns.  Belfast manages because she is in the middle of London and the Royal Yacht because she is in Edinburgh.  The Chatham Dockyard exhibits pay their way as part of a larger attraction.  And Warrior is also part of a larger tourist destination.  But where is an ex-RN ship a stand-alone tourist attraction?  And all those ships mentioned are modest compared to the berth Hermes would need.

Fingers crossed, but I have my doubts.

Greg

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2020, 05:48:33 pm »

Sadly, whatever the cost implications and whether it were to be a goer or not, the current trend to re-assessing the role of historic monuments, especially when there are militaristic or similar implications, may not fall within current politico-media parameters. %)
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2020, 06:31:27 pm »

Bloomin heck, I've just looked her vital statistics up and can see what the potential issues stem from. nearly 750 feet long and ninety feet wide.


Only ten percent smaller than the Hood in basic terms  %% 


If she could be berthed somewhere like Liverpool then maybe she could be integrated into the larger tourist experience, but she will need lots of work and conversion from Indian refit standards and being an old girl.


It's a shame that Yeovilton is landlocked, as a pairing up with the FAA museum would be amazing.



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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2020, 07:10:33 pm »

Basically the problem is that she would cost a fortune to maintain so would need a fortune in income year after year. That is the equation.

People say that the USA can preserve their battleships so why not us but the reality is that a lot of those historic WW2, battleships depended on the free support from former crew members and they have now faded away leaving the ships very exposed financially.

Tourists tramping round the decks are not enough, you need either state support (not forthcoming) or a solid business income from commercial events etc. which is also very difficult to maintain.

HMS Warrior at Portsmouth hosts various events including weddings to try to keep her solvent. I have previously had contact with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and it is a real uphill struggle to keep even this fantastic site with its historic ships solvent, hence the various events usually staged during the year which are currently on hold. The truth is that Britain today has turned its back on its maritime heritage and there is little public interest as was the case in the past. The ship presrevation scene is a really hard grind these days and not set to improve.

The London Science Museum had an incredible maritime gallery with fantastic ship models and other exhibits but the sad truth was that nobody ever visited it in its later days. Before it closed I visited to take photos and while sitting on a bench to look at the images on my camera I was approached by a museum attentant who suggested that there were more interesting things to be seen in the Space Gallery on the floor below. In a sense she was right, I was the only person in the gallery at the time. Down below there were hordes of visitors.

The National Maritime had a wonderful selection of models on display, now all gone and in storage at Chatham, ditto the Imperial War Museum.

In the circumstances, what hope is there of something the size of Hermes becoming a major sustainable attraction?The Falklands War was 38 years ago, ancient history to most people today even if they are aware of it which is probably unlikely.

Colin
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2020, 10:22:31 pm »

Nearly forty years ago, it doesn't bear thinking about does it!



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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2020, 06:59:02 am »

The Western Port Oberon Association has been trying to find the funds to build a maritime centre to house ex. H.M.A.S. Otama and ex. Pilot ship Wyuna near Melbourne for many years.   They have the ships and the local council have indicated they have a site.   Each election the opposition party says it will help with funds but nothing has eventuated.

Otama has been sitting off shore for nearly 20 years.

Wyuna is said to be Australia's "Britannia", having been built on the Clyde in 1953 to a classic 20th century design.    She was generously donated to the Western Port Oberon Association but they could not raise the insurance to sail her from Tasmania to the main land.
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Andy F

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2020, 10:31:32 am »

My wife's cousin served aboard Hermes in 82, he said he has some fond memories and some not so fond. For such an historically important vessel, I think preservation is an excellent plan but....


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Dave_S.

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2020, 08:02:14 pm »

I'm fairly new around here, but I thought the jokes about Liverpool had been laid to rest long ago. I've worked with Liverpudlians, and have friends and relatives there. Love our trips up there. Couldn't find better, friendlier people anywhere. I blame certain TV 'comedies' for starting the nonsense and it's getting very old.


Please delete if not appropriate, but I've been seething about that post all day - and I am from Oxfordshire, not very near Liverpool at all.
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Andy F

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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2020, 09:45:27 pm »


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Re: HMS Hermes
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2020, 12:11:47 pm »

I am a great believer in preserving our countries heritage, the major events like WW I & II for definite as they involved significant loss over many years, as for vessels, a lot of good vessels were lost to the scrap yards even after major events that pushed them to the fore - it seems there achievements were not enough to help keep the vessels.


Victory - kept and is still much revered, Warrior - not so revered but a good attraction on the same site, Belfast - a decent attraction in the middle of London, easily accessible from a tourist point of view, other vessels including Submarines, less visited, either due to there remoteness or the fact they are not a advertised or well known, like the Sub on the opposite shore to the naval yard at Portsmouth.


As for Hermes - Yes, historically an event in our history, though luckily one that didn't mean the loss of as many as in the WW's (any loss is regrettable), worth keeping - not really, as many have stated, unless it is with other vessels , say at the naval yard with Victory, Warrior and M1, or close to Belfast, there would be little incentive for tourists to venture to see her, it would probably take a day at least to traipse around her, she would have to have a variety of aircraft on the top deck as well so would be compared to the New York attraction and special events every day to allow for the upkeep, even if the IWM were to use her as another site, with permanent displays charting the periods in history over her lifespan, i.e. Post war, Cold war and after service with the RN and Indian navy, would that be a profitable option, unlikely.


If Portsmouth with its other basins near by could be freed up to put a large vessel into a dry dock, then I would think that the chance of it being worthwhile is slim, I would like to see all naval vessels types rescued, but the hard fact is unless its going to pay for itself then let it go, the really worthwhile vessels have already gone to the scrap yard, only the Americans saved their heritage, but that's under threat now.


My view and I support others points of view regarding the saving or disposing of naval vessels based on being non biased  %)
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