26 November, 2010

Gosport and HM Submarine museum

My best mate used to work building submarines and I'm pretty curious about these ultimate stealth weapons. So a visit to HM Submarine Museum at Gosport was called for during a recent visit to Hampshire. Gosport is a bit chavvy being just across Portsmouth Harbour from Portsmouth but has an art nouveau/arts and crafts former grammar school and a reasonable bus service to Southampton.
However the submarine museum took up most of my day there so only got a glimpse of the discovery centre (which I think was really the town library) and the tiny art gallery. The high point of the submarine museum was HMS Alliance, which had been built for the war in the pacific and is the only submarine from that era still existing.

The guide was an ex submariner who had worked loading torpedos and knew his stuff.
The cramped quarters were something to behold but there were thankfully, four 'heads'.
The museum also had the first ever navy submarine - the Holland 1. This had been dredged up from the bottom of the sea off Devon and was displayed in its existing condition. Much smaller than the ALliance it was kept in a special atmosphere controlled environment, although as it survived at the bottom of the sea for eighty years one might assume it can survive in a shed for quite a long time. All in all not bad for a tenner.

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