The Royal Navy Submarine Museum (RNSM) began in 1963 housed above St Ambrose Church in HMS Dolphin. It was difficult for the public to gain access due to security considerations and the fact that people were not aware the museum even existed. The museum was officially recognised by the Ministry of Defence in 1967, along with the Fleet Air Arm Museum and the Royal Marines Museum and was officially registered as a charity in 1970.
In 1978 the museum was moved outside HMS Dolphin’s confines, allowing full public access. It was at this time that the Royal Navy’s Training and Static Display submarine, HMS/m Alliance was donated to the museum. The complex that we now recognise as the RNSM opened in August 1981 with HMS/m Alliance as the principal exhibit. In 2011, the RNSM became affiliated with a new public organisation funded primarily by the MOD, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN). This organisation also includes the NMRN Portsmouth, HMS Victory (both situated in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard), Royal Marines Museum and the Fleet Air Arm Museum. A process of convergence across these NMRN museums is now taking place.
The Vision of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, which defines what we aspire to be is
‘to be commercially sustainable and the world’s most respected naval submarine museum and memorial to the submarine service, a major tourist asset for Gosport and Hampshire, and a first class employer’
The Mission of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, which defines what we do, is:
‘We tell the story of the Royal Navy Submarine Service’
The Museum currently attracts 50,000 visitors a year. The main attraction is HMS Alliance, the UK’s only surviving walk through WW2 era submarine and the memorial to 5,300 British submariners who have given their lives in service. The RNSM has a total of 5 submarines in their collection with Holland 1, the very first RN submarine launched in 1901 and X24, the only surviving WW2 midget submarine regarded as significant maritime artefacts. Alliance and Holland 1 are the only submarines on the UK’s core ships register, so sit alongside HMS Victory, Mary Rose and Cutty Sark as ships of national importance. The Museum also has a collection of thousands of personal items, photos and documents detailing the lives of every British submariner who has served in the Royal Navy.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum (RNSM) is part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy along with the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM), the Royal Marines Museum (RMM), Royal Navy Museum (RNM), Explosion! and certain associates. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum has a Director and staff who are all employees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy Submarine Museum is managed on a day to day basis by the Museum Operations Manager.
Four trustees (also known as Directors) oversee the running of the Museum. They in turn are advised by the Members (representing stakeholders' interests), and the RNSM Advisory Panel, which includes representatives of the Friends of the Museum and the Submariners' Association, who provide advice to the trustees on operational matters. The Advisory Panel is also available to advise the staff of the NMRN when requested. The structure is represented in the diagram below.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum has been awarded the two ticks positive disability symbol by Caroline Greete from Jobcentre Plus Gosport. The Submarine Museum has met the criteria and agreed to employ, keep and develop the abilities of disabled staff through five set commitments.
The five commitments are:
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum . Haslar Jetty Road . Gosport . Hampshire . PO12 2AS
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