Saving HMS Alliance - Latest update

Written by Bill Sainsbury on Thursday, 30 August 2012. Posted in Blog

Underneath the casing.


As the summer has progressed the pace of work on HMS Alliance has quickened. With the casing now removed from bow to stern, the Museum and the contractors have been busy making sure that all the below casing kit that is coming off is properly documented and recorded. Long stretches of exhaust, induction and battery venting pipe will be removed and put into permanent storage so it is very important that this spaghetti like jigsaw is fully understood and identifified. Former submarine engineers who served on “A”’s have been invaluable in helping us to do this because plans and drawings for so many of the later modifications to Alliance no-longer exist. 

 In July the contractors were planning to remove the fin (conning tower) in a single section and lift it clear of the hull so that they could begin restoring it in the compound that they have establishes on site. However, repeated surveying now suggests that restoring the “fin” in situ will be easier and less risky.  


Meanwhile, the scantlings or framework for the stern, amongst the first things to be tackled,  is now 80% rebuilt. At the bow the shell plating of the bow section has been stripped away and the scantling is currently being assessed, but like the stern there is less steelwork left in good condition than we had hoped. 

There is cutting and grinding going on right across the vessel with over a dozen workers beavering away. One unexpected discovery was that the plating beneath the two amidships compensation “o” tanks had big corrosion holes in them and there was precious little let hold the tanks in place.

So, in order to carry out the necessary repairs the tanks have been lifted out in their entirely and will be refitted at a later date. Much of the focus overall is on preparing for whole boat for the comprehensive high pressure water blasting that will begin in mid September and will seen the boat entirely shut down for 5-6 weeks.

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About the Author

Bill Sainsbury

Bill is the Marketing, PR & Events Manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum

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