HMS ALLIANCE - Built for service in World War II, she is the memorial to the courageous men who fought in similar boats for the freedom we enjoy today.
THE PLIGHT OF HMS ALLIANCE TODAY
Corrosion and Decay Threatens Alliance’s Future
Since HMS Alliance was first displayed in 1982 and opened to visitors, parts of her infrastructure have deteriorated dramatically, a deterioration that has proved hard to arrest due to difficulties of access.
Lying supported over the sea on concrete cradles next to the Museum quayside, exposure to sea water is causing on-going corrosion to her bow, stern, faring plates and keel.
Gaping holes, caused by aggressive rust over the past 25 years, have opened up a habitat for birds, especially pigeons, whose corrosive excrement is rapidly exacerbating the problems of corrosion.
Without urgent action, HMS Alliance’s future will be one of ever-accelerating severe decay. Although the pressure hull itself is safe, immediate and essential work is required to halt the corrosion before it is too late.
The Star Attraction Needs Better Interpretation
HMS Alliance is one of the most accessible historic submarines in the world, but today’s visitors are not given the best opportunity to understand her fully.
Visitor surveys show that the guided tours led by ex-submariners are appreciated enormously. But exciting parts of the boat are inaccessible to visitors, such as the conning tower and casing, which can be remedied, and artefacts and replicas can create a sense of life on board, to help give visitors a truer experience of the submarine.
There’s little provision for children, people with learning difficulties, non-English speakers, and people who can’t go on board. Parts of the interior are worn and need repair. A poor sound system and lack of artefacts inhibits the feeling of a manned vessel, and inside, it’s too hot in summer and too cold in winter.
Repair or replacement of corroded panels
An urgent programme of restoration is vital to replace the rusted component parts, followed by the provision of facilities to ensure that a proper maintenance regime is possible. At the same time, HMS Alliance’s exterior needs to be restored to her pristine condition.
Creation of dry land beneath the hull
To aid preservation and to create the access necessary for low cost maintenance, it is necessary to reclaim land underneath the submarine so that it is on dry land, using a cofferdam and backfill.
Public access to more parts
To help visitors understand life on board, the living quarters, conning tower, and casing are interesting areas, which need to be made accessible.
Provision of audio tours
For people who don’t speak English, people with learning difficulties, children and other special groups, tailored audio tours are required.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum . Haslar Jetty Road . Gosport . Hampshire . PO12 2AS
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