22 January 2005
While Lucy was at the Manchester championship dog show, Stephen went for a visit
to HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast at her permanent mooring just above Tower Bridge. Launched in 1938,
the Town-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy served in World War II and the
Korean War. She was retired from active service in 1965, saved for the nation in
1971 and towed to a new berth at Symon's Wharf in the Pool of London and opened
to the public on Trafalgar Day that same year. She is now a museum in the care
of the Imperial War
Looking aft along the anchor chains to the bridge and A and B turrets, two of
HMS Belfast's four 6-inch Mark XXIII Triple Gun Turrets.
The port anchor stowed on deck, weighing 5.5 tonnes. The anchors were usually
raised or lowered by electric power, but in an emergency could be hand operated
- it took 144 men to raise the anchors by hand.
HMS Belfast's boatdeck seen from the port side of the bridge superstructure. To
the left of picture is the Tower of London
A closer view of the Tower of London
One of the six 40mm Twin Bofors Mark V Mountings on HMS Belfast, fitted during
her modernisation in 1956-59.
The A and B turrets again: they are trained on London Gateway service station on
the M1 motorway near Edgware,
some 19 km away
The Operations Room as it might have appeared during the Battle of North Cape.
Those on the left are wearing anti-flash hoods and gloves to protect their
faces and hands from the severe burns which could be caused by an enemy shell
exploding on the bridge.
Hammocks are slung throughout the boat wherever there is room. Here they are
slung in one of the messes.
And here slung above machinery
Interior of B turret shell room, showing the 6-inch projectiles lined up on the
handling carousel which revolved around the mechanical hoists leading to the gun
The projectiles and their storage bins behind
The engine room of HMS Belfast
I particularly like the "Stop making smoke" command!