The Duke of Cambridge, Commodore-in-Chief Submarines and Royal Patron of the HMS Alliance Conservation Appeal, visited the Royal Navy Submarine Museum to attend the Service of Re-dedication of the newly restored submarine HMS Alliance. He met veteran submariners and toured the historic submarine.
Serving Submariners from HMS Sultan were also amongst those supporting the event, with Establishment Chaplain Rev Ernie Grimshaw RN leading the HMS Alliance rededication service.
In addition HMS Sultan submariners acted as flag bearers and were joined by local sea cadets in street lining in honour of the VIP’s who were attending.
Based at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, part of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Alliance re-opened on 3rd April, following a major £7M conservation and restoration project.
HMS Alliance was designed during WWII for service in the Far East and was launched in 1945.
She then began a distinguished 28 year career during the Cold War until she retired and became the centrepiece of the Submarine Museum.
Moored on cradles by the Museum quayside since 1982, the outer structure of HMS Alliance had corroded severely, a process that had proved hard to arrest due to difficulties of access.
A three-year £7m fund-raising campaign (Saving HMS Alliance) led by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum was launched to fund the restoration of the vessel, and £3.4m of this was donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project to restore HMS Alliance has also included a new education and volunteering programme.
Over a hundred volunteers from the local area of Gosport have contributed by undertaking duties at special fundraising events, helping conserve the submarine and working behind the scenes in the archives.
The museum is also home to the Royal Navy’s first submarine Holland 1 and the only surviving WW2 midget submarine X24.
The family friendly museum has working periscopes, hands on interactive games, the “Horrible Science of Submarines” exhibition and a family indoor play centre “Busy Boat Bay”.
Press Release, May 13, 2014; Image: Royal Navy