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The Northumbrian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the announcement made today that the Swan Hunters built ship HMS Ark Royal is to be scrapped I wonder if there is a possibility the ship could be brought to the river of its' birth.
The ship is an aircraft carrier but apparently is quite small by carrier standards.
Could the vessel be used as a hotel, conference centre, tourist attraction etc ?
Ships which have come to the end of their working lives have been found alternative uses elsewhere.
 

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It would be. Maybe in Wallsend?
Problem is the fact that I imagine that in the cuts tomorrow culture (i.e museums) will be the ones having the biggest cuts- the arts and museums will stuggle to maintain their current pleaces never mind develop new ones. It would have been a great attraction for Tyneside but it will be lost due to the short sighted and pretty much shittiness of the current 'coalition' government.
 

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Southeast Geordie
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With the announcement made today that the Swan Hunters built ship HMS Ark Royal is to be scrapped I wonder if there is a possibility the ship could be brought to the river of its' birth.
The ship is an aircraft carrier but apparently is quite small by carrier standards.
Could the vessel be used as a hotel, conference centre, tourist attraction etc ?
Ships which have come to the end of their working lives have been found alternative uses elsewhere.
Just trying to imagine the Ark Royal turned into a huge floating night club and sitting under the tyne bridge on the old Tuxedo mooring :nuts:
 

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I think they may struggle to get it under the Millenium Bridge to be honest. They could moor it at the end of the Ouseburn though- Spillers Quay isnt it? The pub up the hill in Byker would complain though- it would no doubt affect their view.
 

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King of Bernicia
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The Boat Mark 2 :D

I sure hope something is done with it, hope the government isn't so desperate for pennies they need the scrappage money.
 

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There is already a very recent proposal to return the below ship to the river . . .

Newcastle Historian; August 24th 2010 said:
New bid to get cruise ship Vistafjord as a
Riverside Hotel or Museum on the Tyne

August 24th 2010, by Tony Henderson, Evening Chronicle



A BID has been launched to bring the last cruise liner built on the Tyne back to the river.

The Vistafjord was built by Swan Hunter in 1973 for the Norwegian America Line.

She later became the Cunard liner Caronia and is now operated by Saga Cruises as the Saga Ruby.

Now former diplomat Paul Haggie is calling on councils and other organisations in the North East to start planning to return the ship to the Tyne when she retires, which is thought to be in around eight years’ time.

His proposal is to use the liner as a floating hotel which would add another dimension to the Tyne’s growing prominence as a cruise ship destination.

This year 25 cruise liners will have visited the Tyne and another 19 are booked already for next year.

Mr Haggie grew up in High Pit, Cramlington, Northumberland, where his father George ran the local garage.

He was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School and Manchester University, where he studied maritime history for a PhD.

He then served in the diplomatic corps in Thailand, Pakistan and South Africa before retiring.

Mr Haggie, who is carrying out historical naval research, said the Saga Ruby was the also the last liner to be built in the UK.

He said: “The UK has failed to maintain any of its cruise liners and this is our last chance to recognise this shipbuilding heritage.

“The proposal is to maintain the Saga Ruby on the Tyne where she could generate revenue for the region.

“Her use as a hotel would give visitors the experience of staying on a cruise liner and allow them more time to visit the many North East attractions than the day or two usually available to passengers on calling ships.

“The idea would be to take over the ship as she retires, so avoiding the costly process of the liner being laid up.”

Mr Haggie said one location for the ship could be the north bank of the Tyne where there are plans for a major regeneration scheme running from Walker in Newcastle to North Tyneside.

“To acquire and return this classic Tyne-built cruise liner when she is withdrawn from service for transformation into a floating hotel and museum ship would serve as a centrepiece for the regeneration project and as a living witness to the area’s maritime heritage,” he said.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...t-cruise-ship-vistafjord-home-72703-27125404/

Newcastle Historian; August 25th 2010 said:
One man’s vision to bring ship home
August 25th 2010, by Tony Henderson, The Journal


Retired diplomat Paul Haggie lives next door to a distinguished naval neighbour that serves as a reminder of his North East past.

Mr Haggie, who grew up in Cramlington, Northumberland, now lives at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent where one of the exhibits is HMS Cavalier, a ship which spent 12 years at the former Hawthorn Leslie shipyard in Hebburn.

South Tyneside Council spent £300,000 in the hope of making the ship the focal attraction of a permanent national shipbuilding exhibition.

But when a bid for lottery funding failed, HMS Cavalier went to Chatham, where Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was launched in 1765.

Now naval historian Mr Haggie is determined the Tyne will not lose another key ship.

This week he is in the North East, where his mother lives, for meetings over plans to bring the cruise liner Saga Ruby back to the river where she was built.

The Saga Ruby was the last cruise liner built on the Tyne and, indeed, in the UK. She was launched in 1972 as the Vistafjord by Swan Hunter for the Norwegian America Line. She later became the Cunard liner Caronia and is now operated by Saga Cruises, which bought the ship in 2003 and gave her a major refit in 2005.

Mr Haggie is calling on councils and other bodies in the North East to start planning to return the ship to the Tyne when she retires, around 2018.

His proposal is to use the liner as a floating hotel, alongside the Tyne’s reputation as a cruise ship destination.

Mr Haggie said one location could be the north bank of the Tyne where there are plans for a major regeneration from Walker to North Tyneside.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-...n-s-vision-to-bring-ship-home-61634-27130102/

Correct me if i'm wrong. But did we not just remove a large docked ship from the quayside?

this ship is far larger than the tuxedo princess/royale ferries.

Newcastle Historian; August 25th 2010 said:
Indeed yes . . .

 

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Regardless of logistics, isn't it affiliated with Leeds, even though you can't exactly get an aircraft carrier close to Leeds. So it probably wouldn't happen.

If anything, HMS Tyne would be the appropriate one, but it isn't that big and is only about 10 years old.

It's a nice idea though.
 

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The Northumbrian
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good grief I wouldn't want to see another boat under the Tyne bridge, the old one was pretty shabby by the end.
I would like to see a ship used in a more upmarket way, perhaps like the old royal yacht Britannia at Leith near Edinburgh, but on a larger scale.
 

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HMS Ark Royal demise : We will not forget our fine old lady
October 20th 2010, by Sara Nichol, Evening Chronicle





SHE was the giant of the sea and the pride of Tyneside shipbuilding.

But HMS Ark Royal meant much more to the thousands of shipyard workers who spent four years building the Royal Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier.

And now, after the revelation that the 20,000-tonne vessel will become a casualty of Government cuts, one former Swan Hunter worker has spoken of his pride at the ship’s impressive 25-year lifespan which began on the banks of the Tyne.

Gren Bilton understands the sad reality that defence vessels such as Ark Royal, built in Wallsend’s Swan Hunter site in the late 70s, eventually become outdated and need replacing.

But the 75-year-old, of Benton, Newcastle, the former chief inspector of the Quality Assurance Department, said he would never forget the happy memories or life-long friends made during his time with the ship.



He said: “I suppose we have to be realistic. The ship is more than 20 years old and so it will cost more to maintain than newer vessels.

“I suppose it does make sense. If the money can be used in another way on defence, in a better way, then it’s a sign of the times and that’s where the money should go. Ships do become outdated, sadly.

“It’s very sad to see a ship you’ve worked on come to the end of its lifespan but it’s like buying a car, one day it will cost more to repair than to replace.

“You have to learn to let go. It’s had a good lifespan and created a lot of happy memories for a lot of people, which will never be forgotten.

“Someone has thought that the money would go to better use elsewhere in defence and you have to accept that, ships don’t last forever.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...c-hms-ark-royal-72703-27509696/#ixzz12uBnZVPB
 

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The idea of having her as a hotel or museum on the Tyne is far too good for it to actually ever happen. Doesn't have to be on the quayside as it would never get under the Millennium bridge but somewhere like maybe Wallsend or more likely North Shields would be great. Someone said it is affiliated to Leeds? Stuff that for a laugh. Maybe it is but when has she ever been there? She's been back on the Tyne dozens of times including a couple of visits in the last few years.
 

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I wonder if there will be an attempt to bring her here?

Some may say there is a potential conflict with the (existing) Vistafjord proposals.

For me, I would go for both, and we might get one!!
 

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The idea of having her as a hotel or museum on the Tyne is far too good for it to actually ever happen. Doesn't have to be on the quayside as it would never get under the Millennium bridge but somewhere like maybe Wallsend or more likely North Shields would be great. Someone said it is affiliated to Leeds? Stuff that for a laugh. Maybe it is but when has she ever been there? She's been back on the Tyne dozens of times including a couple of visits in the last few years.
Well yeah, you can't exactly get our biggest ship to Leeds, but it is officially affiliated with Leeds. We have HMS Example affiliated to the area (the tiny boat outside HMS Calliope) and HMS Tyne affiliated to North Tyneside. That isn't massive either, but I suppose HMS Northumberland, at a stretch, could be based on the Tyne.

For Ark Royal, considering it is currently the Royal Navy's flagship at the minute, and also the size of it, surely Portsmouth would be the only place to actually keep it.

I mean, would there really be demand for it as a hotel in the eastern parts of the river? Is there anyone who would buy it and undertake the massive task and cost of converting it? It would cost millions. Even to make it a museum would be a huge project.

Unfortunately, I very much doubt there would be much, if any, public money available for it as well.

Honestly. I'd love it to happen. I think it'd be great. I can just see it being sold for scrap/research to another Commonwealth country, but even then, which Commonwealth country? India first came to mind, but I think they're currently building 2 of their own new aircraft carriers.
 

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The Northumbrian
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well yeah, you can't exactly get our biggest ship to Leeds, but it is officially affiliated with Leeds. We have HMS Example affiliated to the area (the tiny boat outside HMS Calliope) and HMS Tyne affiliated to North Tyneside. That isn't massive either, but I suppose HMS Northumberland, at a stretch, could be based on the Tyne.

For Ark Royal, considering it is currently the Royal Navy's flagship at the minute, and also the size of it, surely Portsmouth would be the only place to actually keep it.

I mean, would there really be demand for it as a hotel in the eastern parts of the river? Is there anyone who would buy it and undertake the massive task and cost of converting it? It would cost millions. Even to make it a museum would be a huge project.

Unfortunately, I very much doubt there would be much, if any, public money available for it as well.

Honestly. I'd love it to happen. I think it'd be great. I can just see it being sold for scrap/research to another Commonwealth country, but even then, which Commonwealth country? India first came to mind, but I think they're currently building 2 of their own new aircraft carriers.
You are probably right but who knows ?
The Indians are building their own carriers these days and Brazil have recently bought and old French ship.
There were plans to develop the old Swan Hunter site as a multiversity for the Marine industries they were hoping to atrract to the region, but things have gone quiet on that front.
The ship could have been a nice centre piece for that.
I would hate to see the Ark Royal scrapped at Hartlepool, where another old French carrier is currently being scrapped, without some effort being made to see if a more positive use could be made of her.
 

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Queen says farewell to HMS Ark Royal
November 6th 2010, Evening Chronicle



FLAGSHIP of the fleet, the Tyne-built HMS Ark Royal was given an emotional send off by the Queen.

The aircraft carrier, built at the famous Swan Hunter’s shipyard in Wallsend, is to be taken out of service in the wake of Government defence cuts announced last month.

The decision, along with the early retirement of the Harrier jets, will leave the Navy without the capability of launching fixed-wing aircraft from a carrier until replacement ships and aircraft come into service in up to 10 years’ time.

The Captain of HMS Ark Royal said, "this day is very much for Ark Royal. We are delighted the Queen is visiting on and it’s all about the ship’s company, their friends and families.”

The ship is to sail next week for a farewell tour to Tyneside and Clydeside, before returning to Portsmouth for the final time on December 3 before it is decommissioned in the new year.

Capt Kyd said a decision on its future had yet to be decided but explained the options were scrapping, being sold to another country or being used for parts for sister ship HMS Illustrious.

Ark Royal was entered service on July 1 1985 and was commissioned in the presence of the Queen Mother four months later.

The construction cost was £320m but the ship was delivered by Swan Hunter four and a half months ahead of schedule.


Read More - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...o-hms-ark-royal-72703-27613148/#ixzz14VnlGcnD
 

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The Northumbrian
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think we will see the Ark Royal back on the Tyne in any permanent way judging by that article, she will probably be stripped and any useful equipment canabilised for use with other Naval vessels, as a has happened with other ships.
Pity.
 

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HMS Ark Royal's final return to the Tyne
November 20th 2010, by Kim Carmichael, The Journal



A HERO’S welcome greeted one of our region’s finest as HMS Ark Royal returned to the river where she was built, for one last visit.

Some 25 years on from the days when she first sailed out of Wallsend’s Swan Hunter yard the North East saluted the naval vessel as scores of well-wishers lined the banks of the Tyne to watch her elegantly sail through the river mouth.

The flagship vessel carried 600 crew members into North Shields, 50 of whom are originally from the region.

For some crew members the poignancy of the moment was too much as tears were shed in the Ark’s honour.

Captain Jerry Kyd, who has served on the Ark Royal since she was built, said: “Coming back to the North East is always a special event, no more so than today as this is the last time we will bring the ship to the place of her birth. For myself and the ship’s company, it is a very poignant day.

“I’m just overawed and so grateful for the support we received from the thousands of people who came today.”

Thousands of visitors are expected to tour the 22,000-tonne aircraft carrier, which houses aircraft such as the Harrier GR9, Merlin and Sea King helicopters.

The ship is open to visit today and tomorrow between 10am and 3.30pm.

Visitors are advised to use public transport as parking at Northumbria Quay and Royal Quays is very limited.

The ship will leave for Hamburg at 3pm on Tuesday.

She will then return to Portsmouth to await a final decision on her likely decommissioning date.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-...urn-to-the-tyne-61634-27683461/#ixzz15oOmSmxe
 
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