Final Day in UK. 2 more museums.

by John

First, I was avoiding posting photos because I was at 99.9% of my allowed storage at WordPress.  So I have deleted a lot of old videos, and now have some headspace.  If you search my old posts you will find some blanks.  If they are crucial, message me and I will get them to you some other way.

Today was my final day of sightseeing.  Beautiful sunny weather in Portsmouth.  I am mentally gearing up for home and family, who I have missed.  But frankly, this tour of museums and engines and mines and ships could not have been done with wife/family in tow.  I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to do just what I felt like, for the past 3 weeks.  And I have enjoyed making these posts in the evenings.

So today, I visited 2 more museums in Portsmouth, on the Gosport side of the harbour.  Smaller, specialist  museums.  Not for everyone, but I thought that both were terrific.  They were 1. The Explosion Museum and 2. The Royal Navy Museum of Submarines.

The explosion museum was quite close to my BNB.  A walk along the waterfront, past many, many leisure yachts, and the odd hulk.


Fighting off the crowds on the waterfront, Gosport, Portsmouth


The “Explosions Museum” is located in an old set of buildings, built as you can see, in1771.  The walls are 8′ thick.  


And as I entered, I noticed this lump of steel, weighing 1.5 tonnes.  That is my tape measure.  I don’t trust OP’s measurements.  It is armour plating from the German battleship “Tirpitz”, sunk by British airplanes in a Norwegian fiord in WW2.   I measured it at 450mm 18″ but the notice says 15″.  Whatever.  


Cutaway of a WW2 magnetic mine.


The breech of a 15″ naval gun.  Massive.


One of the buildings.  Those walls are 8′ thick!

There were many more exhibits, mainly of WW1 and WW2 vintage.  But a few more frightening, modern ones too.


Where the gunpowder was stored.  Now used as a wedding reception venue!  Hence the balloons.

I noticed this as I walked back.


Rotting away to nothingness.


I have to protect my knees these days, so I drove the  2 miles to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.


This is a cold war, diesel powered sub.  I was surprised how big it was.  1600 tons.



The bow (pointy end)


And it is probably pretty obvious, but it is still just another boat.  With lots of pumps, valves, 2 engines, nav gear, torpedoes, and crew facilities.


and dedicated volunteers, in this case an ex-submariner.


Forward torpedo room.  The 1.5 tonne torpedoes were basically manhandled into the launching tubes shown, using a gantry (not seen).


Torpedo stored against the wall, and the gantry above.


There is not much room.  Crew bunks.


Plenty of interest in the loo


One of the twin diesels


and the machine shop.  No brand.  About the size of a Myford.


The guide’s final comment was that this 1980-90’s technology is obsolete.  It is all about nuclear submarines these days.

Then into the actual museum, where there was a mini sub, and the first submarine in the Royal Navy.  And a lot of simulation games to amuse the kids.


The mini sub.  British.  Used in WW2.  A six man crew from memory.


1900.  9 man crew.  Canaries were actually rats.  Enlarge to read the details.


Riveted hull.  Circa 1900. 


Petrol engine when on surface.


Single forward torpedo tube.


Looking aft past the petrol engine


The outer skin was about 3mm thick.


No welding.  Entirely riveted.



In the car park was an unlabelled, 7 blade bronze (?) prop.  ? off a nuclear sub.



Submariner officers were in “the trade”.  I bet that you did not know that one.


So, tomorrow a drive to London to drop off the rental car, and fly out the day after.  I am planning another quick visit to Fort Nelson, where I am hoping to use a tape measure on one or two aspects of the Ottoman Bombard.  Maybe a model bronze version of the bombard in my future, hey?

So, I hope that you have found some of these posts of interest.  My usual workshop posts will reappear soon.  And maybe an occasional one about UFO’s and Antarctica.  See ya.