HMS Victory I dont believe it !

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Apr 1, 2009.

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  1. Navy's handover of Lord Nelson's legendary flagship HMS Victory branded 'a tragedy'

    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 3:27 PM on 12th September 2008

    Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cheshire says the sale of HMS Victory would make a mockery of Britain's Naval Heritage

    The government today sparked uproar by revealing Lord Nelson's legendary flagship HMS Victory could be given away to a private owner as a cost cutting measure.

    The Ministry of Defence revealed the historic 18th century warship may be too expensive to maintain and her funding is currently under review.

    This could see her passed to a private firm or given to a charity to save cash, which critics say would be 'a tragedy'.

    The MoD argues that increasing budgetary pressures mean it must review Victory's future like any other ship.

    But a former Commanding Officer of Victory and ex-First Sea Lord said handing over the oldest commissioned warship in the world to a private company would make a mockery of Britain's naval heritage.

    Victory, which was built between 1759 and 1765 and was Lord Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, has pride of place at the historic dockyard in Portsmouth, Hants.

    Lt Cmdr Michael Cheshire, now retired, was Commanding Officer of Victory from 1992 to 1998 and was awarded an MBE for his services to the Royal Navy.

    He said: ‘If they sell her or give her away to charity it will be an absolute tragedy.

    ‘This magnificent ship means so much to both naval people and the whole nation - selling it to a private firm would turn it into Disneyland and would be its ruin.

    ‘HMS Victory is the core of the naval base, the core of Portsmouth, and to sell off this icon would indicate the decline of the Royal Navy.’ HMS Victory costs a minimum of 1.5m pounds to maintain and run each year, but that figure can go up when major work is needed.
    HMS Victory

    The legendary HMS Victory in all her glory.The historic warship could be run by a charity or public body, the Ministry of Defence said today

    Every year around 400,000 visitors clamber onto the wooden warship to marvel at the workmanship and pay their respects to Lord Nelson who died during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

    Entrance fees are divided up and shared between all the major attractions at the dockyard.

    The MoD said it was considering whether to hand Victory to a private company, a charitable trust similar to the one that looks after the Mary Rose, another government department or keep the status quo.

    Portsmouth South's Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock said handing the 100-gun Victory to a charity would mean an uncertain future.

    ‘It would be a constant battle for funding - she would never be kept in the condition she is now,’ he said.

    ‘It would be an absolute tragedy if she were to become commercial.

    ‘It would make a mockery of what we say about protecting our heritage.

    ‘I would never support anything that would take it out of the hands of the state - we have a duty and a moral responsibility to keep Victory.

    ‘She has been the flagship of the Royal Navy and she needs to remain in the hands of the state and be protected by the guarantees of government.’ A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said it was committed to keeping Victory in the best possible condition, adding that sticking with the current set-up was one of the options.

    She said: ‘The review is imminent and will involve a huge number of stakeholders, right down from the treasury to local heritage groups.

    ‘It will not come to any firm recommendations until 2009, and no time limit has actually been set for a final decision.

    ‘The study will consider all options for the funding of Victory, because as a public body we have a duty to look at providing best value for money.

    ‘That could include passing the ship to another government department, to a charity or to a company limited by guarantee of her status, or keeping it as it is.

    ‘Whatever happens, we are committed to keeping Victory as a commissioned warship, the flagship and the ship of the Second Sea Lord.’ Former First Sea Lord Sir Julian Oswald said: ‘The Victory is a wonderful icon and a national treasure.

    ‘The Navy has been lucky to have had her to look after for the past 200 years and I hope it goes on for the next 200.

    ‘Talk of selling her or anything of that sort is absolutely daft.

    ‘In the grand scheme of things it can't be that expensive to keep her - she is just wood and canvas.’ Portsmouth council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It is crucial she remains in Portsmouth and part of the historic dockyard.

    ‘I understand there is a limited budget and money has to be spent on equipment to protect our troops and save lives.

    ‘But it's essential Victory remains available to the public and in tip top condition - she must not be allowed to rot.

    ‘My concern is a private firm could restrict access and just open her for corporate events or increase admission prices.

    ‘It's essential people have a sense of our history, and people have a sense of what makes us British and what makes us unique.

    ‘Understanding our history is what defines our character as a nation.’ However Portsmouth North MP Sarah McCarthy-Fry said she was in favour of the review.

    She said: ‘In today's climate when our troops are on prolonged operations I think it is right to question whether we should be using funding on what is essentially heritage.

    ‘I think it is right to open the debate and I am open minded - provided Victory stays in Portsmouth and provided our heritage is preserved in the condition it is now.

    ‘If those conditions cannot be imposed then other options would have to be looked at.’ Victory was launched in 1765 at Chatham Dockyard, was commissioned in 1778 and spent the next 34 years in service.

    On September 15, 1805 she sailed from Portsmouth to join the British fleet as they prepared to battle the French under Napoleon's rule.

    On October 21, off Cape Trafalgar, Admiral Lord Nelson's fleet of 27 ships formed into two columns and sailed towards the enemy.

    With Nelson on board, Victory sailed into the centre of the battle and opened fire.

    With the fighting at its fiercest, Nelson was shot by a French marksman and taken below where he died from his wounds.

    However, the battle was won and the French fleet was never a threat again.

    Much damaged, Victory was towed to Gibraltar and finally returned to Portsmouth in December 1805 bearing Nelson's body.

    After repairs at Chatham she was recommissioned in March 1808.

    In 1812, she returned to Portsmouth where she ended her sea-going life.

    In 1831 she was listed for disposal but Sir Thomas Hardy, First Sea Lord and Victory's commander at Trafalgar, refused to sign the warrant.

    In 1889 she became the flagship for the Commander-in-Chief and remains so today.

    Following a national appeal led by the Society for Nautical Research, Victory, then anchored off Gosport, was put into her present dock in January 1922, and work began to restore her to her 1805 appearance.

  2. This is an April fool right, starting a thread about a story 6months old?
  3. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Nelson was a nasty, unpleasant capitalist, imperialist aggressor that was not very nice to our catholic brothers and sisters in other navies.

    Reason enough to get rid of such a hateful symbol imperialism in the eyes of some.

    Nelson's column? Knock it down, bl00d-soaked thing that it is - get some lezzer up there instead - much more socially acceptable.
  4. Or how about a lesbian single mother disabled muslim trade unionist, in order to portray modern Britain. :twisted:
  5. And while we are at it lets ship Admiralty arch off to the States (as a G20 pressie to Obama), and sell of all those other Imperialist Buildings that have seen so much treachery in our past (ie Number 10 and 11) and let the cabinet set up home in the down troden oppressed bit of London prefferably a 1960s highrise crack den!
    Woudn't all our designer clad politicos love that?
  6. He surely qualifies to retain his place though if we are being inclusive as he was disabled;

    Partially sighted
    Only one arm
    and of restricted growth

    I think these three out weigh the lezzer in social acceptability.
  7. Thought they used to have a disabled pregnant woman on one of the plinths?
  8. On the other hand having a lezzer on the column is what every man wants, isn't it?


    ok I won't even bother with me coat - "taxi!"
  9. You forgot to mention unmarried father

    Used the media to gain publicity and improve his social standing

    Really Nelson was the Jade Goody of his day :wink:
  10. We have trade unions in modern Britain? I thought people stopped listening to them in the 80's?
  11. Been there ,done that :D
  12. This might be an 'April Fool', it also might be true. Nothing would surprise me about our facking Neues Liebore Goverment - or MoD for that case....

    Partially sighted
    Only one arm (used for 'staff development' nightly....
    and of restricted growth (intellectually.....)

    Does this remind anyone of a certain nameless person .... 'No Name No Pack Drill'......

    I think these three fit into the category of 'One Size Fits All'. :p
  13. huh if this isn't an April fool's then if the MOD tidied up it's wasteful procurement procedures, I'm sure they would save a lot more than the 1.5 million that HMS Victory costs to upkeep
  14. Don't forget the gay angle. 'Kiss me Hardie' and all that. Nelson ticks all the boxes. All we need now is for the government to paint Nelson's Column pink in time for next year's gay pride march, oblivious to the fact that it'll look like a giant c*ck.

    Regarding the status of HMS Victory, of course it's an April Fool. I know for a fact that, as the last available ship in the fleet, Victory will be deployed to the Falklands in the Autumn.