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Latest News Dated 14th December 2017
It has been announced that the Quorn and Atherstone are to De-commission today the 14th December 2017.
A potential foreign buyer has withdrawn due to the two ships having had spare equipment removed so as to keep others of the class operational.
Visit March 2016 at Portsmouth
Four members of the Association were invited to join other affiliates for a day at sea aboard HMS Quorn. Having arrived at Victory Gate, Portsmouth Naval Base, we were, with the other 16 affiliates whisked by coach to a conference room in the dockyard for an RN Presentation Team Brief.
The team showed us the ships and equipment coming on line for the future. An amazing video showing the building of the two new aircraft carriers, the first which will soon be operational.
As was explained more goes on in the world of the RN than we will ever know about, a really enlightening briefing.
Back on the coach and across the dockyard to the Quorn, were we were welcomed on board by a large number of the crew all eager to help. We were briefed by the CO, Lt. Cmdr Cromie who gave us an overview of Quorns place in today’s fleet. Though she is over thirty years old her job description has not changed, she is still at the forefront of mine clearance operations across the world.
We left our berth and headed for our anchorage in the Solent this gave us the chance to wander around the ship and talk to the crew and compare notes.
On anchoring we were divided up into three groups to tour the ship in depth.
On the bridge which included the wheelhouse there is no ships wheel; control is by a small joystick on a control panel. Also missing is the chart table. Paper charts are not used as all navigation is by computer as are communications of which there are several systems allowing the ship to communicate with a multitude of recipients. Morse code and semaphore has disappeared from the world of comms and there is only one member of the ships company who can operate the aldis lamp, that’s progress.
Down to the engine room for our second group visit power is supplied by two Deltic diesels driving fixed propellers through a head/stern clutch and reverse reduction gear box which gives a top speed of 15 knots.
To facilitate the slow running required for mine warfare, a third Deltic provides running power via hydrostatic transmission systems, air clutches and main gear boxes. (As a seaman I wish I knew what all that meant.) All this contained in the hull constructed from Glass Reinforced Plastic as is the entire superstructure which needs to be strong enough to withstand the explosive shocks when the mines are detonated.
Onwards to the Command and Control Centre a compartment full of screens and computers that control all aspects of the ships operational life from information supplied from Sonar, Radar and a Precision Fixing System which can put the ship within metres of a mine. Once the ship has identified the mine it can be disposed of by divers or a new system called SEAFOX which comes in two variants the first an inspection vehicle which is recoverable and a Combat Round which contains explosives which will destroy the mine or render it inoperable.
All in all I was very impressed with Quorn; not withstanding her age she is still able to carry out the tasks she was built for. A forth coming major refit including new engines will greatly enhance her role. May she continue for another thirty years.
Report & Pictures supplied by TCA Member John Whatling
TCA Members Briefing Ships Company Affiliated Guests
Visit to Ipswich
Bravo Zulu to HMS QUORN on a most impressive visit to Ipswich on 27th November -1st December. [see detailed photo report in TON Talk 172, February 2015]
Lt Cdr Stuart Yates and his Ship’s Company created a most favourable impression throughout the whole community. The sight of Jack ashore in blue suits and gold badges cheered many a veteran and appeared to gain the approval of the local girls – and their mums and grannies … The more active members of her company kept the music going into the small hours in some pubs.
She made an impressive entrance to Neptune Quay, being towed stern first through the narrow tidal lock, where the Mayor, Councillor Bill Quinton, and RNA, RBL and veterans’ standards awaited her.
QUORN is affiliated with Ipswich and was granted the Freedom of the Borough when she last visited in February 2011 [see TON Talk 149] prior to her deployment to the Gulf. She had a very busy programme during her short visit, which included an RPC on Friday for local notables, among whom she kindly included TCA members Bob Bragg, Rod Hogan, David Low and Hon Sec, Peter Down.
Over 700 visitors, including schools and Sea Cadets from TS Orwell, came aboard when she was open to the public on Saturday. The highlight of her visit was a parade through the historic town centre on Sunday when she exercised the right to march “with drums beating, banners flying and bayonets fixed”. With the band of the Royal Marines providing the drums, it was a spectacle that could not be bettered !
A large crowd of Christmas shoppers witnessed the pageantry. The welcome by the Mayor and the civic hospitality were both warm and generous.
QUORN’s departure in the grey cold early hours of Monday morning brought to mind tales of when TONs first became operational in 105 MSS based at Harwich, down river opposite GANGES.
Bags of very positive PR in the local press and radio. The lads done well …
1. RPC L to R: PO Mark Johnson, C.O. Lt Cdr Stuart Yates, MEO Paul Lewis with TCA members Peter Down, Bob Bragg, Rod Hogan and Dave Low, 2. Guard and Band, 3. Morning Departure QUORN passing under Orwell Bridge