Engraver dropped a clanger

On the evening of October 23,1970 two tankers collided six miles south of the Isle of Wight. 13 crewmen died.

Flames from the oil tanker Pacific Glory could be seen from Portsdown Hill

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My story about HMS Lowestoft’s missing bell brought a reply from Eddy Amey who was a workshop manger in the Dockyard in 1970.

Among his staff were 14 engravers and their duties included engraving Dockyard-made gifts for visiting dignitaries and inscribing names in ships’ bells.

HMS London had a silver ship’s bell donated by City of London Guilds and when that valuable item was engraved the metal off-cuts had to be collected and handed to the sentry who was guarding the bell while it was in the workshop.

Eddy, from Fareham, says: ‘We once had to engrave a replacement bell for HMS Antrim and by some unfortunate lapse the engraver machined ‘HMS Antrit’ in letters 30mm high. The offending ’t’ was brazed in and re-engraved with an ‘m’ but the different colour was obvious.