Huge floating dock seen at start of journey to Scotland

AFD60 passes the Round Tower on its way to Faslane
AFD60 passes the Round Tower on its way to Faslane
Bob Sivewright with quick-thinking newsboy Chris Turner

THIS WEEK IN 1992: Couple saved from gas leak by hero newspaper delivery boy

0
Have your say

A photograph from the end of last month sent regular contributor Gez Groom scurrying for his albums.

The picture (below) showed two parts of the stern of the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth on their way to Scotland.

George Groom, on the right, and other members of the Portsmouth dockyard shipwright team based at Faslane for the installation of the floating submarine dock

George Groom, on the right, and other members of the Portsmouth dockyard shipwright team based at Faslane for the installation of the floating submarine dock

And what the black-and-white photo here recalls is AFD60 also en route to Scotland.

Gez, of Roundway, Waterlooville, said: ‘It shows that the dockyard was able to build all manner of things.’

AFD stood for Admiralty Floating Dock and it was built here for the Polaris nuclear submarines based at Faslane.

Gez said: ‘My father, George Groom, was one of the shipwright team involved with its construction and towing up to Faslane for testing.

‘A strict routine was needed when flooding the tanks to ensure it sank level. My father said that after many practice tests, when they handed over to the Faslane base, the first time they tried to sink it they got it wrong and warped some of the superstructure, which meant the Portsmouth team had to stay to put it right.

‘The floating docks had all the facilities to accommodate crews when the subs were in the dock.’

He sent me pictures of the official programme for its launch in 1966; the aerial shot of it passing the Round Tower; George overlooking the testing in Scotland, and a group of the dockyard workers who helped build it with George on the right.’

Gez believes the dock was eventually sold to Iceland when the Polaris subs were decommissioned.