City leader backs campaign to save HMS Edinburgh

HMS Edinburgh, the last of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers, returning to Portsmouth for the last time in May..''Picture: Sarah Standing (131470-7240)
HMS Edinburgh, the last of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers, returning to Portsmouth for the last time in May..''Picture: Sarah Standing (131470-7240)
The USS George HW Bush at anchor in Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire, England 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (170727-6460)

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PORTSMOUTH’S council leader is urging people to get behind a campaign to save the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 42s.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson thinks it would be a good idea if the decommissioned HMS Edinburgh, became a floating museum next to the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

As previously reported in The News, she returned to Portsmouth for the final time last month following her involvement in the Battle of the Atlantic commemorations.

Veteran Paul Gibb, who served on board as a marine engineering mechanic from 1991 to 1994, has launched a Save HMS Edinburgh petition.

It follows news of initial talks between Forth Ports and Britannia bosses about the possibility of the move.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Anything that shows off a ship is good for the Royal Navy and that is good for Portsmouth.

‘We have got to treat ships with some dignity.

‘The more people who know and understand the city and the navy the better.

He also recognised that there were some issues.

‘When we were trying to get HMS Caroline here we knew she was a First World War ship, and her steel was much thicker,’ he said.

‘From what I understand, part of the problem here is HMS Edinburgh is built with much thinner steel, and that means it’s more difficult to maintain over the long term.’

As previously reported, HMS Edinburgh has reached the end of her 30-year career and has been replaced with six new Type 45s.

Built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, HMS Edinburgh was launched in April 1983 and commissioned in December 1985. Her first deployment was to the Arabian Gulf in 1987, escorting numerous merchant ships safely through the region.

She has clocked up 800,000 miles in its 30-year career. So far the petition has attracted 794 signatures.

To sign it visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/50317