Let’s learn lessons from Plymouth’s final journey

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So another royal navy ship is heading to the great shipyard in the sky.

The former HMS Plymouth is the latest of navy ships that is going off to Turkey to be scrapped and recycled.

Brace yourself for pictures of her being pulled apart piece by piece before (possibly) being reborn as a razor blade.

But while all goodbyes to once-great ships are sad, this one is particularly poignant.

Plymouth carried many Portsmouth sailors to fight in the Falklands conflict in 1982, having previously travelled across the globe since being commissioned in 1959.

There was also a memorial onboard to all those who lost their lives in the Falklands.

But her journey was certainly an interesting one after being decommissioned in 1988.

She soon found herself with a new home in Plymouth as a successful tourist attraction raking in £80,000 a year. No mean feat.

And although in the long run it did not work out, it’s certainly food for thought when considering the fate of another ship – HMS Illustrious.

Currently the former flagship is languishing in Portsmouth awaiting her fate.

Various bids have been discussed, including one for Hull that would see the ship become a tourist attraction complete with an ‘immersive, inspiring and exciting visitor experience’.

Of course we very much want to see Lusty’s home stay here in Portsmouth where she belongs.

The lesson to be learned from Plymouth’s fate is that whatever does become of Lusty when the final decision is made, let’s hope it’s a long-term plan that gives a thought to the future and not just a quick-fix.

The saddest sight of all would be to see Lusty get a great second life only, a few year’s later, for that to quietly fail and her follow Plymouth to Turkey.

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