Sub’s history comes to life for children

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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IT was hard for the young people not be inspired as they worked yards away from a 1,500-ton wartime submarine.

Children from across the area gathered at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport to showcase the work they do.

5th Gosport Sea Scouts making a submarine L-R Sean Werren 13, Alex Forsyth 11, Aiden Lewis 11, George Santry 10 and Steff Newman 13''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131553-1)

5th Gosport Sea Scouts making a submarine L-R Sean Werren 13, Alex Forsyth 11, Aiden Lewis 11, George Santry 10 and Steff Newman 13''Picture: Paul Jacobs (131553-1)

The museum has been working with local Scout and Guide groups as HMS Alliance – a Royal Navy A-Class which was first launched in 1945 and decommissioned in 1973 – undergoes a £3.4m restoration thanks to Heritage Lottery funding.

Young people have designed artwork and information boards about the submarine, which travelled across the globe as far as Singapore and Nova Scotia in Canada.Members of 5th Gosport Sea Scouts worked throughout the morning to build a submarine structure out of timber poles using only rope and knots.

Aiden Lewis, 11, from Gosport, said: ‘It’s a very good challenge and something I’ve never done. I can do about 10 different knots.’

George Santry, 10, from Gosport, said: ‘It’s challenging but it’s fun.’

Also working to recruit and showcase their skills were the 17th Fareham Sea Scouts, the 1st and 3rd Fareham Guides, and Portsmouth Royal Marine Cadets. One young person made a huge papier-mache model of HMS Alliance.

Daniel Ball, museum outreach officer, was impressed by the children’s artwork.

He said: ‘They have taken up their own time do it and you can see the amount of effort put in.’

HMS Alliance is currently covered by a tent with only its fin exposed, but by April next year should be fully restored following years of corrosive damage caused by pigeons.

Gareth Brettell, the museum’s learning manager, said: ‘It’s a memorial to all who took part in the submarine’s service and it’s the only one of its kind remaining.

‘Considering the state it was in, it’s going to be an absolute treat for people to see it restored.’