Royal Navy decides against painting ex-warships HMS Manchester and HMS Gloucester

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THE Royal Navy has decided against repainting decommissioned warships at Portsmouth Naval Base as part of a new marketing campaign.

The idea to spruce up HMS Manchester and HMS Gloucester was put forward after it was agreed to place a new banner on the training ship HMS Bristol to promote the navy to the 3m international ferry port users who sail past every year.

The retired ships, both of which left service last year after more than 30 years of service, are moored directly opposite Bristol.

They have been stripped bare of useful parts and have patches of yellow undercoat showing through.

Because of their proximity to Bristol, it was felt they would detract from the navy’s new marketing campaign.

Talks were held at the naval headquarters at HMS Excellent on Whale Island about whether it was worth painting the old ships which are due to be put up for sale later this year.

It was argued that costs could be kept down by using surplus paint, which would also help maintain the metal.

But it was finally decided to leave Manchester and Gloucester alone.

A navy spokesman said: ‘As a service we need to look at the preservation, maintenance and presentation options for our decommissioned warships.

‘A painting option was considered as part of the maintenance of these warships; however this option was not taken forward.’