THIS WEEK IN 1982: The dockyard’s gates open but not its ships

Hermes - Task force flagship HMS Hermes returning triumphantly to Portsmouth. She was expected to draw large croawds at the Royal Navy open day
Hermes - Task force flagship HMS Hermes returning triumphantly to Portsmouth. She was expected to draw large croawds at the Royal Navy open day

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Battle-scarred warships which became household names during the battle of the Falklands went on display at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The base opened its doors to the public for three open days at the end of the historic summer dominated by the South Atlantic campaign.

When the Dockyard gates opened, most of the task force ships had returned home and some had shown signs of the rigours or prolonged operations in the winter gales of the South Atlantic.

The ships underwent intensive maintenance and repair so they could quickly return to normal operations.

Visitors to the open days were unable to go on board any of the ships, unlike the more traditional Navy Days.

Visitors were able to tour the 350-acres of Royal Dockyard and view at close hand 24 warships.

Among them was the task force flagship, HMS Hermes, and the lynch pins of the San Carlos landings, assault ships HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless.

Dockyard workshops were also open where visitors could see heavy engineering, ship repair and blacksmiths at work.