View Full Version : Haulbowline Open day.

Goldie fish
23rd August 2004, 22:17
I heard there may be an Open day/Family day in Haulbowline in the next few weeks. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Goldie fish
27th August 2004, 01:03
The open day is this sat from 12:00 noon to 16:00 Hrs

Don't all rush in now...

ex pat 007
27th August 2004, 02:15
Well I for one cant make it , do bring a camera.:D

27th August 2004, 11:48
and im stuck up here making cheddar cheese.

Goldie fish
27th August 2004, 11:56
Blessed are the cheesemakers

27th August 2004, 12:27
For they shall inherit the... mice:-patriot:


27th August 2004, 20:04
Sorry guys ...its only open to former serving members....! ha!ha!

I am being serious....:D

Goldie fish
27th August 2004, 20:10
So then If you go we can all pretend to be your offspring?

Goldie fish
30th August 2004, 08:35
Firstly. WOW!

Its been 1996 since the Naval service opened the base to such public viewing,and long overdue. To say saturdays result was impressive was an understatment.

My report on events is slightly hindered by my late arrival to haulbowline at about 1430, having experienced some difficulty waking after finishing a 16 hour shift at 8am that morning..

Waved through the gate by friendly PAs(whats that all about??) parked down by the Oil Tanks,under the shadow of the signal tower. Happy families and excited kids all about, some accompanied by their uniformed relative, taking advantage of the rare opportunity to show their loved ones where and how they spend their working day. First stop on the Oil Wharf was L.E. Eithne,which was open for guided tours.

Considering our recent discussion on Eithne, I noticed the addition of some tie down points on the helideck which I asked a Nearby Ensign about. His more than helpful reply was that they were used to secure cargo containers on a recent resupply mission,but are due to be removed before the helicopters can be flown off them again. When I asked what he meant by again, his response was possibly typical of the attitude displayed on this positive day:
"Never say Never." :) Good show. He too has heard Blackhawks are the preferred option for the UH.


Even though I know Eithne like the back of my hand at this stage, A tour was still offered,and I accepted, to find that I was to be led on this tour by the NS most prized assets, The Naval cadet,who are after all the future of the NS.
The Cadet who gave this tour was after completing her first year,and is familiar with a former Board member mentioned elsewhere. Now as she is only after serving a year in the Service,I was not expecting her to know all about the ship,but the tour surprised me, as her polite manner,obvious intelligence,knowledge of her job (and downright attractiveness..You know how I am about women in uniform- Apologies to the lady in question if she she is reading this) held the attention of all those he guided through the parts of the ship accessable to the public.
And before you ask,HPTs cabin was not included in the tour. The shrine to him is way too sacred to be seen by the ordinary mortal.
I could have spent the day chatting up/to this Young cadet(from Galway) but I realised that she had more important things to do,and I left her alone,after telling her about the site.

I was delayed on eithne Longer however, meeting a man whose surname is as much a part of naval history as The clock tower or the Corvettes. Ensign Brunicardi,who is following in the footsteps of his Father and grandfather carrying on th eproud naval tradition. Who Knows he may write a few books himself also,as they have done.
One tale he told which summed up his serving was of an elder gentleman,who approached him with the greeting, "**** You Sir!"
Slightly taken aback he asked the individual to repeat himself,facing an obvious affront to his new authority.
"**** you sir. I Served with your father,and I served with your Grandfather.. I'll be damned if I have to serve with you too."
It was ment in goodwill of course :)

Moving on, adjacent to the boat transport pier, A highly entertaining demonstration was in progress,with the naval Yacht,Tailte acting as the craft being boarded,with Ribs from one of the peacocks carrying out an armed Boarding of this "suspect" vessel,while gun crews closed up on deck. Entertaining to watch,while also giving a rare insight of the dangerous tasks which are routine and mostly go unreported,carried out by the NS.

The band of the 1st Southern Brigade entertained the crowd, as I entered the base pausing at the Naval Diving school,where I saw the Navys only submersible :)
,while opposite,at the waters edge,queues of children and adults waited to be taken on a tour of the harbour in an oversized rib.

I decided to leave this one to the kids,heading on to the main square,resisting the urge to visit the "Senior rates mess"(No NCOs mess in the NS), instead moving on to the Parade ground(which is smaller than I expected) where i was sad to hear "Eist le seo" giving notice that the Base would close to the public in 20 minutes,and would we all please make our way to our vehicles.

Naturally I didn't comply.

Instead, after pausing a while to view the photo history of the Naval service, and a selection of inflatables used by the NS over the years,from the plain Gemini,with its tiller steered outboard,to the newest Dive boat,which is fitted with an Inboard Diesel engine(z-drive) I meandered around the Base,finding it changed much since my previous visit here 10 years ago. The Officers finally got their wish, and a bouncing castle was in operation on the lawn in front of the Wardroom/Naval HQ/Naval College.

Some of the children appeared bigger and older than others :)

A major programme of rebuilding has taken place here in the last few years,and the Base looks brighter for it,but still work in progress,with some of the old married quarters on the island long overdue an appointment with John Charles Bamford. Other buildings,remain derilict for some time,such as the large building adjacent to the Hospital, which has remained that way since I first visited the base back when the minesweepers were in service. An other eyesore,not in the Naval Service control is Irish steel,whose dirty tumbledown buildings overshadow the otherwise fine lines of Haulbowline. The sooner the government cleans up this site the better for all.

In summary I was struck by:
-the Tidyness of the base,
-the Interesting displays on offer(though I missed most of it due to my late arrival-it seems food was being served!)
-the politeness,friendlyness and helpfulness of all NS,NSR and RDF personell who were there.

The only negative aspect was the lack of publicity to the event. The taxpayer would have benefited greatly from this event,knowing that its tax money is being put to good use by the Men and Women of the naval service.

I hope that this event will become a regular one,if the security situation allows.

Photos can be found here (http://www.clubphoto.com/_cgi-bin/app.pl/albums/large_image_view?id=2627801&link_code=sa01_17) .The batteries died in my camera half ways thru the day so i was shooting blind,so apologies for the quality of some.

And hello to that lovely Cadet from Galway,if you are reading this,and best wishes for your future in the Naval service. ;)

Feel free to send me a private message ;)
more photos HERE (http://members14.clubphoto.com/james875593/2633542/guest.phtml)

30th August 2004, 22:56
nice one Goldie...glad you enjoyed your few hours....Bouncy castle must have made shite of the officers cricket pitch!

Goldie fish
31st August 2004, 00:51
You may be interested to hear that the NS have been authorised to use the West quay wall of the basin,formerly used by Irish steel/ISPAT. This is a considerable advantage to the NS,providing a less cluttered quay space,less potential for prangs while manouvering,and though i doubt it will be used,a dockside crane.
It is currently being dredged to remove all the scrap steel that was dropped/thrown in over the years.

31st August 2004, 01:38
Interesting no doubt as this berth has about twice the depth of the rest of the basin at low tide and was able to handle ships far greater than anything the NS has in srvice. ids this the begining of some thing new.

Goldie fish
31st August 2004, 01:58
By the way,nobody heard about our new ship rumour,so i am not psychic after all:)

31st August 2004, 13:23

eyewitness report of what happened...

31st August 2004, 17:21
way to go...you ****ing legend.......

I love the sound track from the porn Film!

Excellent stuff.

Goldie fish
31st August 2004, 23:49
The History of the base is never far away...

The plaque reads

Her Majestys Command
To mark the occasion of the visit of their Royal Highnesses
The Prince and Princess of Wales
Prince Albert Victor of Wales
on the 15th April 1885
Rear-Admiral Henry Dennis Hickley.