Barrow bids farewell to BAE Systems built submarine Ambush
Last updated at 08:41, Monday, 17 September 2012
HUNDREDS of people gathered on Roa Island, Barrow on Saturday to say "bon voyage" to the crew of the sumbarine Ambush as she headed out on trial with the Royal Navy.
The 7,400-tonne, nuclear-powered attack submarine left Ramsden Dock about 11am and made her way past the island with about 98 crew members on board.
Onlookers - many of whom arrived hours earlier to secure prime viewing positions - waved and cheered as the £1.2bn feat of British and Barrow engineering went past.
The 97-metre long vessel, which took a decade to build, is the second Astute class submarine to have left from the local docks.
BAE Systems Maritime submarines managing director John Hudson said: "This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work from everyone at BAE Systems, our partners in the submarine enterprise and the hundreds of businesses in our supply chain network.
"Nuclear-powered submarines are ferociously complicated and it would not have been possible to reach the stage we are at today without the valued input of all those highly skilled people."
Ambush commander Peter Green said: "We are grateful to all the people who have worked hard to construct this vessel.
"The crew cannot wait to start sea trials and take this magificent vessel a step closer to beginning operations.
"It is now time to start putting Ambush through her paces on sea trial and prove that this amazing piece of equipment is ready for operations."
- For the full story and more local reaction, see today's edition of the Evening Mail
First published at 08:01, Saturday, 15 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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There were several rig yards in Scotland none of which survived.The longest lasting one I worked in(the former RGC)at Methill in Fife has only recently seen a revival.
Barrow is unique in many ways and being the UK's sole submarine builder is just one of them. I wonder what Barrow might have been like without the shipbuilding yard. But conversely I remember in the mid-70s shipyard owners Vickers Ltd allegedly put an embargo on a new rig-building yard way down on Ramsden Dock. Nobody from Barrow could get a job there unless you pretended to be from somewhere else, the wages were about three times the shipyard rates. Vickers employed about 12,000 and were relieved when the rig yard eventually folded. There were no organisations like Furness Enterprise back then to assist new industries in getting established in the town. What a boon that rig yard and the town would have enjoyed in the coming years had it survived as gas was discovered out in Morecambe Bay. The demand for rig construction and associated equipment was worth millions and it was looking for a suitable place to begin the work. A local rig yard facility could have been further utilised when the wind farms became viable and manufacturers came looking for suitable large-scale fabrication facilities. Could the Barrow area have been even more prosperous if this had happened? I guess we'll never know.
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