THERE are plans for a film featuring the building and launch of one of Barrow's best known warships.

Barrow Civic and Local History Society hopes to turn the spotlight on the destroyer HMS Sheffield — affectionately known as the Shiny Sheff.

It had a royal launch by Queen Elizabeth close to 50 years ago — on the same day as the official opening of Barrow's new indoor market hall.

Vanessa Allen, the civic society secretary said: "We are hoping to make a film telling the story of HMS Sheffield, launched by the Queen in June 1971.

"It will include the story of the building of the ship and the actual day of the launch.

"It is hoped that the film will be a celebration of the shipbuilding achievements of the town, told around the story of this particular ship."

Sheffield was launched on June 10 in 1971 and was struck by an Exocet anti-ship missile from an Argentine navy aircraft during the battle for the Falkland Islands in May 1982.

There is a memorial in the Falkland Islands to the 20 who lost their lives and from December 1983 the former Welcome Inn on Church Street, Barrow, was renamed as The Sheffield.

She said: "We’re hoping that people with any interesting stories about the Sheffield would be willing to share their stories, and even agree to be filmed.

"It might be people who worked on the ship or who have an interesting slant to the story."

Twin sisters, Anne Granville and Sheila Fenwick, who presented a bouquet to the Queen at the launch of Sheffield will be the first people to be interviewed and filmed, at the beginning of May.

The film will be made by Matthew Dodd, whose film Barrow Blitz, 75 years on can be found on YouTube.

If you have memories to share of HMS Sheffield, you can get in touch with Vanessa Allen on 07827 964344, or send an email to

A special launch supplement in The Mail in 1971 noted the Queen got to chat with crowds of people outside Barrow Town Hall and the market hall.

HMS Sheffield was 412ft in length and displaced 3,150 tons. It was powered by gas turbine engines with a top speed of 30 knots.