10 Jun 2011

Summer Holiday Ideas - HMS Belfast Operations Room - NOW OPEN!

So summer is almost upon us once again, even if the weather is making it feel like a rainy April!  We have been thinking about activities we would like to do over the summer break and as you all know London is one of my favourite places to go in the whole of the UK so we WILL be visiting again this year (hint hint Misteright!).  The ONLY thing him and K like to do (apart from go to Hamleys) is go and watch the ships on the Thames.  We have thought about visiting the HMS Belfast a few times but we have literally run out of time before having to head home.  

This summer we are definitely going to be visiting the ship because for the very first time since the HMS Belfast was opened to visitors back in 1971 the ship’s Operations Room is now fully open to the public!  It has an exciting and new interactive display that shows the inner workings of the ship’s central nervous system. 
Visitors can imagine exactly what life was like on board the ship exploring nine different decks of maritime history. The new Operations Room gives you the chance to plan your own mission at sea and includes a new simulated radar which plots other ship's positions, based on the real-life Pony Express exercise of 1961 which involved 60 warships, 20,000 naval personnel and 6,000 US, British and Australian troops off North Borneo in the South China Sea.
There are lots of exciting presentations, hands-on activities and workshops available on visits to HMS Belfast with Signalling and Signals workshops, Morse Code activities and Ship’s Conversations lessons available.

One of the most powerful large light cruisers ever built, HMS Belfast is now the only surviving vessel of her type to have seen active service during the Second World War.  Way back in May 1971, after 32 years of service during which HMS Belfast had steamed nearly half a million miles, the last of the Royal Navy’s wartime cruisers was ‘reduced to disposal’ in preparation for sale and destruction by the ship-breakers. However, help was at hand. The Imperial War Museum encouraged the formation of an independent trust led by one of HMS Belfast’s former captains, Rear-Admiral Sir Morgan Morgan-Giles. Eventually, this devoted band of enthusiasts succeeded in bringing her to London, where she opened to visitors on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 1971. 

The ship is now permanently moored on the Thames near to Tower Bridge on Morgan's Lane, Tooley Street.

Opening Times: 10.00am – 6.00pm 
FREE ENTRY for children under 15!
Adults £13.50
Seniors/Students £10.80

The HMS Belfast is recommended for ages 8 and upwards 
If you are not able to make it to the HMS Belfast to visit the new Operations Room then why not click on the picture below and print out this great kids activity sheet?

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