Barrow submarine heritage dream hits rocks after news HMS Onyx to be scrapped

DREAMS of a submarine heritage centre in Barrow have suffered a blow as the proposed centre piece is due to depart for the wreckers’ yard.

HMS Onyx has been sitting in Barrow since May 2006 when a group of submariners, led by Terry Spurling, helped bring the boat back to Barrow.

The group had hoped the boat would become an interactive centre piece at a submarine heritage centre but the plans ran into trouble after the group could not secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund without the backing of Barrow Borough Council or Cumbria County Council.

As the boat is prepared to be towed to Hull, where it will be dismantled, Mr Spurling said the dream of using a submarine is no longer possible.

He said: “It’s sad for Barrow that it’s going but there’s now no chance of getting a submarine.

“It was the last O-class (Oberon) class submarine available and it’s about to be made into razor blades.

“It’s the end of the dream based around a submarine but I still believe there’s a heritage story to tell.”

Mr Spurling said the decision had been taken after HMS Onyx had been sitting in Buccleuch Dock for the best part of seven years – which has led to rusting and corrosion.

He added: “When the climate is right and when there is money available I think there will be some-thing.

“We have a paintings collection at Barrow Town Hall, a large book collection and a lot of hardware and materials that have been loaned to Faslane.”

Mr Spurling said he understands the reasons Onyx is to be scrapped but added he is sad the heritage centre has lost its centre piece.

Source – North West Evening Mail

3 thoughts on “Barrow submarine heritage dream hits rocks after news HMS Onyx to be scrapped

  1. Ian Whitehouse

    Sad but inevitable. I commanded ONYX in the 80s and visited her at Birkenhead at an initial stab at establishing a warship museum. She wasn’t looking good then and will be in a far worse state now.

    Better to support the Alliance Appeal at the Submarine Museum than pursue the ONYX dream.

  2. Nigel mellor

    We are trying to find out more information about who is selling her,there is a belief that we can save her but need information, so that we are in a position to try and help

  3. Laurence Sharpe-Stevens

    HMS Alliance at the Submarine Museum is safe with lots of funding for her and Admission fees as income. The ONYX was in far better condition than the Alliance a few years ago when I saw her when on WPT business in Portsmouth. Bits of plating were falling off the Alliance although she was very good inside. Onyx has never been that bad and also her upper works are fiberglass which doe’s not rot or rust.
    Keep fighting for her chaps !

    HMS Plymouth Trust


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