In Depth & News Letters

In Depth & News Letters



Official Newsletter of the Submariners Association

Patron: Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL

Issue No: 70 | October 2020

InDepth65 1

Photo:  Gosport Branch Committee Members meet the Town’s Mayor


Hello again to everyone from what is still a very quiet Barrow in Furness!

Because of the ongoing COVID 19 problems this year has been one of continual delays, deferrals and cancellations.  First the Reunion and Conference was deferred, rearranged and then, finally, cancelled.  Many (if not all) Branches have had to cancel monthly Branch Meetings and the many Social events which provide an income to keep the Branches going and provide funds to support charitable aims.  Hopefully there will be some light at the end of the tunnel in the not too distant future  and we will be able to get back to normal.

The latest NMC decision to cancel the November Remembrance Parade at the Temple Gardens was a very difficult one for the NMC to make but I am sure that everyone appreciates that these are very unusual times.  The imposition of more Government Rules and Restrictions is still possible and we had to be mindful of the age demographic of many of our members and their potential vulnerability to COVID 19.

The revised Ceremonial at the Embankment (see above) has been devised by Iain Mackenzie in his role as Parade Marshall and, in conjunction with the NMC and COSM.  Ian has had to liaise with a whole host of Officials and Organisations – both Service and Civilian - and we owe him a big vote of thanks for his efforts to keep some form of Remembrance Ceremonial on track.

This has  been a very strange year so far I think you will all agree!  I hope that not too many of you are affected by these ‘local lock downs’ which keep on appearing and that you are able to get on with anything which passes for ‘normal’ these days.  Branch Meetings seem to be the most difficult thing to arrange at the moment – here in Barrow we have only managed one since March and our planned October Meeting looks to be limited both in time and numbers able to attend.

‘Zoom Meetings’ seem to be the ‘In Thing’ at the moment and I hope your Branch Secretaries have been able to join in with those arranged by Ian Vickers especially for them.  Ian can also advise Branches how to set up their own Zoom Branch Meetings and a number of Branches have held successful meetings this way.

One effect of the current restriction is that, in the six months since being elected as your Chairman, I have not had the opportunity to meet any of the other Members of the NMC ‘Face to Face’.  All business – as with Branches - is by E mail, phone call or Zoom Meetings.  However we seem to be keeping things ‘ticking over’!

So what has been happening at the NMC?  Andy Bain is ‘in post’ as the new Association Treasurer having completed his Handover from Stu Brown.  The Reverend Professor Stephen Wray is our new Honorary Chaplain having taken over from the Rev Paul Jupp - who decided to stand down after supporting the Association for a good number of years.  Frank Pas decided to stand down as our Slops Manager, so we are about to start recruiting for a successor.  As a result the Slops Shop is currently shut whilst Andy Bain completes a stocktake and valuation exercise - ready for the new Manager to take over – if you think this role is something you could do for the Association please step forward - Terms of Reference for the post are available from the Secretary.

Also, we will shortly be looking for a ‘volunteer’ to join the Submarine Advisory Group (SAG) as the SA Representative.  Advisory Groups have been set up for each of the different areas of interest of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRM).  The Advisory Group for Royal Navy Submarines is intended to ensure that the ‘history and ethos’ of the Submarine Service is properly understood and reflected by NMRN and it is anticipated that the Submarine Advisory Group will focus on content and development and be only peripherally concerned with day-to-day operations of the Submarine Museum.  Ideally this is for someone with major interest in the RN Submarine History and development.  TORs for this post are being developed and should be available soon.

Not long now and the Secretary will be asking Branches to think about any proposals they might wish to see discussed at 2021 Conference – don’t forget that the proposals forwarded for the 2020 Conference are still valid  and will be on the Agenda – unless sponsoring Branches wish to withdraw them.

Anyway – enough from me, already!  All of the usual items are included in this edition and I trust you will find something of interest to read.  In the Books Section there is a special offer for anyone wishing to buy a copy of Eric Thompson’s book ‘On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service – the offer is valid for one month so get in quick! 

As usual , once again, I must thank all those who have sent in items for the Newsletter – trying to fit it all in is challenging – but it makes my job so much easier when Members send me items and articles to publish!


Barrie Downer


Issue No. 71 will be published on 1st January 2021.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th December 2020 – please make sure I get them in good time!


This Newsletter is published by the Submariners Association and is © 2020.  The opinions expressed in these pages are not necessarily the opinion of the Editor, the Submariners Association, the MoD or the Submarine Service unless otherwise stated.  The Submariners Association may not agree with the opinions expressed in this Newsletter but encourages publication as a matter of interest.  Nothing printed may be construed as policy or an official announcement unless so stated.  Otherwise the Submariners Association accepts no liability on any issue in this Newsletter.

A full copy of this version can be downloaded from the below link in PDF Format.
Latest In Depth No 70

In Depth Newsletter

Here is an extract of the latest In Depth Newsletter. A full copy of this and the previous version can be downloaded from these links in PDF Format.

Latest In Depth No 70

In Depth No 69


Rear Admiral Niall SR Kilgour CB

Barrie Downer Esq
The Firs, Dundalk Street
Barrow Island
Barrow in Furness
LA14 2RZ
01229 820963
B. Downer Esq

Vice Chairman:

Iain. MacKenzie Esq.
46 Almora Drive
G82 1AE
I. MacKenzie Esq

National Secretary:
Ian Vickers Esq
160 Bradshaw Meadows
Lancashire BL2 4ND
01204 308539
I. Vickers Esq

Andy Bain Esq
5 Rydal Mount
07792 100896
A. Bain Esq

Membership Secretary:
David Woolterton Esq.
2 Thornton Close
SO24 9FE
01962 734940 or 07713448734
D. Woolterton Esq

Barrie Downer Esq
The Firs, Dundalk Street
Barrow Island
Barrow in Furness
LA14 2RZ
01229 820963
B. Downer Esq

In Depth Newsletter

A full copy of the previous version can be downloaded from Here: In Depth No 69

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About our Association

The Submariners Association is an Association of ex and serving Submariners which seeks to maintain the special bonds of friendship, loyalty and comradeship, together with a pride in the Submarine Service, formed during service in Her Majesty's Submarines.

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