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: 69 | July 2020

InDepth65 1

Photo:  A Submariners Cricket Team - probably including Crew Members from one or more of Submarines A12, C12 to C16 or D1, all of which were fitting out or completing at Barrow around Summertime 1908


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

In my Chairman’s Report for IN DEPTH No 68 I said that we didn’t know how long the Covid 19 restrictions would be in place, but I don’t think any of us thought that we would still be in some sort of strange limbo over 100 days later and with no real end in sight!

Many of you will be wondering when we can all get back to normal with Association and Branch Meetings and Events!  Some restrictions are due to be lifted from 4th July but, lots of other hurdles need to be jumped by pubs, clubs and shops before they can re-open even in a restricted way.  The Barrow Branch venue reckons that they won’t be able to host Meetings in July or August owing to the precautions that need to be put in place and I am sure many other Branch meeting venues will be in the same situation.  I don’t know the answer to all the questions however, the following advice has been adapted from the latest issue of the SEMAPHORE Newsletter of the RNA:

“Although things are beginning to ease, we still need to give this virus some respect.  With bars and restaurants set to re-open in England from 4th July, the question being asked is, should our Branches re-convene?  The only advice the NMC can offer to Branches is that it is not for NMC to tell Branches or Clubs when they should restart their Meetings.  However, Branches are strongly advised that, as an absolute minimum, the letter of the law in your part of the world must scrupulously adhered to, especially as the rules and regulations seem to very challenging and, also to be changing almost daily and in different ways depending on location.  It is suggested that Branch Committees contact their Meetings venues to see when they will be open, check what rules and restrictions are in place, taking the utmost care to protect shipmates, noting that many of the Association Members may be in the “at risk” category.”

Members will recall that the 2020 Conference and Reunion had to be deferred by the NMC because of the ‘lock down’ and we had hoped that moving things out to August would be enough.  However, that has proved not to be the case and a further decision was needed.  The NMC agreed that a further deferment to later this year was likely to get to close to, or possibly clash with the November Ceremonies, and the best plan would be to call it quits for a Conference this year and start planning for next year.  The National Secretary has already circulated details of the date and venue for the 2021 Conference and Reunion.  Full details of the Hotel Accommodation Booking and Meal Choice forms are at pages 26 to 29.

In case you wonder what has happened about the ‘Proposals’ for the 2020 Conference they are not lost!  Assuming that the Proposing Branches still wish it, they will be carried forward for discussion at the 2021 Conference along with any new ‘Proposals’ raised from the Branches

On Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November 2020 it is planned to hold the Submariners Services of Remembrance etc. in the Temple Gardens close to Embankment Memorial in London.  Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, your National Management Committee will continue to review the plans and, to ensure better clarity on the situation in November, further advice should be available in the Autumn.

Andy Bain from the Dolphin Branch stepped forward to take over the role of National Treasurer from Stuart Brown – in fact, Andy was the only volunteer!  The Handover is currently in progress – change of signatories for the Association Accounts is a bit slower than expected.

The Submariners Memorial design competition has resulted in a good response with many creditable suggestions being put forward however the original timescale to select the winning design has been delayed and the Sea Cadet Organisation may be invited to take part as well.  Additionally there is to be at least a one-year delay to Memorial installation programme – this is partly the result of lack of corporate sponsorship funding owing to the current crisis.

The Association Blue Plaque installation programme is currently on hold although Sandy Powell is continuing with the planning process for the  next Blue Plaque.

Some Members may be wondering how the Submarine Museum is coping under the pressure of the Government restrictions in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.  The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, as part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), placed all non-essential personnel on furlough and its doors have closed temporarily.  Our understanding is that all front of house staff had been sent home but are receiving support in accordance with Government policy.  For the Submarine Museum, this means that the Facilities Team are checking the site daily during the week and will continue with maintenance.  The General Manager will be responsible for weekend checks.

The NMRN policy is to minimise costs during the shutdown period whilst keeping its sites and collections safe.  This policy is expected to cover a means of regenerating the business once restrictions are eased.  As is the case for the museum sector nationally, these are tough times and there is a considerable loss inn income to the Museum.  Recent Government advice is that Museums may be able to reopen soon

A new Chairman of Trustees of the NMRN has been appointed recently and he has sent a message to all Museum staff – for interest his message is included on Page 9.

Are you all still following Government advice on the Corona Virus problem and are staying at home, ‘Self-Isolating’ and/or keeping to your ‘Social Distancing’ from other people?

Anyway – enough from me!  All of the usual items are included in this edition and I trust you will find something of interest to read and, 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!

Regards, Barrie Downer


Issue No. 70 will be published on 1st October 2020.  Contributions are required to be with the Editor by 15th September 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 69

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 69

In Depth No 68


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 68

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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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