The Irish Sea Shipping Archive

About ISSContactContentVoyage ReportsISS Amazon Shop
PhotographsFeaturesShip AISShips on FilmNews
Finished With Engines: Irish Sea Shipping is now closed to new updates - J.H. Luxton Photography - Transport, Industrial History, Regional Photographs UK & beyond

Historic Warships at Birkenhead

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2006

Following the announcement in January 2006 that the Historic Warships Trust would be going into liquidation in early February  and closing to the public on February 05 I paid a visit to HMS ONYX and HMS PLYMOUTH. Here is a selection of views taken on board.
 Forward Torpedo RoomTorpedo Room bulkhead.Junior Ratings MessBunks in passageway.
Senior Rating's MessGalleyCPOs' cabinWardroom
HelmCaptain's CabinControl RoomEngine RoomAft Torpedo Room

HMS ONYX was launched by Cammell Laird in 1966 and Commissioned in 1967 being the final member of the Oberon class whose hull design was based on a late WWII German design. She was the only non nuclear submarine to see service in the Falkland's War, her small size making her suitable for landing SAS / SBS troops in shallow water.

She was withdrawn in 1991 and entered preservation with the Historic Warships Trust at Birkenhead.

HMS Plymouth
  aft deckflight deck 
The anti-submarine mortarFunnelOerlikon GunWasp Helicopter
Captain's CabinSonar RoomOperations RoomWheelhouseBridge
Oerlikon GunDecoy launchersGun SightBridgeTwin 4.5" Gun
NAAFI ShopSenior Ratings' MessJunior Ratings' MessWardroomOfficer's Cabin
Officer's GalleyRating's GalleySickbayTurbine ControlsParson's Steam Turbine

HMS PLYMOUTH was the final Type 12 Rothesay Class anti-submarine frigates to enter service with the Royal Navy. Built at HM Dockyard, Devonport she was launched in July 1959 and completed in 1961. The hangar and helicopter deck were added later in 1969 when one of the ASW mortars was removed.


She had top speed of 29 knots and displaced 2,800 tons. Dimensions 112.7 m x 12.5m x 3.9m.


The ship saw service during the Falkland's War in 1982. Her Wasp helicopter engaging the Argentine Navy submarine Santa Fe which was subsequently grounded by her crew becoming the first Argentine casualty of the war.


The Argentine forces on South Georgia surrendered in her wardroom - see photograph above.


She was withdrawn from service in 1989 and after a period of time on display at Millbay Docks Plymouth, she was moved to Birkenhead for dry docking and subsequent display in 1992.

Also at Birkenhead is the "Ton" class mine sweeper HMS BRONINGTON (left) and U534 (right) and Landing Craft Tank LCT7074.


Visit for Transport, Industrial Heritage & Regional Digital Photographs and Growing Online Archive

Irish Sea Shipping - What's New July 2008Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009Back Home Up NextIrish Sea Shipping - What's New May 2012Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009Irish Sea Shipping - What's New August 2009

Irish Sea Shipping John H. Luxton 1995-2015. Content John H. Luxton and Contributors