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Re: HMS Beauly Firth
Posted by: Ian M BARRETT ()
Date: March 02, 2008 04:42AM

I am just tracking my father's H.P.Barrett's history in the RN. (27yrs)
As a boy of 8,Dad took me on board Beauly Firth I think that we got the ship's cutter to pick us up at the Dockyard where we had come from Edinburgh. The ship was anchored in the Forth, offshore Rosyth.
I remember the orders "Engine testing - No passage Port side"
The reason was that you would get blown off! There were two Test Bays athwartships, one for in-line-, and the other for radial-engines. I was in the control room for the test and allowed to operate the throttle when I remember seeing the tacho for the engine coming up to 2400rpm at which point the test engineer said "This is when things start to happen! you know- bits fly off" It scared the daylights out of me and I went to see other parts of ship!
There was a superb workshop of which my Father was in charge. It had the most modern US machine tools and an ultrasonic crack detector - the first I ever saw. A Big Stores of course. I can't remember much mor except that it was dusk when we were taken ashore on an RAF Airsea rescue launch and I was allowed to take the wheel! Great fun!! I remember that we went under the Forth Bridge, (possibly unnecessarily twice) and I had come over it in the morning by train from Haymarket. We came ashore at S Queensferry and got the SMT bus back to the bottom of Corstorphine hill and walked homeover the hill - about 25mins.
I never saw the sister ship that repaired the fuselage etc.
I am dashing this off as I saw the article but will revert if anything else comes along. I am trying to remember the ship I visited in Newcastle during a dry docking refit and wa sallowed to wind up the Variac to start up the new Radr set That is another story.
Sadly today's kids never have the chance to get to see these things and the Health and Safety people would have fit at what I had to learn to avoid as Dad told me to behave and be careful and meet him at his cabin for lunch !!!
What stories we have to tell! Cheers
Ian Barrett tel UK (44) or (0)-208 642 8077.

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