HMS Astute

October 16, 2008 at 11:38 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

HMS Astute

Barrow’s current pride and joy, the super-sub HMS Astute, emerged from her shed yesterday after almost a year being fitted out behind closed doors. She was formally launched in June 2007 and was last seen in public at the beginning of November undergoing diving trials in Devonshire Dock (which has a great big hole in it for precisely this purpose. After that she was raised slowly by hydraulic lift, taken back into the shed, and the 24-hour security boat stood down.

Yesterday morning I noticed as I crossed the High Bridge that the great doors of the shed were opening. By evening, Astute was being edged millimetre-by-millimetre into the open, and this morning she was being carefully lowered into the water on the hydraulic lift. The days of Barrow-built subs sliding side-on down the slipway into Walney Channel are long gone!

With the sub comes the security guard, endlessly circling the dock in an inflatable dinghy.

Barrow folks don’t like what these subs do any more than any other well-balanced people, but they are the town’s raison d’être these days and if Barrow has to build nuclear-powered subs, then Barrow is going to build the best damned nuclear-powered subs in the world.



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  1. Wow, certianly deserves it’s title of ‘Super Sub’. Would love to see some more pics or videos!

  2. If the yard/BAE does well, then the town does well. The politically correct can’t rant all they like, but I’m proud of the achievements of my home town. Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly.

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