In 1987, the ship was brought to the River Tyne to form the centrepiece of a national shipbuilding exhibition centre planned by South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council in the former shipyard of Hawthorn Leslie and Company, builders of many similar destroyers. The plans for the museum came to nothing, and the borough council, faced with annual maintenance costs of £30,000 and a hardening of public opinion against unnecessary expenditure, resolved to sell the ship and wind up the venture in 1996. The ship sat in a dry dock (owing to a previous list) in a rusting condition, awaiting a buyer or scrapping in situ.
After the reforming of the Cavalier Trust, and a debate in Parliament, in 1998 Cavalier was bought by Chatham Historic Dockyard for display as a museum ship. Arriving on 23 May 1998, Cavalier now resides in No. 2 dry-dock.
On 14 November 2007, Cavalier was officially designated as a war memorial to the 142 Royal Navy destroyers sunk during World War II and the 11,000 men killed on those ships. The unveiling of a bronze monument created by the artist Kenneth Potts was conducted by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The monument is adjacent to the ship at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.
In the summer of 2009 the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust made available accommodation on board the ship for youth groups who wish to stay on board and experience life on board a Royal Naval Destroyer.
In September 2010, Cavalier fired the first full broadside from a ship flying the White Ensign since a firing by the destroyer London in December 1981. This was due to the work of the heritage naval gun crew who restored all three 4.5-in guns back to working condition in conjunction with the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.
In April 2014 Cavalier was added to Google Maps Business View (formerly Google Business Photos) by CInsideMedia Ltd, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of her launch. The tour, which includes Cavalier's engine and gear room, was enhanced with interactive audio hotspots to enable visitors with accessibility issues to explore the ship.
« Back to index | View thread »