The 'Maritime Centre' or 'Historic Dockyard', call it what you will, never materialised and I never subsequently checked to see why it failed. A brief summary below tells you why...money! It seemed then and now such a great pity because if ever a river was deserving of such a facility then surely our River Tyne was, and still is, a major contender.
After all these years it is interesting to see that money was found when the ship finally came to rest in Chatham Dockyard...and the Tyne has continued to suffer from its geographical location.
Finally, you may remember I got some Hi8 video footage when we went aboard the ship. At last I have managed to get it onto my computer and a copy on DVD. However, being the old codger that I am, I just do not know how to get it downloaded onto the forum. There could not have been much of a video record made of the ship at Hebburn, but I could be wrong. Any help would be welcome but don't blind me with science lads and lasses...I am now beyond all that!
HL Deb 26 November 1997 vol 583 c120WA120WA
Baroness Strange asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will reconsider preserving HMS "Cavalier", the last World War 2 serving destroyer, as a museum ship in Great Britain.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey - The sale of HMS "Cavalier" has been agreed between South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council and Star Cruises of Malaysia. South Tyneside MBC has maintained the ship for 10 years, but now considers the costs too great to continue. The agreement secured with the purchasers means that the ship will be maintained in a good state of repair.
The cost of refurbishment of HMS "Cavalier" to public access standards has been estimated at around £500,000. In addition, some £325,000 would be needed annually to run an appropriate visitor centre which included HMS "Cavalier" as the main attraction. The Government cannot undertake such expenditure given other competing priorities.
I understand that South Tyneside MBC applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for support earlier in the year but were refused. If an application has already been rejected, those applying for the funds should have received feedback on the reasons for their failure. This will have helped them to decide whether to reapply.
We owe a great debt to those who served in the Navy and I appreciate that the future of HMS "Cavalier" is a matter of importance to them.
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