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by Dave Mills
Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:53 pm
Forum: Motor Gunboats
Topic: MGB 334
Replies: 6
Views: 7938

Re: MGB 334

I found this similar plaque, but for HMS Hollyhock. Looks like I will have to do some restoration work!
by Dave Mills
Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:12 pm
Forum: Motor Gunboats
Topic: MGB 334
Replies: 6
Views: 7938

Re: MGB 334

While at my friends miniature railway at the Joys of Life Country Park near Bangor, North Wales, he asked if I had seen the plaque on his Dutch Barn. I had known of a plaque on the gable end for many years but never looked at it carefully as it was before my interest in the RN Coastal Forces. He als...
by Dave Mills
Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:43 pm
Forum: Books & Magazines
Topic: Warship World Publication
Replies: 0
Views: 2590

Warship World Publication

Maritime Books of Liskeard, Cornwall publish Warship World and Warship World Pictorial Review magazines. I was very fortunate to be contacted by the editor Steve Bush when he found my website featuring MTB P1602 (539) and invited me submit material for publication. This has now been published in War...
by Dave Mills
Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:19 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: MTB 539 (1602)
Replies: 12
Views: 12854

Re: MTB 539 (1602)

I have recently spoken to a 92 year old local lady who told me she was the first aluminium welder at Saunders-Roe in Anglesey and that she welded up the exhaust silencers and handrail stanchions for MTB 539 (most of it being of riveted construction). She is very keen to know if there are any of her ...
by Dave Mills
Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:24 pm
Forum: Coastal Forces Models
Topic: MTB P1602 Model Found
Replies: 4
Views: 4547

Re: MTB P1602 Model Found

See a new photo of P1602 from Steve Green in the Fast Patrol Boat section under MTB 539 (P1602)
by Dave Mills
Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:22 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: MTB 539 (1602)
Replies: 12
Views: 12854

Re: MTB 539 (1602)

Steve Green has written about P1602 in the Model Section of the forum. His late father CFA Green was ERA on 1602 during her short life from 1948 to early 1952 and wrote his memoirs a few years ago. Steve has kindly permitted us to share this wonderful photo from his father's collection. May thanks t...
by Dave Mills
Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:48 pm
Forum: Coastal Forces Models
Topic: MTB P1602 Model Found
Replies: 4
Views: 4547

Re: MTB P1602 Model Found

Steve, it's great to hear about your family connections and the stories your father remembered about this fragile boat. She was powered by three Packard 4M-2500 (W14) 1,500 hp V12 supercharged petrol engines like the American PT boats and the early 50's Royal Navy Gay Class (the last to use them). I...
by Dave Mills
Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:37 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: VIDEO - Dark Class construction
Replies: 0
Views: 2666

VIDEO - Dark Class construction

This very short film clip shows the aluminium alloy frames being fitted before being clad in timber for the Royal Navy Coastal Forces Dark Class MTBs. The five Burmese Darks had riveted aluminium sheeting to prevent premature rotting and marine attack in the warm tropical seas. (Ignore any date stam...
by Dave Mills
Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:30 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: VIDEO - Launching of Burma 'Dark' T201
Replies: 0
Views: 2656

VIDEO - Launching of Burma 'Dark' T201

This short film clip shows the launching of Saunders-Roe built Dark Class T201 for Burma. This was the first of five all aluminium hulled FPBs for Burma. They were fitted with additional electic 'slow speed' drives for silent working along creeks and estuaries to track smugglers and pirates. This wa...
by Dave Mills
Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:41 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Japanese ENGINELESS 'Dark' ?????

I recently heard a curious rumour about the Saunders-Roe built 'Dark' for Japan being shipped out without any engines. It was so bizarre that I dismissed it, but a few days ago another friend told me he worked on the boat at the factory and that the Japanese cancelled the Napier Deltics and the boat...
by Dave Mills
Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:56 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: MTB 539 (1602)
Replies: 12
Views: 12854

Model of MTB 539 (1602)

A model of P1602 had been found at the Holyhead Maritime Museum, Anglesey.
See the Model section on this forum for the photo.
by Dave Mills
Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:46 pm
Forum: Coastal Forces Models
Topic: MTB P1602 Model Found
Replies: 4
Views: 4547

MTB P1602 Model Found

I discovered the 1950 built model of the experimental aluminium hulled MTB P1602 built at Saunders-Roe Anglesey. Launched in 1948 and lost in a storm while on tow for repairs in 1952 she had a very short life. The label states the model was made by M Stone in 1950. I had heard rumours of a possible ...
by Dave Mills
Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:08 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 8354

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

There is an excellent book 'Fastest in the World' by John Boileau on the Saga of Canada's Revolutionary Hydrofoils. I have just borrowerd a copy from my library and find it totally absorbing. It covers the experimental work of Alexander Graham Bell and 'Casey' Baldwin who developed 'hydrodromes' and...
by Dave Mills
Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:27 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 8354

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

Now for some photos of Bras D'Or in action. There were some initial stability problems as can be seen when she would take a dive into a wave or just take on a list. Steering was aslo found to be be poor and unresponsive. I can't say if all the problems were finally resolved before she was shipped to...
by Dave Mills
Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:08 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 8354

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

While scanning the old Saunders-Roe negatives I copied over thirty of the old company magazines (now availble on CD from my website) and also come across a couple of illustrations of Bras D'Or. One is a drawing and the other a fine artist's impression. I've also included an interior photo of the ver...
by Dave Mills
Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:11 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 8354

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

This additional batch of newly discovered photos are of Bras D'Or inside Saunders-Roe works as she was being moved from Shop 5 to the original flying boat slipway in 1957. I have many more photos of her, but the forum only allows six photos to be added each time. More can be seen on my website http:...
by Dave Mills
Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:23 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 8354

Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

More Photos and Information on my website http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/saro-hydrofoil-bras-dor.php CLICK the photos to ENLARGE The hydrofoil development work by Saunders Roe in support of the Canadian naval hydrofoil program led to the construction in 1956/57 of the 59 foot long hydrofoil R-103 BR...
by Dave Mills
Tue May 17, 2011 6:17 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The Former HMS Gay Archer
Replies: 10
Views: 12179

Re: The Former HMS Gay Archer

I recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Paul. A very intersting and enthusiastic man with great energy. He told me about a trip to Malta to rescure a pair of Vee drive gearboxes from an old MTB just before it was scrapped and were removed from the old timber hull with the aid of a chain sa...
by Dave Mills
Mon May 02, 2011 2:26 pm
Forum: Books & Magazines
Topic: Surviving MTBs
Replies: 0
Views: 2758

Surviving MTBs

I came across this link to MTB 98 and thought it would be valuable to historians and researchers to eventually compile a list of surviving MTB's http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertyadvice/propertymarket/3293082/A-torpedo-boat-to-call-home.html If you have any information or links to other ex...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:53 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Re: The British 'Dark' class

Some later photos of the Vasama 1 and 2. Note that the names were applied to the hulls. Vasama 1 also appears with name and still carrying the striped painting to the flair in this first photograph. It was soon changed to remove the white stripe as can be seen before her handover. [click to enlarge ...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:27 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Re: The British 'Dark' class

FINNISH DARKS An order was received by Saunders-Roe, Beaumaris in late December 1955 to build a pair of FPB's of the Dark Class type for the Finnish Navy. They were of conventional composite aluminium frames and mahogany planking and powered by twin Napier Deltic engines each of of 2,500 bhp. The bo...
by Dave Mills
Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:36 pm
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 4782

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

It would appear that Saunders-Roe came into RN vessel construction very near to the end of Coastal Forces existance. The Dark Class FPB's being a case in point with so many being cancelled before the contract was completed. What was the reason for the change of plans for coastal defence? Could it ha...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:38 am
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 4782

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

We now have some photos of HMS BRENCHLEY M2004 at her launching one fine summer day on the 19th July 1954.
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:20 am
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 4782

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

This selection of photos shows HMS BRENCHLEY M2004 outside Shop 1 hangar on the new "funicular" slipway. Alongside is sister vessel HMS BRINKLEY M2005. It appears that the unmarked M2004 was taken down the slipway for either pre-launch trials or simply to test the operation of the then untested new ...
by Dave Mills
Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:40 pm
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 4782

Saunders Roe Minesweepers

Saunders-Roe (Anglesey) Ltd launched their first Minesweeper in 1954 around the time they were starting to build the Dark Class FPB's. The Minesweepers: HMS Brenchley M2004 launched 19/7/54 HMS Brinkley M2005 launched 14/9/54 HMS Chailey M2009 launched 12/11/54 HMS Cradley M2010 launched 24/2/55 HMS...
by Dave Mills
Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:46 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Napier Deltic engines

The Dark Class used 18 cylinder Napier Deltic diesel engines. They were producing 2,500bhp in the early to mid 1950's but finally produced 3,100bhp. These higher powered engines were used in the Norwegian 'Nasties' and an even more powerful version in the amazing Japanese PT-10 that used three of th...
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:40 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Electric drives for Burmese 'Darks'

The Burmese T201-T205 series had these purpose designed electric drives for slow speed working as mentioned earlier.
I havn't reproduced the full article, but these two illustrations show where they were fitted to the for'd end of the Vee gearbox. [click to enlarge]
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:49 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

P1102 Dark Aggressor - Commissioning

Another couple of SARO Progress articles on the Dark Class.
Note that Dark Aggressor also went to Port Dinorwic dock as did the Burmese T201, but this time to take on stores for her journey south presumably to HMS Hornet.
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:24 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

Re: The Burmese 'Dark' class

I can't be 100% sure it was T201 that I got my ride on as a kid to Port Dinorwic. I remember it being towed stern first into the outer dock. I have some other photos of T20? at the port but they are from the damaged company negatives. This article is from SARO Progress magazine for Autumn 1954. I've...
by Dave Mills
Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:09 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 29161

More photos of Burma T201

Some more photos of Burma T201 at Saunders-Roe. 29th December 1955. What! - No Christmas holidays?

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