Warship Preservation Trust
The collection was brought to Birkenhead in 2002 and was moored in the West Float of the Birkenhead docks complex. The fleet consisted of the frigate HMS Plymouth and the submarine HMS Onyx, both from the Falklands War; the minehunter HMS Bronington; the German U-Boat U-534 and LCT 7074, the last surviving tank landing craft that took part in D-Day.
On 5 February 2006 the museum closed due to being required to relocate. This was as a result of a decision to redevelop the adjacent Grade II listed former flour milling warehouses. Without a replacement berthing agreement, the Trust subsequently went into voluntary liquidation. By default, ownership of the collection transferred to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) following the demise of the Trust.
Plymouth City Council had expressed an interest in HMS Plymouth, and the HMS Plymouth Preservation Trust undertook to raise the £250,000 needed to bring the warship back to her home city. It had been hoped that the frigate could be berthed at Millbay Docks, but the offer of a berth was withdrawn in January 2007 by Associated British Ports.
In May 2006 HMS Onyx was sold to the Barrow-in-Furness businessman Joe Mullen, for a reported £100,000 as a 'gift to the people of Barrow'. It left Birkenhead on 13 June 2006 to form the centrepiece of a new heritage museum in Cumbria.
On 27 June 2007, the Merseytravel transit authority announced that it had acquired U-534 to display at the Woodside Ferry Terminal. For technical reasons and to facilitate economical transportation to its new site, the vessel was cut into four sections. It will be displayed in this form to allow visitors better access and visibility. Beginning on 10 March 2008, the sections, each weighing up to 240 tonnes, were transported to Woodside by floating crane over a number of days.
The future of the remainder of the collection is uncertain. Both Onyx and Plymouth have been scrapped in spite of attempts to save both vessels.
- Future of warships in the balance, BBC News, 18 January 2006, retrieved 19 January 2006
- Warship trust is now in liquidation, Wirral Globe, 1 March 2006, retrieved 9 June 2008
- HMS Plymouth e-petition response, 10 Downing Street, 1 June 2007, retrieved 12 August 2007
- Campaign to save veteran warship, BBC, 15 September 2006, retrieved 9 March 2008
- Warship's berth offer withdrawn, BBC News, 22 January 2007, retrieved 9 June 2008
- Photo: HMS Onyx leaves Birkenhead, Maritime Aviation News, retrieved 12 August 2007
- Woodside Ferry to be new home for rescued U-boat, Liverpool Daily Post, 27 June 2007, retrieved 25 September 2007
- About U-534, Mersey Ferries, retrieved 9 June 2008
- U-boat's future is secured, Liverpool Daily Post, 22 October 2007, retrieved 22 October 2007
- U-534 Latest News, Mersey Ferries, retrieved 9 June 2008
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