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Ark Royal leaves the Tyne

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Here are a few pics from when the Ark Royal departed after its last visit on Tuesday this last week. The 'planes left the vessel the following day when out at sea. It seemed like half of the population bunked off work etc to come and see her off. I wonder if the North Korean attache was watching ? ;) The chopper was buzzing around most of the afternoon. Sorry about the quality of some of the pics but I was busy trying to operate two cameras at the same time. The video is fine! :D


These are while she is still in her berth, you can just make out the crew starting to line up on her and the planes in the foreground. Taken with a 'point and go' Canon digital through a monocular - well I was impressed. It is a 1.6 miles away at this point.





Starting to move off up river to reach the point where it is wide enough to turn around.





Finally into view, the sudden dark clouds seemed quite appropriate.












Heading for the river mouth (unfortunately just out of shot from my vantage point.)









The naval Merlin helicopter



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...I remember the previous Ark going to the scrappers.


Yes sad, I remember Ark Royal and Illustrious launched -I can remember aged 7 seeing a carrier and 2 submarines tied up for dismantling on the Gateshead side of the Tyne beneath the King Edward 7 railway bridge- never have found out which carrier it was though.

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Bulwark for a start. Though she became a Comando Carrier, I must be getting old because I think the Botties are getting a raw deal. I was a Nozzer in Bulwark Mess at HMS Ganges, that was .....a long time ago.


Was a young Gunnery Rating on the old Bulwarks (Rusty B) last deployment used to pass the old Ark on entering/leaving harbour with a little more gone each time:(



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I remember seeing Eagle laid up at Devonport. If you had a high enough vantage point you could see right down through her where they'd stripped stuff out to keep Ark going.




In 1994 I was consulting in Chester. A couple of us took a company-rented house through the week as we were fed up of the hotel bills - and menu.


He told me about a friend of his who told him this story.


I was on Eagle. We did a two-year round-the-world flag-waving tour. We returned back home to Blighty and as I walked down the pier, kitbag on shoulder, I bumped into an old friend that I hadn't seen for years.


I asked him what he was doing here. He replied, "I just got off the Eagle. We have been on a two-year round-the-world flag-waving tour."


Isn't it amazing how big a small world can be, that you can spend two years in a closed community and not realise your buddy is also there?

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