Launched on St. Patrick’s Day in 1938, HMS BELFAST was commissioned on 5thAugust 1939 and served with distinction in both the Second World War and the Korean War. She is now the only surviving example of the great fleets of big gun armoured warships built for the Royal Navy in the first half of the twentieth century. After being decommissioned in 1963, the work of a private trust ensured that she was preserved posterity. She opened to the public in 1971, becoming a branch of the Imperial War Museum in 1978.
Visitors to HMS BELFAST will find her operational service well documented, with audio and visual installations typical of a modern-day museum. The recreation of working life at sea is particularly effective: from the inner workings of the interactive Operations Room, to officers’ uniforms and the practicalities of communal living, one gets a sense of life on board and at war. The sounds, smells (among them cloves and rum) and small scale of domestic living - hammocks are slung just 52cm apart - make for a lasting impression.
This is not just one for the boys! The impressive views of the capital from on board are reason enough to visit HMS BELFAST. There is plenty to see and The Walrus Café and shop (wheelchair accessible) ensure there is something for everyone.
FOR FAMILIES THIS AUGUST
11.00am – 12:30pm and 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Get creative designing your own tattoo shapes on t-shirts and learn about all the traditions behind original naval tattoos.
Entry included in general admission price. This free, drop-in event is suitable for all ages but only with parental supervision.
Admission: £14.00 adults, £11.20 concessions; children under 16 free; special rates for groups of 10 or more.
Opening Hours: HMS BELFAST is open daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Location: Moored on the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.
For more information, visit: www.iwm.org.uk