Open Day 27 September 2015 – Theme: Submarine Service
The penultimate open day of 2015 was themed around the Submarine service. This coincided with our decommissioned nuclear submarine visitor attraction, Courageous, being taken out of service for a long awaited facelift to freshen her up ahead of an anticipated very busy 2016. The event was kindly opened by Cdre Bob Fancy (Submariner), who opened the day with a welcoming speech to the gathered crowds. The day had two new supporters; Babcock International and HMS Raleigh’s submarine school. A beautiful late summer day greeted 1600 visitors to the centre from all age groups. There were activities for all age groups including; Science made simple, face painters, STEM Works and bouncy castles for our younger visitors and river boat trips talking about the evolution of the Naval Base including explanations of the roles of the current naval contingency operating from Devonport Naval base. The very popular tours of our Submarine Courageous worked at maximum load to get 240 visitors through an hour tour. The popularity of Courageous has never been more prevalent with all tours booking up within an hour of the gates opening. The Submarine school, Lead by WO1 Coxn Rob Sutton, provided an extensive display of contemporary submarine displays and delivered a number of talks throughout the day to explain both the role of the submarine service in today’s Royal Navy and what it is like to live and work onboard a hunter killer submarine.
The other significant sub theme of the open day was a temporary exhibition to commemorate the Submarine Thetis disaster, who was lost with all hands. The display explained her story and the lessons learnt from such a terrible accident. As well as the exhibition there was also an illustrated talk, given by Capt Keith Watterson (Retired Submarine Engineer), which was enjoyed by a large audience including three families who are relatives of the crew of Thetis.
A very successful day enjoyed by the young and more seasoned visitor to celebrate our silent service.