Dave Sergeant

The Jubilee Greenway was set up in 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and coincidently the London Olympics. As such it is 60km in length and passes all the London Olympic venues - or rather it doesn't as it goes nowhere near Wembley and Wimbledon and a long way from Lee Valley. It introduces no new walking paths whatsoever, most of it goes on parts of the Capital Ring and Thames Path and also along the Regent's Canal towpath. I have therefore only recently done much of it so will concentrate on the bits which are new to me.

Jubilee Greenway Section 8 London Bridge to London Eye - January 15th 2020

So today to complete the missing link in my Jubilee Greenway walk me and friend Mike did a tour of HMS Belfast, parked on the Thames near London Bridge as a museum ship.

After an uneventful trip up to town on the train we made use of the 'London Terminals' feature of rail tickets and continued via Waterloo East to London Bridge station which led us after a very short walk to the ship sat in all its glory on the river bank. After forking out for our tickets we entered inside. I had last visited Belfast some 25 years ago, they show us a lot lot more now.

Various shots from the engine/boiler rooms and some of the ops equipment. Most of the equipment dated from war time and a bit later but some from the 1960s when the ship had a major refit. Lots of very steep ladder staircases to navigate, Mike was a bit more agile than I was with these, the average ships rating would no doubt be springing up and down at haste.

One of the objects of the visit was to call in at the permanent amateur radio station aboard HMS Belfast, GB2RN. I had contacted the Royal Navy Amateur Radio Society beforehand to check if they were open and choose the best day for our trip. Shortly before though we gathered that due to illness the station would not be open today. So all we could do was look through the fairly small glass window and peer inside. A message in morse at around 12 words per minute told us that the station was closed and when it would be open. The main station transceivers on the left hand side were not really visible - we noticed that an LZ operator had been on the radio the day before but with it being closed we could not add any contacts ourself. Some of the original ships radio transmitting equipment was also on display in the radio room. Below on the right is the ladder line feeder for their two HF doublet antennas. Maybe another trip to see the station in action.

So after a very interesting couple of hours inside HMS Belfast we went back to dry land and all that was required was to walk the mile or so along the busy South Bank back to Waterloo. Nice lunch break in one of the many pubs along the river then our goal, the London Eye, dominated the view. The Eye seemed not to be in operation for some reason. Back to Waterloo and another non eventful journey back home. Another London walk completed.

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