Leith Docks still a possible home for HMS Edinburgh

Type 42 destroyer HMS Edinburgh on her way from Fitzroy to Stanley in the Falkland Islands

Contrary to what you may have read in the Evening News recently, campaigners hoping to find a permanent berth for HMS Edinburgh in the city that bears the ships name have confirmed that it may still be possible to find space for it in Leith Docks after all.

The news emerged after a meeting this week between The Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, and Paul Gibb, from the Save HMS Edinburgh campaign.

In a post on the campaign Facebook page Mr Gibb said: “I had a meeting with The Lord Provost of Edinburgh to discuss HMS Edinburgh. We had a lengthy chat and put across a lot of ideas that have been discussed.

“The first thing I want to say is the Leith option is still very much on the table, however putting her forward of HMY Britannia is not (it won’t fit), but they have a few locations in mind and somewhere to put her short term. The main issue is getting the MOD disposals team to favour Edinburgh Councils bid to obtain HMS Edinburgh. The best way to achieve this is by doing what we have been doing and keeping up the public campaign to get her home.

“The Lord Provost is fully committed to saving HMS Edinburgh and what we are doing here. But what we both agreed was that if public support vanishes for the campaign then so will the ship.”

If you would like to support the campaign to bring HMS Edinburgh to Leith then you can sign the official petition here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/50317

To date nearly 2000 people have signed it, but it is likely far more public and political support will be needed if the Save HMS Edinburgh campaign is to successfully persuade the Ministry of Defence not to auction the ship off to the highest bidder.

Another member of the Save HMS Edinburgh campaign, Graham Whyte has also floated the idea that a much needed Leith Museum could be found a home as part of the HMS Edinburgh visitor centre, were the campaign to save the boat to be successful.

Many locals have long harboured an ambition to open a museum that celebrates Leith’s place in the world, and so it may be that bringing HMS Edinburgh to Leith could provide the financial anchor to support it.

What do you think? Would you like to see HMS Edinburgh take up permanent residence in Leith Docks?

Image credit: Harland Quarrington

  • Explorer Pete

    Nope! for a few good reasons:

    (Former HMS) Edinburgh does not have the provenance that Leith’s own SS Explorer has and the ‘formerly known as HMS’ Edinburgh will absorb much needed funds and resources that are essential to SS Explorer fulfilling her potential in Leith for the benefit of local people.

    (Former HMS) Edinburgh was not built in Scotland nor maintained in or registered to Leith nor crewed by Leithers whilst SS Explorer was all of these.

    (Former HMS) Edinburgh was designed for one purpose, killing people whilst our own SS Explorer was designed for one purpose – scientific research which benefited Scotland.

    (Former HMS) Edinburgh recently had a £14.5 MILLION of public funds spent on her, meaning that if she is given to the City of Edinburgh Council, we, the taxpayer will get nothing back from her apart from a couple of minimum wage cleaners and ticket sellers. So, on top of not actually getting any trams in Leith, losing £14.5 million is hard to take!

    Is it right and green to be berthing a warship full of classified and toxic waste called ‘Edinburgh’ in Leith?

    • andy McCulloch

      Very negative Explorer Pete. I was born in Leith but you are living in the past Leith is part of Edinburgh. Your statement that HMS Edinburgh was built to kill is absute nonsense. Would it not be better to advertise the positives in your campaign rather than sully The Save HMS Edinburgh Campaign for publicity?

      • Explorer Pete


        At the end of the article above it says: “What do you think? Would you like to see HMS Edinburgh take up permanent residence in Leith Docks?”

        I merely responded to this question. I do not have a campaign and am not looking for publicity.

        Perhaps it might be better if you were to come up with some cogent points rather than simply attacking my views?

  • savehmsedinburgh

    I am Paul Gibb it was myself who met with the lord Provost yesterday and subsequently wrote the statement posted here. Graham did arrange the meeting but that is a slight mis quote (not important) –

    To Explorer Pete.

    Every time the save HMS Edinburgh campaign gets some publicity, someone from the SS Explorer comes along with a negative comment. We have offered to help you publicise your campaign.

    I have one question – why don’t you guys set up your own Face Book page and promote your own cause. We have never tried to hamper your cause but you are constantly being negative with no validation about ours.

    But I will answer your points raised –

    Yes HMS Edinburgh was built in Liverpool in 1983 but it was a Rosyth based ship from 1985 – 1994 (known as Scotlands Capital Ship)and it has been always affiliated with the city and helped raisiing funds for numerous charities linked to the city.

    A Type 42 destroyer was designed to protect our nation. It has helped in numerous humanitarian missions. it wasn’t built to kill people.

    Lets be honest here if you walked off a cruise ship as a tourist into Edinburgh, what is going to tempt you to stay in Leith more SS Nomadic or a Grand Type 42 destroyer (at the moment the tourist head up the town). The mentioned refit was supposed to take the ship up to 20/20 the saving has already been made by decommissioning her.

    Exactly what “Toxic waste” are you referring to. HMS Edinburgh would be drained of all fuels, freon ect as it wouldn’t be required.

    I am deeply sorry that our campaign is causing you such distress.

    • SaveHmsEdinburgh

      excuse my own mis quote where I mention the SS Nomadic it should be ss Explorer.

      • allytibbitt

        Hi Paul, have altered the post to make it clear who met the Provost.

    • Explorer Pete

      Paul, with respect your campaign causes me no distress, mostly because it is such a long shot, but are you saying that no-one should question your plans nor provide a bit of balance, nor mention the obvious financial risk? I assume that you have seen the feasibility study undertaken by the Councils’ Economic Development Department?

      The uncomfortable truth is that the counter arguments are valid and need to be aired. Like it or not SS Explorer is not going away and must be integral to any plans for a maritime experience in Leith.

      There is a fully functioning SS Explorer facebook page, twitter feed and website which contain comprehensive information on their plans for the vessel. They also have a wealth of knowledge about historic vessel conservation and the difficulties faced by such an undertaking. The major difference between the the SS Explorer venture and your campaign is just that. SS Explorer Preservation Society is not a campaign, but a formally constituted society, company and registered charity who have a clear vision and a load of dedicated volunteers who help to realise that vision and drive the venture forward without putting public money at risk.

      You, on the other hand dont have a ship, what you have is an internet campaign which, I’m sure that you will agree is a completely different beastie.

      Best wishes,