Andromeda adds lustre to 'Yards' record

The ship's first Master-at-Arms, George Laurence is seen helping Mrs. Stacey.


Portsmouth Dockyard's second-to-none record as a builder of warships for the Royal Navy was given a new boost with the commissioning of the 2,300-ton H.M.S. Andromeda. She is the fifth Portsmouth-built frigate to join the fleet since the end of World War II, following the Rhyl, Leopard, Nubian and Cirius, writes the Evening News Naval Correspondent. And she is the 48th ship built in the yard this century, and the 182nd completed since shipbuilding began in the port in 1690.

The dockyard has given Andromeda a fine start-she has been built in record time for a Leander class ship. From the time she was laid down to the completion was just 31 months, equalling the speed with which Vickers built Penelope on Tyneside.

She overhauled her immediate sister, Hermione, laid down on Clydeside by Alex Stephen's six months before work started on Andromeda, and still not completed. As a result, Andromeda is a class leader, with a full captain in command. All reasons for pride for the builders, represented at the commissioning ceremony by Admiral Superintendent of the Dockyard (Rear Admiral A. J. Power) and the General Manager (Mr. H. Fulthorpe).

Main guest at the ceremony was the ship's sponsor, Mrs. Reynolds, who was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Gerry Reynolds, Minister of Defence (Administration). Mrs. Reynolds, who launched the ship in May, 1967, presented Andromeda's Commanding Officer, Captain Michael Stacey, R.N., with a silver salver marking the occasion. Another gift was a bible presented by T.S. Andromeda, a Sea Cadet Corps unit at Stevenage, which has formed a link with the frigate.

Captain Stacey told guests that Andromeda would be joining the Western Fleet after sea trials at Portland. The frigate was due to sail for East of Suez in late summer, returning in the mid-1970's. The commissioning ceremony was conducted by the Chaplain of the Dockyard (the Rev. Kenneth Evans, R.N.), assisted by Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic naval chaplains.

(Article from unknown newspaper, author unknown, probably published Jan. 7, 1969)

(From the collection of George Laurence, RN
courtesy of Elizabeth Laurence)


Class Overview
Page published July 22, 2009