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The Old Boy Was Right


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Quite a while ago an old guy was chatting to me sitting outside a pub in Rothesay looking over to Loch Striven telling me how the dambusters used to practice runs with the bouncing bombs. Have talked  to quite a few locals who told me that it was utter nonsence to my disappointment.                                                                                                                  Last night on STV news there was an article about divers bringing up bouncing bombs from Loch Striven no less. The news even showed film archives of bombers doing the run dropping the bouncing bombs on Striven. Great peace of history that I can take up in the pub once more. 

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27 minutes ago, Isle Of Bute Saint said:

Quite a while ago an old guy was chatting to me sitting outside a pub in Rothesay looking over to Loch Striven telling me how the dambusters used to practice runs with the bouncing bombs. Have talked  to quite a few locals who told me that it was utter nonsence to my disappointment.                                                                                                                  Last night on STV news there was an article about divers bringing up bouncing bombs from Loch Striven no less. The news even showed film archives of bombers doing the run dropping the bouncing bombs on Striven. Great peace of history that I can take up in the pub once more. 

Don't know about bouncing bombs but I was on the Waverley last night - boat broke down again but all part of the experience - and I am pretty sure part of the Captain's spiel was something about WW2  anti glider measures in Loch Striven as there was concern about landings. Difficult to be sure though as the rain was hammering down and  drowning out everything. The joy of a cruise on the Clyde coast.

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A lot of WW2 history connected with Bute.

As you leave Port Bannatyne towards Rothesay, just where the road forks onto Shore Road, there used to be an old wooden pier. Just beside that on the PB side you used to be able to see remains of the docking bays where the mini subs ere moored, which were involved in training the commandos.

Also, in the grave yard of St.Michael's church on the Ettrick Bay road, there are a lot of war graves of foreign sailors who were killed on boats that were sunk by U-boats on the Clyde. Very atmospheric when your walking around them in the silence of the countryside.

 

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In preparation for the raid, many tests were carried out, both in the laboratory to prove the concept, and at various locations around the country to prove the full-size versions, and train the crews in advance of the raid itself.

On such location was Loch Striven, where dummy Highball bombs were dropped as part of the tests. These dummies contained no explosives, and the empty steel casings were filled with concrete, with stories of some having been made of wood, constructed and filled with wood, sawdust, and glue by CE Morris Furniture of Glasgow. These were abandoned and left in the loch after the war, but were located during dives carried out during 2010. Our Loch Striven page contained links to footage of the dives, showing the dummy bombs as found, but the urls have changed over the years, and we eventually lost track of them, so the links on the page no longer work. They may be available elsewhere, with a bit of searching.

We were told of plans to return to the site, and to raise one or more of the bombs for display in museums, with the first to be presented to the Brooklands Museum in Surrey, where the Barnes Wallis collection is held. If more were raised, then they will be placed in local museums. It is worth noting that at present there are no complete Highballs on display anywhere.

Note that Hihghball was the naval version of the bouncing bomb, intended to be used against ships. This version was never used operationally.

Spherical bombs seen in the film were dummies. The device was still classified as secret when the film was made, and shots that would have shown the final cylindrical design were censored.

Loch Striven was closed off while the tests were being carried out there, and a number of writers have describe how the Lumberjills were sealed in their cabins, with the windows covered and guard on the doors, while the bomb was being tested there, and smoke screens used to hide the public view along the loch from its entrance.

 

25 seconds in. Again 4min 30s.

 

Edited by pod
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1 hour ago, magnus said:

Don't know about bouncing bombs but I was on the Waverley last night - boat broke down again but all part of the experience - and I am pretty sure part of the Captain's spiel was something about WW2  anti glider measures in Loch Striven as there was concern about landings. Difficult to be sure though as the rain was hammering down and  drowning out everything. The joy of a cruise on the Clyde coast.

Waverley is a great day out totally unique if a bit on the expensive side. Long may she sail see her often given where I live never fails to bring a smile to the face every single time I see her

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Loch Striven, as a fellow Wee Howff resident once said to me, is one bloody deep loch. Used to be a huge big tanker moored there. Was built, launched and never used. Sat there for years; used to look for it whenever the ferry arrived in Rothesay. Then it eventually shuffled off elsewhere.

That was always how I saw Loch Striven but I will now view it with interest from another point of view. Cheers Iain.

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5 minutes ago, Howard Hughes in BlueSuedeShoes said:

Loch Striven, as a fellow Wee Howff resident once said to me, is one bloody deep loch. Used to be a huge big tanker moored there. Was built, launched and never used. Sat there for years; used to look for it whenever the ferry arrived in Rothesay. Then it eventually shuffled off elsewhere.

That was always how I saw Loch Striven but I will now view it with interest from another point of view. Cheers Iain.

There were several oil and gas tankers moored there during the oil crisis in the 70's.A couple of them were there for 20 years.

I remember going up the loch on a mate's boat to do some fishing and we sailed in amongst them. They were absolutely massive.

I also remember "catching" lumps of a fibrous substance from the bottom of the loch. It turned out it was gun cotton, which was used to propel missiles and torpedoes during training in the loch during WW2.

 

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2 hours ago, Isle Of Bute Saint said:

Quite a while ago an old guy was chatting to me sitting outside a pub in Rothesay looking over to Loch Striven telling me how the dambusters used to practice runs with the bouncing bombs. Have talked  to quite a few locals who told me that it was utter nonsence to my disappointment.                                                                                                                  Last night on STV news there was an article about divers bringing up bouncing bombs from Loch Striven no less. The news even showed film archives of bombers doing the run dropping the bouncing bombs on Striven. Great peace of history that I can take up in the pub once more. 

Years ago l worked with a guy who was the son of a German P.O.W , , he used to think it was cool to say that the Dumbusters only put the Ruhr factories out of production for 3 days . I don't know if that was accurate or not. .

 

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In 2010 there were a fleet of six or so Maersk container ships moored together to ride out the recession in the sea cargo business. I ended up on a job on them for 10 weeks, sailing out from Gourock on The Ali-Cat (now the Dunoon ferry) every Monday morning for a week's work, returning on the Friday. We would stay in the ship cabins through the week. Working below decks we'd hear the odd thing clanking off the hull, we were 20m below the water apparently. Those ships were massive, some ended up being re-engineered into smaller types and one sailed to India for beach scrapping. Pretty amazing loch as I recall .

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19 hours ago, Isle Of Bute Saint said:

Waverley is a great day out totally unique if a bit on the expensive side. Long may she sail see her often given where I live never fails to bring a smile to the face every single time I see her

Unfortunately has broken down on a few occasions at Largs pier over the last couple of weeks. Passengers put onto buses and trains.

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3 minutes ago, Smithers Jones said:

Unfortunately has broken down on a few occasions at Largs pier over the last couple of weeks. Passengers put onto buses and trains.

Sad as it's a ship we want to see running for years to come, it also brings in money from day trippers to places like Rothesay. 

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On 7/20/2017 at 11:36 PM, FS said:

In 2010 there were a fleet of six or so Maersk container ships moored together to ride out the recession in the sea cargo business. I ended up on a job on them for 10 weeks, sailing out from Gourock on The Ali-Cat (now the Dunoon ferry) every Monday morning for a week's work, returning on the Friday. We would stay in the ship cabins through the week. Working below decks we'd hear the odd thing clanking off the hull, we were 20m below the water apparently. Those ships were massive, some ended up being re-engineered into smaller types and one sailed to India for beach scrapping. Pretty amazing loch as I recall .

What programme  were you filming for mate would like to see that. I took the boat up close to these ships they were huge. The crew used to do a lot of fishing with their small boat so I take it the crew were Scandinavian. Before sailing always check the marine weather chart.. Have been up that loch which is specular however it can blew up in there. Once had to do a crawling pace to get out safely , once out the loch the water was flat, unusual have heard the same thing from other boat users. 

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