24 June 2014

Work begins on scrapping historic North Vancouver ship's stern:

Welders have begun sinking their torches into the Flamborough Head, an iconic piece of North Vancouver’s wartime history, say heritage advocates who are still waiting to see part of the ship preserved as a permanent monument.

City councillors voted months ago to scrap the last remaining “Victory Ship” built at Burrard Dry Dock during the Second World War, but Peter Miller, the president of the North Shore Heritage Preservation Society, said the city is staying mum on what it plans to spare from the scrapyard.

The relic was once intended to be part of a proposed National Maritime Centre on the North Van waterfront, but that project faded after the economic recession in 2008. Despite a fight to save the stern - all that now remains of the Flamborough Head - councillors determined salvaging the ship was too expensive.

“When we lost the fight to keep the thing, we were promised that a section of it would be kept as a permanent monument at the site and we see no indication of any particular piece being kept,” said Miller.

He said he had envisioned a section of the stern, the propellor and the deck housing being saved so the Flamborough Head would still be somewhat recognizable in the monument.

City staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

A fact sheet from the society said that North Van shipyards built most of the 255 Victory Ships that were made in British Columbia during the Second World War. The Victory Ships were built to replace Allied ships sunk by German submarines during the Second World War.

The Flamborough Head was launched from Burrard Dry Dock May 2, 1944, and used as a maintenance ship by the British Navy. It was later sold back to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed the Cape Breton. It was 135 metres long, had a speed of 11 knots (20 kph) and a crew of 445.

Source: vancouver sun. 20 June 2014.

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