Webpage created: June 20, 2019
Webpage updated: May 27, 2021
NAVY DAYS, MAY 1948
From a postcard.
When Plymouth resumed its Navy Week in 1948 it was reduced to two sets of Navy days. The first was from Friday May 14th 1948 until Monday May 17th 1948.
Star of the event was the Devonport-manned battleship HMS "Vanguard", which was in dock being prepared to take His Majesty King George VI, the Queen and Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret to Australia and New Zealand in January 1949. Although it was not possible to view the Royal quarters themselves, drawings and photographs of how they will look were on display. Other ships open to the public were battleship HMS "King George V", destroyers HMS "Saint James" and HMS "Sluys", the submarine HMS "Artful", and HMS "Alaunia", which was described as 'a floating dockyard for the repair of ships at sea'. Depth charges, mines and torpedoes were on display and naval divers would also be giving demonstrations of their work. In addition to the Royal Marine Commandoes giving displays of unarmed combat, the Royal Marine Band, Plymouth Command, "Beat the Retreat" every evening. Organ recitals were given in the Church of Saint Nicholas, while evensong was sung on the Saturday and Sunday.
As before the War, a crèche was provided in the Gymnasium, staffed by members of the Women's Royal Naval Service.
Cheap railway fares were provided by British Railways from main line stations, except on Saturday May 15th 1948, when the offer was restricted to stations on the Tavistock and Launceston Branch only.
The Whitsun Navy Days was visited by 36,953 people, of which 14,164 passed through the gate on the final day.
Navy Days was held again in July/August 1948.