Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 16, 2019
Webpage updated: June 22, 2019

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The first ever Plymouth Navy Week was held the Royal Naval Barracks, Devonport, between Tuesday August 14th 1928 and Saturday August 18th 1928.

HMS "Hood", the largest warship in the world, and HMS "Rodney", the newest warship in the world, were on display alongside HMS "Adventure, minelayer; HMS "Iron Duke", which was being refitted; HMS "Devonshire", cruiser, which was under construction; HMS "Glorious", aircraft carrier, which was also under construction, and battleship HMS "Emperor of India", and three  submarines.  The Floating Dock was even open to the public.  Mines were on view, torpedoes were fired from HMS "Warwick" and divers could be seen at work.

Admission between 1.30 and 6.30pm cost adults and children over twelve years of age, one shilling and children under twelve years of age, sixpence.  A car park was provided for sixpence for a motorcycle, one shilling for a car, and five shillings for charabancs.

Music was supplied by various bands including the Bluejacket Band of the Royal Naval Barracks itself.

Inside the Drill Shed tea and light refreshments were served 'at moderate prices'.  A lunch of cold meat, salad, roll and butter, fruit and cream (real Devonshire?), cost just two shillings, or 10p in today's money.  On view in the Shed was the board commemorating the loss of Royal Navy men from Devonport in the Great War (1914-1918).  There were also models of the "Golden Hind", the "Mayflower", HMS "Lion", and HMS "Hood". 

It was subsequently reported that a special train from Ilfracombe, in north Devon, started out with just four carriages but arrived at Keyham Station with between twelve and sixteen of them.  One train did not arrive until tea-time and the visitors had to rush through the various displays and ships.  Almost everyone brought a camera but these were confiscated until the owners left at the end of the day.

Attendance figures were given as: Tuesday August 14th 1928, 10,478; Wednesday August 15th 1928, 13,885; Thursday August 16th 1928, 18,530; Friday August 17th 1928, 11,289; and Saturday August 18th 1928, 13,030.  Total, 67,212.

Navy Week was held again in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1935, after which there was a break until 1938, the last one before the Second World War (1939-1945).  When the event recommenced in May 1948 it had been reduced to Navy Days.