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Capt. Colin Allen OBE

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by GRW, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Captain Colin Allen, who has died aged 82, was the first captain of the newly restored museum ship HMS Warrior (1860), and brought her from Hartlepool to Portsmouth.

    Allen joined Warrior in Hartlepool while she was being restored, and established a good relationship with the ship’s benefactor, Sir John Smith, and other members of the ship preservation trust, and Portsmouth City Council who had undertaken to build the jetty on which Warrior was to berth.

    In effect Allen was the CEO of a major tourist attraction and he entered into the spirit of his new command: he dressed the guides in Victorian uniforms including sennett [straw] hats, and grew long sideburns to complement his own frock coat. He was well supported by Portsmouth council, but the interests of the leaseholders of the Portsmouth dockyard – the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust and the Portsmouth Naval Heritage – which wanted to develop the site as a tourist destination, clashed.

    “He grew long sideburns to complement his own frock coat”
    Allen opened Warrior to visitors amid this diplomatic stand-off and although the quality of the restoration was admired, the estimated number of visitors and revenue proved over-optimistic, and there were redundancies before Allen achieved a viable organisation.

    He enjoyed many aspects of running Warrior, but he was enervated by the politics of the Historic Dockyard, and resigned after four years. His organising and diplomatic talents, however, were recognised by Admiral Sir Terry Lewin who asked him to become secretary of the National Historic Ships Committee. There he helped to create a national policy for the preservation of ships and was appointed OBE in 2001.

    Colin George Allen was born in January 9 1934 at Dorchester, where his father was a headmaster, and educated at Canford School where he was awarded colours in rugby and hockey. He entered Dartmouth as a Special Entry cadet aged 18 and specialised in Supply and Secretariat (now called Logistics).

    He joined the fleet in 1953 as a midshipman in the cruiser Birmingham in the Far East, seeing action off Korea. Subsequent appointments included staff and secretarial appointments with the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, at sea in the cruiser Bermuda, ashore in Malta, and at home on the personal staff of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Caspar John."

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