HISTORY OF THE HQS WELLINGTON
HMS Wellington was built at Devonport Dockyard in 1934. She was one of the 13 Grimsby class warships built for service in the Commonwealth and Dependencies and from 1936 to 1939 she patrolled the waters around New Zealand and 2.5 million square miles of the western Pacific visiting and policing the Island chains and Possessions then under British rule.
At the outbreak of World War Two, HMS Wellington was recalled to perform convoy escort duties in the North Atlantic. During six years of wartime service she rescued over 450 Merchant Navy seamen. She shared in the destruction of an enemy U boat and was involved in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk. A fuller account of her war service has been written by GJ Williams in his book HMS Wellington, One Ship’s War. Shortly after the end of the war she was retired and laid up at Pembroke Dock.
She was then converted from being His Majesty’s Ship Wellington to Head Quarters Ship Wellington at the Chatham dockyards. The cost of this conversion was met by an appeal to which Lloyd's, Shipping Companies, Livery Companies and many other benefactors generously contributed. She arrived at her Victoria Embankment berth in December 1948 to continue service as the floating livery hall of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
In 1991 HQS Wellington was dry-docked at Sheerness for three months during which, apart from extensive steelwork repairs and complete external painting, she received a major refurbishment to help make the ship a Livery Hall which is admired throughout the City of London. On the 1st of July 2005 ownership of the Wellington was transferred from the Honourable Company to the Wellington Trust. This is a charitable trust established to ensure the preservation of this historic ship. The ship relies on income from functions and exhibitions and charitable donations to assist with maintenance and is moored in the Thames close to Temple tube station. HQS Wellington had a coating system applied during the refurbishment in 1991 but did not have any Cathodic Protection system.
In 2014, six corrosion professionals, a number of whom are Institute of Corrosion members had combined resources to provide a CP system to protect the ship’s hull and persuaded their respective companies to provide free of charge the various constituent parts a of marine CP system.
Dr Paul Chess, Mr Frits Gronvold and Dr Peter Vagn Nygaard of FORCE Cathodic Protection in Denmark provided on of their latest switchmode CP power sources, Dr Patrick Lydon of IACS Corrosion Engineering Ltd designed the CP system and assisted with its installation and commissioning, Mr Mike Moffat of the Corrpro Companies Europe Ltd provided the impressed current anodes with IACS Corrosion Engineering Ltd contributing part of the anode cost and Mr Robert Britton of Silvion Ltd provided the Ag/AgCl seawater reference electrodes used for the control of the CP system and routine monitoring.
The four organisations FORCE technology, IACS Corrosion Engineering Ltd, Corrpro Companies Europe Ltd and Silvion Ltd have all contributed to the application of CP to extend the vessels life and contribute to the preservation of the Nation’s Naval Heritage by reducing the rate of corrosion of the ships hull.
The ship’s management team have provided invaluable assistance during the work particularly the Chief Engineer, Martin Brownjohn and the Commanding Officer, Commodore Angus Menzies have contributed to the overall success of the work. They have also allowed the Wardroom to open to provide welcome refreshment when any work took place.