After decades of distinguished service, HMS Belfast was heading to the scrapman before a charitable trust sailed to her rescue and ultimately opened her as a floating museum in the heart of London. Today, she is managed by Imperial War Museums (IWM) and is one of the capital’s premier visitor attractions. Nigel Price goes aboard the famous ship to soak up the atmosphere.

HMS Belfast open for visitors in central London.

Sentiment is rarely a factor when it comes to the disposal of military equipment, especially after a war. What are today regarded as important historical items are all too often discarded for the price of their scrap value – an economic reality that can be hard to understand given the luxury of hindsight. Thankfully, individuals and groups are sometimes able to intervene and preserve artefacts that go onto become treasured national assets. One of the best examples that comes to mind is HMS Belfast.


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