HMS Acheron

The boat is named after the Royal Navy submarine, HMS Acheron, which my father served on from 1965 to 1967. During that time she was based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and as a small boy I spent many happy hours aboard while mum and dad socialised in the petty officers mess. HMS Acheron was an Amphion class diesel electric submarine of a second world war design, launched in 1947.

My father, Petty Officer Roy Furness was the sonar operator (ASDIC). He took me down into the sonar space and explained how all the equipment worked. I also used to love going to the control room and looking out of the periscope, and the coxswain explained how the diving panel worked. Likewise up at the bow the torpedo men were equally friendly and informative. All of this engendered an early fascination with science and engineering which has stood me in good stead the rest of my life.

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My father next to Acheron in Portsmouth
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With my mother standing on the deck of Acheron in Halifax harbour, Nova Scotia
HMS Alliance Submarine Interior
The control room of HMS Alliance, which was identical to Acheron. For a 9 year old boy an Aladdin’s cave of engineering wonders.