With the demise of HMS DOLPHIN, the original alma mater, in 1998, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum established at Haslar Jetty in the 1980s, has become the natural link with submarine history, stretching back to the beginning of the last century.
Featuring the first Royal Navy submarine Holland 1 and HMS Alliance of WWII vintage, the Museum provides a comprehensive record of the life and times of the Submarine Branch of the Royal Navy.
Well established as a major visitor attraction, the Museum also boasts a significant research facility, with some 50,000 documents, 120,000 photographs, 300 works of art and 800 medals and the collection continues to grow.
The Cost of preserving this important part of our heritage for the future always exceeds the available budget and this is where the Friends make such a vital contribution.
Founded with charitable status in 1995 (Registered Charity No. 1046251), The Society of Friends has attracted over 700 members and the support of the Hampshire County Council. With a sound financial base, the Society has an ongoing programme to finance the conservation of photographs and other archive material, enhancing display galleries, staff training and the purchase of submarine related artefacts.
The Friends are an active, involved society working to preserve the heritage of the Submarine Service through its Museum.
Care is taken that the members’ generosity is focused on specific projects to improve the Museum and its collection.
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Message from the Chairman
I am really amazed at the transformation that has taken place in the museum. The fantastic changes and improvements that have been made over recent years combine to make the museum a truly first class attraction.
That is not only my perception but is supported by the really significant increase in the number of visitors that choose to spend some time there; an increase of nearly 200% this year compared to last. So what is attracting this number of people? Well, the fact that ALLIANCE has undergone the most fantastic refit and is undoubtedly the main attraction is a major draw but the whole museum is a really great family experience. This transformation is the work of many but the Friends have been major contributors and I commit to ensuring that remains the position.
There are issues the museum will face over the short and long term, not least the consolidation of its position within the overarching National Museum of the Royal Navy. The Friends also face a number of challenges and maintaining current and increasing future membership, particularly from the serving submariners and the younger community, is an area that I personally see as an immediate focus and is why I encourage existing members to stay with the society and new blood to join.