HMS Plymouth, once the proud centre-piece of Wirral’s historic warships display, is facing an ignominious end.
The warship, on which Argentina acknowledged defeat in the Falkland War, will leave Merseyside this month for a Turkish scrapyard, where it will be “recycled.”
Peel Ports, which owns the dock, confirmed the frigate’s fate. The vessel has languished in Birkenhead’s East Float Dock for the past two years since HMS Plymouth Association conceded that nothing more could be done to save her.
A spokesman for Peel said today: "We can confirm that HMS Plymouth will leave Birkenhead Docks and the River Mersey this month and will be recycled in accordance with statutory and regulatory permits associated with her transit and recycling programme."
The Type 12 frigate – the last in her class – secured a place in history at the end of the Falkland War when the Argentine war lords signed the surrender documents in the wardroom.
After the war HMS Plymouth was saved by the Warship Preservation Trust. In the early 1990s she was moved to the East Float Dock.
The dock was transformed into the historic warship exhibition under a partnership with Wirral Council.
The Trust went into voluntary liquidation some years later and the exhibition closed.
At the time HMS Plymouth Association secretary Martine Salter acknowledged that the ship was over 50 years old and lacked the technology used by modern warships.
Peel Ports signed a deconstruction contract with a specialist company from Turkey in 2012.
When the deal was announced Peel said it was seeking an export certificate from the Environment Agency and any artefacts on board the vessel would be removed ahead of her final voyage.