Port Edgar

On the Firth of Forth
 immediately to the west of the Forth Road Bridge

 HMS Lochinvar  -  1962

HMS Lochinvar, Port Edgar  -  1962

©  Copyright: Brien Towler, Currimundi, Queensland, Australia                                                                        Photograph taken:  1962


HMS Lochinvar


Thank you to Brien Towler for sending me three photographs taken at Port Edgar in 1962.

The photograph above is of a group of RN minesweepers, including M1187, HMS Upton, one of 6 ton class minesweepers bought by the Australian Govt. in 1962 ***, and berthed at HMS Lochinvar, Port Edgar, on the Firth of Forth,  until October 1962 when they departed for Australia.

*** But see 'Reply 1' below

The red hull of the ship on the left, flying the Union Jack, shows it to be an inshore minesweeper.  The ships with the grey hulls in this photo are coastal minesweepers.

Here are the other two photos that Brien sent to me:

HMS Lochinvar at Port Edgar  -  around 1962 ©    HMS Lochinvar at Port Edgar  -  around 1962 ©


Brien wrote:

"In 1962 I was sent to the UK as a member of the RAN (Royal Australian Navy) and during this time I spent a lot of time at  HMS Lochinvar, waiting for our ship, SNIPE,  to be finished.

HMS Lochinvar was a Shore Establishment at Port Edgar, South Queensferry."

Brien added:

"I never thought to take a photo of the depot from outside the gate, something that I now regret."

Brian Towler, Currimundi, Queensland, Australia:  June 2007


 Port Edgar Photo


Do you know of any photograph of the depot, taken from outside the gate?  If so, please please e-mail me and I'll pass on the news to Brien.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs,  June 8, 2007


Thank you to Roger Rose who found a photo of the Port Edgar depot from outside the gates.

Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, I'm not able to reproduce this photo on the web site.  However, I can pass on Roger's advice on where to find the photo.  His advice worked well for me.

Roger wrote:

"If you Google 'Scran-Fishery Protection Squadron', you'll see  the picture."

Roger Rose:  November 15, 2008

Funny Story

Roger added:

"Here is a funny story from Lochinvar.

The base hosted many minesweepers and minehunters. All these ships had divers on board (to de-fuse mines, etc) Most ships carried 2 Gemini type RIBs, which were powered by Johnson outboards.

Now, all naval establishments had huge static water tanks, primarily for fire-fighting. The tank near to the workshops in Lochinvar was very handy for testing these outboard motors on load (with their props in some water).

Sailors everywhere are familiar with an industrial detergent called 'Teepol' After lengthy discussions in the 'Stag' or 'Forth', it was decided to empty several of these five gallon containers of 'Pusser's Fairy Liquid' into the said tank, then sit back and watch the commotion."

Roger Rose:  November 15, 2008



Trevor Brown

Thank you to Trevor Brown who replied: 

HMS Upton

"Please, forgive me if I have misread this page, but it says, above, that HMS Upton was one of six MCM vessels sold to the Australians in 1962'.

I have happy memories of HMS Upton.  I was a Midshipman serving in Upton for 6 months around 1969-70, before joining  at submarines as a Midshipman.

The Commanding Officer of Upton, at that time was Lt John Brigstocke RN, later 2nd Sea Lord.  We were the last open- bridged, commissioned warship in the fleet.

I well remember ploughing up and down past the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth.  We also did a ‘Meet The Navy’ recruiting cruise around the UK coast and had a terrific time."

Am I right?   Did I imagine all this?  Or have I simply read  the comments above wrongly?  No doubt you will let me know."

Trevor Brown:  February 13, 2011

Any Other Information?

I am not familiar with HMS Upton so am not able to reply to Trevor's comments above .  Perhaps somebody else will be able to provide further comments on this topic.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  February17, 2011



John Stevenson

Trinity, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Stevenson who replied: 

HMS Upton

Not sold to Australian Navy

"HMS UPTON was never sold to the Australian Navy.  The vessel finished her operational life at Rosyth before being scrapped in 1991.  I have double checked and confirmed this.

John Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  February 18, 2011

John added:

HMS Upton

"Here is the basic information that I have on file for her:"

Pennant Number: M1187
Builders: J.I. Thornycroft & Co, Southampton
Launched: 15 March 1956
Completed: 25 July 1956


1956 .  August /December   Took part in Operation 'Musketeer' with 105th Minesweeping Squadron (MSS).  “Operaton Musketeer” was the Anglo/French/Israeli plan for the invasion of Egypt to capture the Suez Canal

1957 /65  Part of 100MSS

1963   May   Took part in  operation “ Clear Road”

1966   5th January. Arrived Port Edgar to join Mine Countermeasures Squadron (MCMS)

1968   August  Took part in operation “New Broom “

1969   July  . Took part in the “Western Fleet Review” at Torbay

1970 /72  To 2 MCMS as training Minesweeper

1973  10th September . Arrived Rosyth to join 1st MCMS

1975  Allocated to “Tyne Division Royal Naval Reserve “ ( 10 MCMS) and re-named HMS NORTHUMBRIA

1976   1sr January.  To “North East Group RNR “
and re-named HMS UPTON
5th April  Sent to Gibraltar for major re-fit

1977  28th June.  Took part in “Fleet Review” at Spithead

1980-83, To 1 MCMS as training vessel at Rosyth

1984  1st April .  Part of the “Fishery Protection Squadron” based at Rosyth

1991  Scrapped

John Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  February 18, 2011




Harry Burn

County Durham, England

Thank you to Harry Burn who wrote: 

HMS Upton

"I served on HMS  Upton from 1971 until 1973.  I was pleased to read your history  and report of the ship.

I joined her at Lochinvar, then we were transferred down to Portsmouth for about 18 months, then back up to Lochinvar where I left her, being drafted to HMS Excellent."

Harry Burn, County Durham, England:  January 17, 2012




Jim (Ben) Lyon

Thank you to Jim (Ben) Lyon who wrote:


"This is just to set the record straight on the 6 Ton class minesweepers that were sold to the Australian Navy in 1961.

They were:

HMS Alcaston


became HMAS Snipe

HMS Chediston


became HMAS Curlew

HMS Jackton


became HMAS Teal

HMS Singletonton


became HMAS Ibis

HMS Somerleytonton


became HMAS Hawk

HMS Swanston


became HMAS Gill

I was stationed at Lochinvar during the early-1960s and come from Edinburgh originally.  I was brought up in Stenhouse, but now live in Perthshire.

The names for these sweepers came from villages throughout the UK ending in 'ton'.  About 119 built, all told.

I hope this helps."

Jim (Ben) Lyon:  January 14, 2014:  Perthshire, Scotland



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