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Looking back to when historic submarine HMS Opossum visited Ipswich in 1982

PUBLISHED: 19:17 23 April 2019

Checking over the many gauges of the submarine  Picture: IVAN SMITH

Checking over the many gauges of the submarine Picture: IVAN SMITH

In April 1982, Ipswich Docks had a rather special visitor - as the HMS Opossum submarine came into dock and allowed one of our photographers the chance to climb aboard and take a look around.

Fresh sausage rolls being made in the kitchen of the sub  Picture: IVAN SMITHFresh sausage rolls being made in the kitchen of the sub Picture: IVAN SMITH

The submarine itself was built in the 1960s and was first launched in 1963.

One of the many claustrophobic walkways within the sub  Picture: IVAN SMITHOne of the many claustrophobic walkways within the sub Picture: IVAN SMITH

It would go on to be used until 1993, when it was paid off to be decommissioned.

The HMS Opossum submarine pulling into Ipswich Docks  Picture: IVAN SMITHThe HMS Opossum submarine pulling into Ipswich Docks Picture: IVAN SMITH

The submarine was 90metres long and had two 3,000horsepower electric motors, which each drove a three-bladed propeller which would achieve top speeds of 17knots - or 20mph - when submerged and 12knots, or 14mph, on the surface.

The area where torpedo's are loaded into the tubes and ready for launching  Picture: IVAN SMITHThe area where torpedo's are loaded into the tubes and ready for launching Picture: IVAN SMITH

From our photos you can see six of the forward-facing torpedo tubes, with two others elsewhere which contained a total of 24 torpedoes.

Some of the crew on board the HMS Opossum  Picture: IVAN SMITHSome of the crew on board the HMS Opossum Picture: IVAN SMITH

Upon the submarine's decommissioning the nameplate from the Opossum was given to St Edmundsbury Borough Council due to its association with Bury St Edmunds.

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