Mearns Probus learns about nuclear subs

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The first meeting for 2015 was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, where retiring president Eric Bell opened proceedings.

He then thanked his committee for their support during his term of office, before handing over the chain of office and gavel to successor Malcolm McCoig.

After the usual business matters, the new president introduced the speaker for the day. He was Chris Greene, from Johnshaven, who is also a member of the committee of Inverbervie and District Probus Club.

His talk was on nuclear submarines and, as an ex -Royal Navy submariner, he had served on them for many years in the later part of the 1990s.

From the dimensions of this type of craft to its weight, propulsion and armament, Chris described living and operating conditions while serving on board.

Using detailed illustrations on a screen he was able to show his audience how the hull was constructed, the position of the reactor and steam generator, turbine, generators and all the necessary mechanical accessories required to operate the craft.

Details of living accommodation for the officers and crew of up to 90 men were described along with the galley where the food is prepared and served, three times daily to the crew.

With no periscope on modern craft, he explained how information was gathered above sea level, the use of sonar and the change of use of the conning tower from older craft.

As every sea going ship or submarine has its own signature sounds, he showed that this could be changed during the Cold War era to mislead any foreign submarine or ships identifying their presence and then tracking them to sea.

Chris answered questions from members on topics such as morale on board, lack of communication with families at home, medical aid while at sea, as well as operating conditions of the engines, electrics, air conditioning and water supply.

Geoffrey Goodyear thanked him for a well researched and interesting presentation.