- Payne, Alan
- Biographies and personal histories, Naval history
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Albatross, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Encounter, HMAS Sydney III, HMAS Australia II
- March 1976 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The war ended with the aircraft carrier Terrible launched but incomplete. The ‘A’ Class submarines were also launched. Later they were scrapped. In a few months dockyard work began to dry up. Payne did all he could to obtain outside contract work and would cheerfully have built pre-fab houses to keep the staff employed.
He felt very strongly about the lack of work and was outspoken when interviewed by the press. The Admiralty did not approve of what was published. Consequently although he was decorated by the American and French Governments his own country gave him nothing. This did not worry him particularly.
Payne retired on his 60th birthday in July 1946 and had intended going out to Shanghai as a consultant naval architect. This idea was knocked on the head when the Communists began taking over power in China. A few months later he rejoined the Admiralty as Deputy Director of Merchant Shipbuilding and Repairs. His job was to ration steel and timber for the shipbuilding industry. After two or three years the need for rationing eased and he was able to take things fairly easily. He retired for the second time at the age of 69 after 55 years in the Admiralty service.
Stephen Payne died on 7th August 1972 after a short illness at the age of 86. For many years he had devotedly nursed an invalid wife, who died only a few weeks before him.
His variety of experiences as a Naval Constructor was unique. Two of the ships he was concerned with have been preserved – the sloop Wellington and the cruiser Belfast. The latter was the first fighting ship to be preserved since the Victory.