- Letter Writer
- Ship design and development, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- March 2019 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I enjoyed reading Bill Burrell’s recollections of admirals’ barges (Naval Historical Review, December 2018). He errs, though, in referring to the Admiral Hudson as a barge: it’s a cabin cruiser.
I was the last Naval Support Commander, resident inTrescobefore the barbarians flogged it for a song to an eastern suburbs property developer in 1997. My predecessor but one, David Holthouse, was a force of nature. He had Trescorestored with authentic Edwardian finish, had a new admiral’s barge constructed and purchased Tresco II, a 42-foot Riviera flybridge cabin cruiser, to entertain VIPs on the harbour. The barge was of traditional design and built by Norman R. Wright & Sons in Brisbane. It was beautifully done but the electrics were awful and the engines noisy beyond belief. It certainly looked the part in its ceremonial duties and was undoubtedly the smartest thing afloat on Sydney Harbour. I’d have thought an engineer would get the engines right but he didn’t. Tresco II had twin Volvo Pentax diesels and they were worse than the barge’s. Despite that, she was worth her weight ingold in serving not only the Navy but alsothe broader Defence hierarchy, including at times the Minister. Both the barge and the cabin cruiser were berthed at Tresco’spier on Elizabeth Bay where they were lovingly manned and maintained by a dedicated boat’s crew of three. They were victualled
out of Tresco. Tresco IIwas replaced by the Admiral Hudson long after my time.This barge was blue and wore the disc of a rear-admiral mounted on the bow. The green hulls of yore were designated for the Commander-in-Chief, or CNS in our case. Think of CN’s use of green ink to this day, otherwise the prerogative of Commonwealth auditors.
By Editor: We have thanked Admiral Campbell for his comments and have sought advice from Defence Management Services on the fate of TrescoIIand the Green Parrotas these vessels still appear on their website.