Last sonar dome from Royal Navy destroyer gets £50,000…

The last remaining UK sonar dome from a Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer has been saved and converted into a glamping pod.

Toby Rhys Davies, 49, has spent £50,000 transforming the naval relic into a luxury staycation abode at his quirky campsite in Redberth, South Wales.

The 50-year-old dome which was built to detect enemy vessels using sonic waves is the last of its kind in British ownership – with the others sat at the bottom of the sea or in foreign territories.

Both HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry – which were sunk in the Falklands War – boasted the device.  

Mr Davies, owner of Apple Camping, said the dome which is now part of his creation was one of four domes that were built for Type 42 destroyers. The one he is in possession of was a ‘spare’.

The other three were on active boats, including HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry, both of which are now at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after being sunk during the 1982 Falklands War.  

The last remaining UK sonar dome from a Royal Navy Destroyer has been saved and converted into a glamping pod. Toby Rhys Davies, 49, has spent £50,000 transforming the naval relic into a luxury staycation abode at his quirky campsite in Redberth, South Wales

The 50-year-old dome which was built to detect rival U-boats and submarines using sonic waves is the last of its kind in British ownership - with the others sat at the bottom of the sea or in foreign territories. Both HMS Sheffield (above after being hit) and HMS Coventry - which were sunk in the Falklands War - boasted the device

The 50-year-old dome which was built to detect rival U-boats and submarines using sonic waves is the last of its kind in British ownership – with the others sat at the bottom of the sea or in foreign territories. Both HMS Sheffield (above after being hit) and HMS Coventry – which were sunk in the Falklands War – boasted the device 

The third dome is still on a ship but that vessel is owned by the Argentines, Mr Davies said.  

The Type 42 HMS destroyers, also known as the Sheffield class, were a class of fourteen guided missile destroyers that were first ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971.

The Royal Navy used this class of destroyer for 38 years between 1975 and 2013 before they were replaced with Type 45 destroyers.

After it narrowly dodged active service in the Falklands War, Mr Davies salvaged the sonar dome  in November last year when a friend with naval connections suggested he might be able to put it to good use.

The glamping site owner has previously hit the headlines for his conversion of a former Etihad airbus and a 1970s Jetstar into two other luxury stays. 

His latest project took eight months to complete and cost Mr Davies £50,000, with the first guests snatching the opportunity to stay in August.

Mr Davies, owner of Apple Camping, said the dome which is now part of his creation was one of four domes that were built for Type 42 destroyers. The one he is in possession of was a 'spare'. Above: The inside of his creation

Mr Davies, owner of Apple Camping, said the dome which is now part of his creation was one of four domes that were built for Type 42 destroyers. The one he is in possession of was a ‘spare’. Above: The inside of his creation

After it narrowly dodged active service in the Falklands War, Mr Davies salvaged the sonar dome in November last year when a friend with naval connections suggested he might be able to put it to good use

After it narrowly dodged active service in the Falklands War, Mr Davies salvaged the sonar dome in November last year when a friend with naval connections suggested he might be able to put it to good use

The project took eight months to complete and cost Mr Davies £50,000, with the first guests snatching the opportunity to stay in August

The project took eight months to complete and cost Mr Davies £50,000, with the first guests snatching the opportunity to stay in August

Mr Davies said: 'I was on holiday when I got a call from someone connected with the Royal Navy. 'He told me he had acquired this sonar hull and he thought I might be able to turn it into something.' Above: The fre-purposed interior

Mr Davies said: ‘I was on holiday when I got a call from someone connected with the Royal Navy. ‘He told me he had acquired this sonar hull and he thought I might be able to turn it into something.’ Above: The fre-purposed interior

Now the three-bed subterranean pod is finished with a kitchen, bathroom, and even has underwater light and sound effects to complete the atmospheric stay

Now the three-bed subterranean pod is finished with a kitchen, bathroom, and even has underwater light and sound effects to complete the atmospheric stay

Mr Davies said: 'The shell of this thing is absolutely solid, it was built to withstand bombs so it was a bit of a task making some alterations to make it liveable'

Mr Davies said: ‘The shell of this thing is absolutely solid, it was built to withstand bombs so it was a bit of a task making some alterations to make it liveable’ 

Mr Davies said: ‘I was on holiday when I got a call from someone connected with the Royal Navy.

‘He told me he had acquired this sonar hull and he thought I might be able to turn it into something.

‘I’d already got planning to do something underground and we were thinking about creating hobbit houses, but when I saw the sonar hull it was better than anything else I’d looked at.

‘The shell of this thing is absolutely solid, it was built to withstand bombs so it was a bit of a task making some alterations to make it liveable.

‘We spent three weeks with disc cutters just trying to shape it and take bits off it and we broke several tools trying to make port holes.

Mr Davies added: 'People are absolutely loving it and parents are going as mad for it as their kids. 'We had one couple decide they were staying inside and put the kids in the tents outside'

Mr Davies added: ‘People are absolutely loving it and parents are going as mad for it as their kids. ‘We had one couple decide they were staying inside and put the kids in the tents outside’

The new accommodation also includes an outdoor seating area, so families who choose to stay there can dine outside

The new accommodation also includes an outdoor seating area, so families who choose to stay there can dine outside

Mr Davies added: ''There's so many rewarding little features like the periscope effect holes that look out onto the flower meadow, the old diving gear decor or the sonar sound effects as you descend down into the hull on the spiral staircase'

Mr Davies added: ”There’s so many rewarding little features like the periscope effect holes that look out onto the flower meadow, the old diving gear decor or the sonar sound effects as you descend down into the hull on the spiral staircase’

‘It’s a serious bit of kit.’

Now the three-bed subterranean pod is finished with a kitchen, bathroom, and even has underwater light and sound effects to complete the atmospheric stay.

Mr Davies added: ‘People are absolutely loving it and parents are going as mad for it as their kids.

‘We had one couple decide they were staying inside and put the kids in the tents outside.

‘There’s so many rewarding little features like the periscope effect holes that look out onto the flower meadow, the old diving gear decor or the sonar sound effects as you descend down into the hull on the spiral staircase.’

from:www.dailymail.co.uk

published 2021-12-16 16:03:10

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