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Yeah Bren,
Wondered what had happened to the old place,fond memories.:)
Did my first PADI course (Rescue)in the early 80,s stopped in some bunkhouse type accomodation actually in the Fort.
Remember they had a crackin bar and Cafe. Home of the infamous B.A.D. Lads (Basic Air Divers)commercial wallahs.
Evenings of merryment.;)
Whats sticks in my mind was seeing the Sea King helicopter coming in every other day from hardboats with a diver to the chamber  (now relocated to the hospital).:cry:

Also as I recall it was the venue for the Famous weekend Underwater Explosives Course open to Sport divers Which I understand at the time was well supported. Were some of these attendees the same bunch that whilst trying to relieve an well known Anglesey wreck of some of its non ferrous booty, got a the size of charges confused and caused £2000 pounds worth of damage to a nearby lighthouse,Oh dear TRUE STORY.:lol:

Happy days lol
 

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Tony Mate,

Get your arse on the Anglesey & T-Bay weekend in March. What with Hobby being in attendance (an 'Old Boy' of Fort Bill) and you on the trip, the nights will simply fly by.

Look forward to seeing you soon matey.

Cheers,
 

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Had some brilliant weekends doing all three of the explosives courses. They were cracking courses.

And no, it wasn't me who took the lighthouse out!!
 

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Just taken this from the Divernet News Page - dated today.


"FORT BOVISAND CLOSED TO DIVERS

The diving services based at Fort Bovisand, Plymouth have been evicted after the accountants acting as liquidators for the owners - the Ministry of Defence - obtained a court order for possession and changed the locks.

The move follows months of argument about the status of the leases and viability of existing businesses based at Bovisand, which had continued to trade despite the demise of the main leaseholder Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre in 2000.

The accountants managing the liquidation had encouraged trading to continue on the basis that this would help preserve the value of Bovisand as an asset, particularly because the diving school has a world-wide reputation.

Unfortunately in December 2002, one of the main businesses based at the site, Marine Contractors Ltd, went into receivership. As this was one of the parties negotiating to take over the running of Bovisand, the owners took the view that it was no longer possible to keep the site functioning.

The centre is likely to be sold on the open market, but accountants Begbie Traynor are still interested in hearing from businesses, including diving concerns, who may want to take it on.

13 January 2003"

Should we organise a kitty?? :D
 

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From the Plymouth Evening Herald........Jack Baker just posted this on D-net:

"More on this - from Plymouth Evening Herald.. (full text, expands on article on DNet News..!)

'LEGAL WRANGLE AS FORT BOVISAND CLOSES

12:00 - 10 January 2003

Fort Bovisand has been put up for sale and its world-famous diving school shut down.

The company training divers from all over the globe has been locked out and new offers have been invited to take over the lease on its historic premises.

Staff were told to go home suddenly on Wednesday and the locks were changed.

It is understood new diving training courses started only two days before.

The official receiver in charge of the Grade II listed building - Ian Walker - has obtained a court order to take possession after a long-running wrangle.

Mr Walker, of Begbies Traynor accountants, said another diving school could take over the lease - but not with the current managers in place.

He also wants to hear from any other businesses who can take over the property, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence and had also been home to civil engineering company Marine Contractors Ltd.

Marine Contractors, believed to employ about 50 staff, itself went into receivership in December.

But the picture is complicated because David Welsh, the boss of a hyperbaric centre to treat divers, is claiming he has a lease on part of the fort - and says he is staying put.

Mr Walker was appointed as official receiver at the end of 2000 after the company running the school, Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre, went into administration. The school has since been run by another company, Fort Bovisand Diver Training. Mr Walker said he tried to negotiate with Fort Bovisand Diver Training and Marine Contractors Ltd to take over the lease.

He added: "I wanted to preserve the reputation of the school, which is world-famous."

Mr Walker said he also spoke to outsiders about taking over the site.

But he added: "I was simply unable to dispose of Fort Bovisand given the management conditions down there.

"I was left with no alternative but to shut it down and put it on the open market.

"Providing someone else comes forward there is a chance that the jobs down there will be reinstated."

About 10 staff, including diving instructors, engineers and catering staff, were sent home from Fort Bovisand.

The father of one member of staff said his son was told to leave with no explanation.

He returned to work as normal after the Christmas break but was told to go home on Wednesday morning.

The father, who did not want to be named, added: "It is disgraceful that he has been left in limbo."

Alan Swales, senior regional industrial organiser with the Transport and General Workers Union, is demanding an explanation.

He added: "He had no explanation at all. He was just told to pack his bags and leave. It is despicable to treat someone like this in this day and age."

Tony Walker, a director of Fort Bovisand Diver Training Ltd, said: "I am currently trying to ascertain the status of the company through solicitors at the moment. I cannot say anything more than that."

But plans to pass on the lease, which has to be agreed by the MoD, may be complicated because a third business runs on the site.

David Welsh, a former director of both Fort Bovisand Underwater Centre and Marine Contractors, said he still had a business in the casements of the fort.

He added that the Fort Bovisand Hyperbaric Centre still had a valid lease until 2004 and could not be moved.

The centre treats divers suffering from decompression sickness, including patients referred by the NHS. He said the last patient had been treated back in the summer.

Mr Welsh also said there were no permanent staff on the site, only that they were employed as and when required.

He added: "The casements are smack bang in the middle of the fort.

"It may get in the way of any development up there, but at the end of the day, it is a commercial business."

Fort Bovisand first opened as a diving centre in 1970 and has since trained thousands of divers.'


Lets hope something gets sorted out (again..!) and a way can be found to resurrect things once and for all..."
 

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#### shame really - did my O/W there though glad I didn't stay in the bunks - we had a nice warm 2 bed appartment !!

Lets see someone take it on and make it into what it deserves to be - how about a whip round from all us lot - I'll start with a tenner !!

Paul
 

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Hi i was never treated to the forts hospitality but have always heards loads about it. I worked with two people from the fort. Mark Layton and Steve Syson (Can't spell their names) they said it was a great viable buisness in the early days, but both left it because of the was it was run. A shame i think, i would dearly love to be able to go to a large diving centre, with the number of staff and expertise as the fort had. I would be a safer enviroment to learn in and more enjoyable. The problem is that local opnion on fort bovey and the infamous Dave Walsh is that anything run by him in that location would be a nightmare !!!  May be because of the difficult of acsess to bovey a new location for a dive centre much like bovey to flurish in the south west. A new start with new people !! Plymouth would be an ideal location, anyone out their with the money
??

Daniel
 
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