Admiral’s Launch, ‘The Beldonal’ docks at Burgess, Killeagh


I would be somewhere, doing something, speaking with someone, and I would decide to invite them over to the house, to continue what we were doing and talking about, writes John Hunter. They would say yes, and a date would be arranged. The day would come and I would hear a car pulling into the drive, and when I go to greet the person, I can normally anticipate the question they are about to ask. I’m not a mind reader and I’m not clairvoyant, but I can say with certainty, that the first thing people will ask about when they come to my house is the 40+ ft question mark in my beside my house.

The Beldonal was built in 1943 to be the Admiral’s Launch on the Battleship, the HMS Duke of York. It was a 45 GSP (also known as the Green Parrots) and there were only 12 made in total. While she was in the Navy, she ran on two petrol engines, with around 500 horsepower each (this would be changed after she was decommissioned to a twin engine, 200 horsepower, straight six Bedford diesel). Find out more inside this week’s Midleton & District News.