The Vanguard, under Captain Robert A. Ewing, D.S.C., steamed out to sea for a routine anti-submarine exercise in co-operation with the Royal Air Force. Signals were radioed for anti-submarine aircraft to rendezvous and to carry out a sweep for "a submarine suspected of lurking near shipping routes."
Meanwhile, everyone was hard at the day's work. Supply men, seamen, stokers, electricians, engineers, writers in the Pay Office calculating the next fortnightly pay including the 'northeasters' (not entitled), cooks and boys - all had been "told off" for their duties. Electricians were busy round the clock with radios, radar, asdic sounding devices and lighting. The Vanguard's diesel electric generators produce enough current for all the street lamps in a big town.
HMS Vanguard eased away from Portsmouth dockside. Tugs churned around, helping to draw her into the Channel. From bow to stern the ship's company stood at attention in line along the 814-foot deck. Bugles sounded. Pipes shrilled, as other naval vessels saluted the £9,000000 flagship of the C.-in-C. Home Fleet, Admiral Sir George Creasy. The Vanguard answered, then edged her bulk carefully towards the open sea.
Deep in the ship, 150 feet below the navigating bridge, engineers swung polished wheels to send volumes of super-heated steam into the racing turbines. Sweating stokers in the boiler rooms opened the tape of the oil sprayers and the blaze roared in the furnaces. Four mighty propellers drove on the 45,000-ton ship at twenty knots
Changing Oil Sprayers in "B" Boiler Room Room
Control Platform in one of the Engine Rooms
Capt. Ewing prepares to leave South Railway Jetty Portsmouth Dockyard