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If you own a part of F69, or know someone that does and have made use of it in some way, we would like to exhibit what you/they have done to remember the former HMNZS Wellington right here in our TREASURE CHEST EXHIBITION.....

Send us a picture or two, tell a story around what has evolved and we will proudly show the world.

email us now exhibit@divewreck.co.nz


F69 lives on...in 1000's of peoples homes, in military collections, in museums, as amazing brass windows in the new South Coast Gallery, in prestigous Waitangi Park and on the seabed as a flourishing reef and world class dive attraction.

One of F69's 12ft diameter Bronze Propellers - F69 Memorial, Waitangi Park, Wellington, NZ

One of F69's two propellers, placed next to NZ's National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa, is now home in Waitangi Park, complete with boss and rope cutter. Mounted in this high profile location, F69's propeller lives on for all to see! Many thanks to Wellington Central Rotary for honoring the former HMNZS Wellington with this amazing tribute.

Two of F69's Bridge Windows (Opening windows Front Centre and Portside of F69's bridge) - Polished and installed with care and pride, overlooking the shipwreck in the new South Coast Gallery, Island Bay, Wellington (info@southcoastgallery.co.nz)

By Cameron Drawbridge

A short intro into the South Coast Gallery runs like this. After my father John Drawbridge died last July, my mother Tanya Ashken and I decided to do something positive. An art gallery was the obvious choice for us. We decided to convert two of the three existing garages, on my mother?s property (overlooking the sea in Island Bay). We worked with designer Karly Taylor to come up with a design and with Ian Garrick (structural engineer from Spencer Holmes), with builder Laurie Ngaia and the great lateral thinking engineer John Mines (designer and maker of the Nikau Palms in Civic Square/Central Library and at Wellington Airport). At the time when we were sourcing materials Tanya and I went aboard the frigate Wellington to possibly purchase a porthole. Rather than going with the minute and rather unattractive portholes we went with two of the opening brass windows from the bridge. This is when the fun began. Needless to say, we did install them and they look fantastic, overlooking the site where the frigate itself lays. The brass flashings on the exterior of the gallery were purpose built by John Mines.

South Coast Gallery
302 The Esplanade, Island Bay, Wellington.
Opening Hours: 10.30am ˆ 6pm, Wed ˆ Sun.
T: 04-971-8151 M: 027-543-0418
E: info@southcoastgallery.co.nz

IZZAT art - Fire hose from F69 - now an amazing light!!!

F69's stern capstan - now a roundabout!

  1. The capstan came off the Frigate Wellington.   F69 (Leander Class Frigate) spent 12 years in the Royal Navy as HMS Bacchante and 18 years in the Royal NZ Navy as HMNZS Wellington. This ship is now a worldclass dive site off Island Bay.

2     A capstan is a big a revolving drum which is used to tighten (when berthing the vessel) or retrieve (when sailing) the mooring lines. Mooring lines are too thick and heavy to be easily manhandled, hence the need for the mechanical assistance which is provided by a capstan.

3     The successful mounting of the capstan in Capstan lane was very much a community project - voluntary contributions were made by:

The SnkF69 Trust let Patrick Atwood have the capstan at a little more than scrap value, after cutting the capstan free from the ship and lifting off the ship, covering the crane costs. Steam and Sand blasted, hot zinc coated and painted the capstan at cost, G J Smith organised some of the foundation steel work, PCC allowed the project on public land and provided assistance with some of the stages of the project,
Virtually all the residents in Capstan Lane were enthusiastic about the project and all gave their consent for it to go ahead, Half the hubbies in the street gave hands-on assistance with certain stages of the project,  

The Harbour Rangers of GWRC gave some assistance for time to time.

  1. Other companies which played some part in this project were, BMU Engineering, Collins Cranes, Hirequip in Porirua, Plimmerton Landscaping, Ablaze and Bunnings.

2     The younger kids in the street appeared to have great fun with most stages of the project, starting off by jumping in and out of the outline markings (even before the paint had time to dry!) and foundations, on and off the plinth and naturally were sorely tempted to put hand and  footprints into the wet concrete.

F69's Rope Drums - now a food carousel!

4 of F69's rope drums have been welded together, mounted on a bearing from the frigate and fitted in a South Coast kitchen as a pantry (food carousel). Novel use indeed!

BRASS F69 Gauge Clock!

Made from a bronze valve handle and a brass pressure guage from the engine room then fitted with a clock mechanism and stylised F69 clockface.


Brass Securing Pin and Shark Rifle Keyring Tag


Red Ready Light - glowing over Wellington's Harbour

More F69 Exhibits arriving soon!

Tell us what you have done with your piece of furniture, fittings, stores or equipment of the former HMNZS Wellington. We are very keen to hear all about it!!