VISITORS to the new Portland Marina are being reminded of the area’s explosive past.

A Mk 8 torpedo, some of which were manufactured at the Whitehead factory at Wyke Regis and tested in Portland Harbour, is now on display outside the The Boat That Rocked restaurant at Dean & Reddyhoff’s marina at Osprey Quay.

The torpedo was donated to the marina by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport and painted by David Heap and George Nowak, who are members of the Dorset Submariners Association. The association is now appealing for more information about the history of this torpedo, a practice weapon which carries the identification markings Mk8** Mod4, AA3321, Number 244, WH 2029.

It is hoped to erect an information board in the future to include a cut away drawing to show visitors what was inside the weapon.

The Mk 8 was the standard anti-ship torpedo, weighing about one and a half tons and carrying a 805lbs explosive charge. Fired from a submarine, it was powered by an engine and had a range of 5,000 yards.

Mr Heap said he understood the one on display at Portland had previously been stored at Winfrith before being donated to the submarine museum.

He said: “These torpedoes were manufactured by Whiteheads from 1920 onwards but in the 1940s additional manufacturing plants were opened.

“It’s possible this one was made and tested locally and because of the area’s links to the industry it seemed appropriate that it should go on display. We are indebted to our president, Rupert Best, for helping to facilitate this, and to Dean & Reddyhoff.

The 2010 national conference for the Submariners Association will be hosted by the Dorset branch and will take place in Weymouth from March 26-28.

Contact 01305 832516.