British Naval officer Humphrey Fairweather (David Tomlinson) has an uncontrollable passion for building guided missiles that are constantly going off at the wrong time and causing considerable damage to the naval bases he keeps getting bounced between.
Unfortunately, the Navy can’t get rid of him because of his family connections (he is related to the First Sea Lord) and so in desperation, the Admiralty gives him command of the ancient destroyer HMS Berkeley – the oldest member of the “Mothball Fleet” which has been without a commanding officer in the wilds of Suffolk for nearly two years.
It turns out the skeleton crew of the rusty old destroyer – led by wily CPO Doherty (Peter Sellers) – is running a highly profitable but illegal money-making scheme with the local villagers. “Berkeley Enterprises Ltd” runs a one-day laundry service and sells eggs (hatched by chickens kept on the bridge), pork, rum, cigarettes, sheets, bakery goodies and government-supplied paint at cut-price rates.
A sequel – Further Up The Creek – quickly followed.
Lt. Humphrey Fairweather
Regulating Petty Officer