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Hail and Orwell
Aunts and
MEANWHILE in Hamburg...
The crew of HMS Penzance
NUDGING slowly up river escorted by At a leisurely pace, it took two days Quorn invited Sea Cadets from They then headed to the civic offices
have also enjoyed being feted,
Harwich lifeboat in the shadow of the for the minehunter to reach East Anglia Walton-on-the-Naze, Bury St Edmunds for a reception and formal recognition of
although they were not on their
Orwell Bridge, this is HMS Quorn paying from her home port. and Ipswich aboard for guided tours, the new affiliation.
own in the great Hanseatic port
her inaugural visit to her new affi liate But although the ship was taking before the gangway was opened to the “It has been absolutely fantastic –
of Hamburg.
town. it easy, her sailors were not; many of wider public. the crew had a cracking time meeting
No, the Sandown-class
The people of Ipswich have been the ship’s company could be found There was also a chance to take on hundreds of visitors on board,” enthused
vessel was joined by more
without a ship to call their own since sweating and straining as they strove to a Suffolk Police XI on the football pitch. Quorn’s CO Lt Cdr Tim Neild.
than two dozen other warships
frigate HMS Grafton paid off (she too, raise money for the RNLI courtesy of a The bobbies had a roster of circa 1,300 “We left Ipswich with a heavy heart
from 13 nations at Hamburg’s
though considerably larger, could still sponsored row-a-thon which began the men and women from which to draw but hope to take the town along with
820th birthday party (which
pass beneath the Orwell Bridge). moment Quorn left Pompey and ended their team. Quorn’s ship’s company? A us by keeping in regular contact along
makes it five years older than
Enter the Hunt-class warship to plug only as the ship arrived in Suffolk. mere 44. the way.”
the void. Once alongside in Ipswich (and Foregone conclusion, then... The ship is now ‘enjoying’ a spell of
The party began with a parade
She is already affiliated with the village hopefully following a shower after all that Yep, the matelots triumphed 3-1. Operational Sea Training north of the
of sail in blazing sunshine on the
with which she shares a name – and the rowing), the ship invited local dignitaries The sailors also joined a mayoral border before headed off on exercises
hunt for which she is named. aboard for an official reception to cement procession through the heart of Ipswich next month.
“The river was full of
But the Portsmouth-based warship the fledgling bond with the town. before taking part in a church service.
speedboats and yachts and, in
Picture: RNLI
can visit neither, so the chance to sail That bonding continued over the
true nautical fashion, Penzance
into the heart of Ipswich, to Orwell Quay, weekend of her stay.
was swamped by small craft –
for a four-day visit was something to
almost as much as the star of the
show, FGS Hamburg,” said CO
Lt Cdr Simon Wallace.
The ship eventually berthed
among a myriad of other vessels
attending the festivities – there
were 70 in all: warships, tall ships,
vintage boats, yachts.
Somehow, more than 1,000
visitors found their way through
this nautical maze to reach
Penzance, tour the Faslane-based
ship and watch demonstrations of
her hi-tech mine disposal system
“The end of the weekend came
all too soon – the crew hugely
enjoyed the visit,” said Lt Cdr
“After a number of UK port
visits in support of the Royal
Navy in the Public Eye initiative,
the visit to Hamburg provided
an excellent opportunity to
meet many of our NATO
The festival ended with a
display by the Patrouille Suisse
– the Swiss answer to the Red
Arrows – a rare appearance by
a Tante Ju (Aunt Ju, or WW2
vintage Junkers 52 transporter),
and several live bands, one of
whom performed God Save the
Queen as Penzance sailed up the
Elbe towards the North Sea in
the departing procession.
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