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'Sword of Peace' to a Royal Navy unit - has had the gold and rock crystal hilt set with dia- monds, rubies and lapis lazuli. The blade is engraved with the four national flowers of the British Isles - roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks. Its design was the result of a competition

WILKINSON Sword has unveiled a spectacular £50,000 sword to be presented to the Queen later this year to mark her Golden Jubilee. The company - which each year presents a

Warship repair deal set to save £300m

among teaching staff of the Sir John Cass Centre for Silversmithing and Jewellery at the London Guildhall University, won by Robin Kyte. Wilkinson Sword have been the holders of the Royal Warrant as sword and gun manu- facturers since 1804 and this is the third sword they have created to mark the reign of the Queen. A collector's version will be available at £1,645.

NEW partnering deals at could see some 3,000 Government employment

up to £300 million over five years, affects Clyde Naval Base at Faslane, Devonport Naval Base

provision of support to Royal Navy ships will sec repair and mainte- nance work opened up to increased competition. The

Portsmouth Naval Base. The new partnering deal for the

in Plymouth, and

involved are Babcock Naval Services Ltd, Faslane, Devonport Management Ltd and Fleet Support Ltd at Portsmouth. The contracts are expected to he

partnering companies The move, which could save

the three UK Naval bases workers transferred from to the private sector.

work rationalised between the dockyards and Naval bases, and commercial expertise and best practice introduced.

Commodores at the three bases will remain in direct control and there will be no compromise on safety or security.

"The Royal Navy

the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Nigel Esscnhigh, who said: "I fully support these changes. They will ensure that our ships and sub- marines continue to be maintained to the highest standards, at lower cost."

signed in the next few weeks, with the transition to the new arrange- ments completed later in the year. They have hecn welcomed by

Ingram added: "Partnering will bring commercial expertise and improved maintenance techniques into the Naval bases and ensure the continued provision of first

Armed Forces Minister Adam Concert date

A GOLDEN Jubilee Conc- ert in The Old Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich, fol- lowed by supper in the Painted Hall, will be given in aid of the maritime char- ities by the Band of HM Royal Marines, Ports- mouth and the Band of the Sea Cadet Corps on July 11 at 7p.m. For tickets ai £65 con-

tact George Masked at KGFS on 020 79320000.

Fleet in recent years and the con- sequent reduction in support and refit work meant that changes were needed if we were to continue to deliver this work effectively, effi- ciently and at best value for the taxpayer.

"The reduction in the size of the

posals, we carefully considered proposed

improvements and proposals for further improvements put forward by the MOD trades unions. "I would like to record my appreciation of the positive and helpful contributions made by the trades unions during this exercise. All options offered significant ben- efits over the existing arrange- ments.

"Alongside the partnering pro- internal


posals delivered the best overall value for money. They also offer the best potential to deliver further savings and improvements in the long term."

"However, the partnering pro- lAN'S ROYAL INVITATION

Ingram the unions voiced their dis- may that a public sector alternative had been rejected and fears that job losses would result. They sought, unsuccessfully, to gain a delay in contract signing pending an independent scrutiny of the impact of the decision and on April 12 over 1,000 MOD staff at Coulport and Faslanc took part in a one-day strike. They said they would continue

to press for full Parlimentary scrutinv of the decision.

Q At a later meeting with Mr

HMS ARK Royal's hanger control officer WO (AH) Ian Woodhead received a surprise invitation to the Queen

was on board the previous Ark Royal. As a young naval airman he drove the aircraft lift bringing the Queen Mother on board. And at the present Ark's rededication his son Keir, also an

Mother's funeral. He had a long association with her, dating back to when he

aircraft handler, brought her from the flight deck to the hanger for the service. Said Ian: "When I received the telephone call from Buckingham Palace informing me that I had been invited to attend the funeral I was speechless. "It took a moment or two to actually comprehend what I'd just

heard and for it to sink in. "The service at Westminster Abbey was magnificent. It was a

very overwhelming occasion for me - I felt so proud and very honoured to be there and to be able to represent my ship. To be part of this historic occasion filled me with a great sense of pride. It was a beautiful day and a fine tribute to a very special lady."

Forces for their role in organising and participating in the cere- monial processions and other duties leading up to and during the lying-in-state and funeral has been sent by the Queen. "The professionalism and excellence of the Services on such occa- sions is a source of great pride to the whole country and to me personally," she said.

centre pages).

• WOAH Woodhead with his invitation from the Palace (see Picture(POA(PHOT) Dave Coombs

LJ A message of gratitude to all members of the Armed

class support to the Fleet. "Processes will be streamlined,


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