UK: HMS Grimsby to Arrive in Affiliated Home Town for First Visit in Five Years
Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Grimsby will arrive in her affiliated home town on Friday (Feb 17) for her first visit in five years… and it’s hoped the people of Lincolnshire will turn out in their droves to welcome her. Civic affiliations are an important part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to raising the awareness of the variety of roles, equipment and people that make up the Senior Service. This visit will allow the ship’s company of HMS Grimsby to cement the already-strong links they have with Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
- Ship open to visitors on Saturday from 11am until 3pm
- Freedom Parade through streets of Grimsby on Sunday
The ship will arrive alongside 5 Quay at the Royal Dock around lunchtime on Friday for the start of a varied and busy programme of events during her five-day stay. However, there are two highlights of the visit: the opportunity for local people to tour the ship, on Saturday, February 19 starting at 11am with last access at 3pm, and then a Freedom Parade involving members of the ship’s crew through the town on Sunday morning, between the Town Hall and Minster between 10am and 11am.
There will also be formal reception on board on Friday evening for civic dignitaries and local organisations, plus the ship will host schoolchildren on organised tours. A challenge football match between a ship’s XI and a Grimsby Constabulary XI kicks off on Saturday, too.
“After such an extended period since our last visit, I know my ship’s company are delighted to be returning. This area has a long tradition of supporting the Royal Navy and during the Second World War; I know Grimsby was used as a base for minesweepers patrolling the North Sea.
“We are always assured of a warm welcome from our affiliate area and we have a number of exciting events lined up while we are alongside.
“I do hope that as many people from Grimsby – indeed, across Lincolnshire – come along on Saturday to tour the ship, meet the crew and learn a little more about life in today’s Royal Navy, the career opportunities that exist and the varied roles that are on offer.”
It’s been a busy few years for the Sandown Class mine countermeasures vessel, since she last sailed to the Humber Estuary. She has spent almost three years in the Arabian Gulf, only returning to her Scottish base last summer.
The Royal Navy rotates the crews of mine hunters with the ships staying in the region for years at a time and the different crews flying out to deploy onboard for several months.
Sailing HMS Grimsby currently is MCM1 Squadron Crew 5, the 34 men and women tasked with operating the ship for nine months in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable.
Crew 5 left the UK in December 2010 and were soon involved in a demanding programme which included stop-offs at Umm Qasr in Iraq to share knowledge of diving and damage control, taking part in a major exercise in the Gulf of Oman and carrying-out live firings of close-range weapons, where Grimsby proved herself by destroying her target first time.
In June last year, the ship and crew began a seven-week, 7,000 nautical mile journey home.
The transit back to Scotland encompassed stops at eight different countries to collect fuel and provisions and took the ship to the Republic of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where they were ever vigilant to the activities of pirates in the region.
On the morning of July 18, unbeknown to many of the crew below, HMS Grimsby set a course north-west for home and entered the Red Sea. The ship next stopped-off at the Royal Jordanian Naval Base to host dignitaries and senior UK and Jordanian military officials. Many of the crew also took the opportunity to enjoy a trip to Petra.
In addition to her strong affiliation with her the town itself, HMS Grimsby enjoys close ties with Grimsby Royal British Legion, the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Royal Naval Association, Grimsby Hospital and Grimsby’s Sea Cadet unit.
Naval Today Staff , February 14, 2012; Image: royalnavy