UK: HMS Cattistock Helps Open Bridge in Poole by Royal Assent

HMS Cattistock Helps Open Bridge in Poole by Royal Assent

HMS Cattistock has spent five days in Poole helping locals celebrate the official opening of a £37m bridge across the harbour. Guest of honour was the Princess Royal, but the visit also allowed the Portsmouth minehunter to host locals, schoolchildren, cadets and affiliates from the ship’s namesake Dorset village.

As it was road resurfacing work meant the royal guest was the sole user of the Twin Sails bridge – but that did not prevent ceremonies marking its completion taking place.

Princess Anne boarded the Hunt-class minehunter at Town Quay yesterday, joining local dignitaries for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the event.

The Portsmouth-based minehunter’s weekend in Dorset opened with a two-hour-long event on Friday accompanied by music from, inter alia, the Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood. Tickets for the event sold out – and a large crowd lined the quay to witness proceedings.

Cattistock’s Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Andy Ingham and his ship’s company hosted a formal lunch for invited guests on Saturday – the ship’s affiliated namesake village is just outside Dorchester – before inviting local students and cadets on board over the weekend.

The highlight of the minehunter’s visit was opening the gangway to the general public on Saturday and Sunday, allowing locals to learn about the work of the ship, her 40-plus sailors and career opportunities in the RN. Hundreds of members of the public took advantage of the open invitation.

On the penultimate day of the visit to Poole saw the Princess Royal and her host, Naval Regional Commander for West England

Cdre Jamie Miller, embark on Cattistock for the private ceremony, while the public turned out in force in glorious late winter sunshine to watch from the quayside.

Commodore Jamie Miller, said:

It was an honour to accompany The Princess Royal on board HMS Cattistock on this auspicious occasion.”

It’s the second time in ten months the ship has visited Poole.

Naval Today Staff , March 14, 2012; Image: royalnavy