UK: Bangor Hosts Celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

 Bangor Hosts Celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has been marked in a spectacular fashion across the country, not least of which were the celebrations in the town of Bangor, Northern Ireland.

With operational commitments (support to Op Ellamy of Libya) preventing a visit last year, the town’s namesake Ship was proud to add to the festival atmosphere as she arrived on Saturday 2 June with 24 key local dignitaries embarked, including Dame Mary Peters (the gold medal Olympian and Lord Lieutenant of Belfast).

Whilst London hosted its own magnificent pageant, several yacht clubs of Northern Ireland joined forces to mark the weekend with their own “Parade of Sail,” organised by the Royal Ulster Yacht Club whose patron is HM the Queen.

With her representative Lord Lieutenant onboard, HMS Bangor was proud to return the salute of each of the 114 boats, dipping their ensigns as they passed the Ship in 2 columns.

Surprising onlookers with her maneuverability, Bangor then sailed past the yacht club and conducted an impressive pirouette before going alongside the town’s main pier.

Over 200 people were lining the quay to welcome her alongside and see Dame Mary.

Encouraged by some fine weather (which beat that in London) and a huge programme of events around the town, well over 3500 people took the opportunity of looking around the Ship during her weekend alongside.

Flooding the Ship, which normally only has 40 sailors onboard, visitors saw displays ranging from high-tech mine location and disposal equipment to close range machine guns and firefighting apparatus.

Everyone left with a better understanding of what makes the Royal Navy a world-leading minewarfare navy, able to operate in any environment.

The final act of Bangor’s visit was to provide a platoon that participated in a march past of 3 military bands leading regular and reserve personnel from each Service, as well as proud veterans and cadets, to the cheers of people lining the route.

HMS Bangor’s Commanding Officer was standing next to the dais as the Lord Lieutenant of North Down took the salute.

Speaking after the event, he said “I was truly humbled by the support that the town and her people have given HMS Bangor, showing a massive amount of interest in their Ship.

“To see my Ship’s Company lead such a well-attended parade filled me with great pride and will be a lasting memory for us all.

“It has been a great opportunity to renew our acquaintances with Bangor and thank them for the support they gave whilst the Ship was deployed operationally last year.”

As the Ship sailed for follow-on tasking on the first of the 2 Bank Holidays, the jetty was once again filled with well wishers, with mutually warm feelings onboard for the town.

Naval Today Staff, September 21, 2012; Image: RN