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Public invited to board Navy’s HMS Lancaster warship
The Royal Navy’s Type 23 warship, HMS Lancaster, is to pay a visit to Portland.
The 5000-tonne, 133 metre Duke class frigate will go alongside the deep water berth for a short visit from February 15 to 17, during which time her commanding officer, Commander Steve Moorhouse, will call on the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Coun Margaret Leicester.
All the ships in her class are named after Dukes, in her case, the Duke of Lancaster – who is, of course, better known as Her Majesty the Queen. She is the ship’s sponsor and takes a keen interest in her deeds.
The ship will return hospitality later on Friday night when it hosts a reception and capability demonstration for invited guests.
Commander Moorhouse said: “We are delighted to be making this short visit to Portland where we are always assured of a warm welcome. I hope as many local people as possible take the opportunity of touring the ship when we are open.”
On Saturday, the ship offers tours to local Sea Cadet, Combined Cadet and Sea Scouts – very much potential recruits in due course to the Royal Navy – including Bridport Sea Cadets and Budmouth College students.
On Sunday, between 10am and 1pm, the ship will throw open her gangway to the general public, allowing visitors a unique chance to glimpse life on board a warship.
There will be a ticketing system and shuttle bus in operation. Please note tickets will be available at Asda Weymouth’s customer services desk from Saturday.
Tickets are limited to 300 in number and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Each ticket admits two persons and the shuttle bus will run from Portland Harbour’s main gate from 9am to 1.30pm.
HMS Lancaster is a Duke class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy.
HMS Lancaster was built by the Yarrow yard (today BAE Systems) on the Clyde as the fourth of 16 Type 23 frigates and joined the fleet in Portsmouth in 1992.
Typically when on deployment, she is either in the Caribbean drug-busting or east of the Suez.
Her most famous former crew member was Sunny the parrot, the ship’s mascot for several years. She was well-known for her ‘colourful’ language as well as whistling the Great Escape tune. Sunny’s now enjoying a well-deserved retirement.