Ipswich to get another warship

ANOTHER Royal navy warship is to be officially associated with Ipswich, three years after the town bid a fond farewell to HMS Grafton.

ANOTHER Royal navy warship is to be officially associated with Ipswich, three years after the town bid a fond farewell to HMS Grafton.

Grafton, a 5,000 tonne frigate whose crew were awarded the freedom of Ipswich, was affiliated with the town until she was decommissioned in March 2006 in naval cutbacks and sold to the Chilean navy.

But now 60ft minesweeper HMS Quorn will take her place after Ipswich Borough Council agreed on a link-up with the Hunt class vessel, which visited the town last October.

Council leader Elizabeth Harsant said: “We are very much looking forward to HMS Quorn coming to Ipswich. It will almost become an adoption by the town.


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“We were very sad when HMS Grafton was decommissioned in 2006 so we are very much looking forward to HMS Quorn coming to Ipswich.

“It always caused a big stir when the Grafton came down the Orwell and I think it is quite exciting for Ipswich. All the council is looking forward to it and this is just what we wanted.”

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HMS Quorn, which at 750 tonnes is much smaller than her formidable predecessor, will likely visit Ipswich about twice a year.

Fittingly Ipswich was the last port of call for the warship, which is also affiliated with Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and the Quorn Hunt, last year before she began a seven-month operation in the Gulf.

The affiliation is a welcome reminder of Ipswich's naval links following the decommissioning of HMS Grafton, after just a decade of service, in 2006.

The enormous Grafton, now named Almirante Lynch in the Chilean fleet, served in the Persian Gulf before being decommissioned along with two other type 23 frigates.

HMS Quorn has a less towering presence, but her small size means she can moor much closer to town in the wet dock, making her more accessible for the general public who will be allowed on board.

The Quorn is the 13th and final ship in the Hunt class of counter-mine vessels in the Navy, and the third ship in naval history to bear the name.

The Hunt class both detect and destroy ground and surface mines, while their three guns mean they can also be used as patrol craft.

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