Warship set to sail into town

A ROYAL Navy warship will arrive in Ipswich tomorrow to formally celebrate her civic affiliation with the town.

A ROYAL Navy warship will arrive in Ipswich tomorrow to formally celebrate her civic affiliation with the town.

HMS Quorn, a 750-ton minehunter, is to dock at Orwell Quay tomorrow for a four-day programme of events with the community.

The ship's captain, lieutenant commander Tim Neild, said he was thrilled to be establishing ties with the port.

He said: “I hope as many people as possible will come to see their ship for themselves. It is an amazing experience to meet members of the local community and give them an insight into what the Royal Navy does.”

The affiliation is the first link-up with the town since HMS Grafton, a Type 23 Frigate, was decommissioned in 2006.

HMS Quorn visited Ipswich in October with a different company before the link-up was established.

Most Read

That crew is now aboard HMS Atherstone on minehunting and operations in the Gulf, where The Evening Star was granted exclusive access to the ship last month.

The new company of HMS Quorn returned from the Gulf from HMS Atherstone at Christmas.

They have undertaken a period of weapon training and maintenance in preparation for operations with NATO in America later this year.

The crew will begin proceedings in Ipswich with a formal reception tonight before inviting the public onboard between 1.30pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The ship's football team will also play a Suffolk Police XI at Whitton Sports Centre at 1pm on Saturday.

On Sunday at 11am, there will be a Mayoral Procession from the town hall to the civic church of St Mary-le-Tower for a maritime service and then the ship's company will march to the town hall for a formal acceptance of the affiliation by the borough.

The ship's crew has also been taking part in a sponsored row-a-thon from the moment they left the naval base in Portsmouth until she berths in Ipswich - a period of 48 hours - to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

If you would like to donate to the fund, visit www.justgiving.com/hmsquorn.

Are you proud of the affiliation? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk