On Thursday the 13th April we were privileged to be invited to HMS MONTROSE’s affiliates day in Portsmouth. Braving the horrendous weather, a team consisting of PM David Raines, Liverymen Simon Collins, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Orr-Ewing, Adam Wallis, Karen Bennett, Michael Infante and David Walker, ably led by IPM Chris Porter, embarked onboard our affiliated Royal Navy warship for what was to be a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Along with other affiliates including the Black Watch, the Mayor of Fowey and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, whose late wife was the Ship’s sponsor when it was launched in 1992, we were welcomed onboard by the Commanding Officer, Commander Claire Thompson OBE Royal Navy, before beginning our tour.
A series of informative and exciting briefs ensued including the opportunity to operate some of her smaller weapons, visit the sickbay, handling some of their firefighting equipment, witnessing the recovery of a “man overboard” and finally a well-earned cuppa with the CO in her sea cabin. Lunch was served in the hangar and was expertly prepared by Royal Marine chefs who certainly did The Corps proud. This also gave us the opportunity to mingle with the Ship’s Company and other affiliates, all of whom had fascinating stories from their four years deployed in the Middle East.
Managing to beat the hailstorms, the afternoon saw a firefighting and damage control demonstration on the flight deck where plenty of water was used, most of it ending up back on the clothes of those doing the demonstration, followed by a warfighting scenario in the Operations Room where, quite rightly, MONTROSE won the battle!
A wonderful day was rounded off with IPM Chris Porter presenting the final Sailor of the Year award to Leading Engineering Technician Ball who received a bottle of the Master’s cask, a quaich and some engraved glasses.
HMS MONTROSE decommissions on Monday 17th April which will see her formally retire from Royal Navy service. A number of our Livery have the honour to attend the decommissioning ceremony, so more to follow next week!
Mare ditat rosa decorat