Gallery: Warship sails into Ipswich

MEMBERS of the public were today invited to visit their very own warship which has taken pride of place in Ipswich.

MEMBERS of the public were today invited to visit their very own warship which has taken pride of place in Ipswich.

HMS Quorn sailed into the wet dock under glorious sunshine yesterday to reinforce the town's strong naval heritage.

The 750-ton Royal Navy minehunter will be berthed at Orwell Quay over the weekend to formally celebrate its affiliation with the Suffolk port.

The public also has the opportunity to tour the upper deck of the 60m vessel today and Sunday between 1.30pm and 4pm.


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The ship's captain, lieutenant commander Tim Neild, said: “It is terrific to be here. It is a cracking day for the visit. What we would like now is for people to come down and enjoy their ship.

“We are open to visitors so we hope people will take advantage of that.”

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The affiliation is the first link-up since HMS Grafton was decommissioned in 2006.

The ship was welcomed into Orwell Quay by the sea cadets, the Royal British Legion and the Royal Naval Association.

Upon arrival, Lt cdr Tim Neild greeted Ipswich Mayor David Hale and invited him onboard before the ship hosted a formal reception last night.

The crew is due to process through the town tomorrow before attending a civic service at St Mary-le-Tower church. They will then go to the town hall where the affiliation will be formally accepted by the borough.

Robin Vickery, an Ipswich Borough Councillor and chairman of the town's branch of the Royal British Legion, said he was delighted to see the ship in the port.

He added: “We have got a great maritime history so any link which will strengthen that must be good for the town.”

Dickie Bird, secretary of the Royal Naval Association in Ipswich and a former Royal Navy sailor, said: “It is really nice to keep an association with a warship. It is good for the cadets and young people to see what does go on in the Royal Navy.”

The ship's company has raised around �1,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by taking part in a non-stop row-a-thon during its journey from Portsmouth to Ipswich.

The crew rotated during the two-day trip, rowing more than 300km.

HMS Quorn - vital statistics:

- One of eight Hunt class minehunters, which are named after fox hunts.

- They are the largest warships ever to be constructed out of fibreglass and are the most expensive ships in the fleet - costing �1million per metre.

- Weight - 750 tons.

- Length - 60m.

- Speed - 15 knots.

- Weapons - one 30mm gun, two mini-guns, two general purpose machine guns.

- Mine countermeasures - Seafox remote-controlled mine disposal system, 2193 sonar, onboard diving team.

- The crew numbers 45.

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