Ipswich: Ahoy! HMS Quorn sails into town

IPSWICH: HMS Quorn has returned to Ipswich to enjoy the freedom of the borough and strengthen its association with the town.

The 750-ton minesweeper docked at Orwell Quay yesterday and the crew of 45 is set to spend tomorrow and Sunday giving the public tours of the ship and performing military exhibitions.

And captain Lieutenant Commander Jason Humphries said officers were delighted to be back in the town.

“The lads love it here,” he said.

“Ipswich has great clubs and pubs and the people are always very welcoming.”

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Lt Cdr Humphries, who has served in Iraq, Sierra Leone and the Falklands since joining the Navy in 1990, said having the freedom of the borough was a “great honour and a rare privilege”.

The accolade allows the crew of HMS Quorn to parade with their bayonets and rifles.

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Officers have been preparing for the show – due to take place on Sunday in the town centre – for the past five days at their base in Portsmouth.

During their stay, the captain and crew will also watch Ipswich Town play Sheffield United at Portman Road tomorrow.

And they are set to take on Suffolk Police in a football match following a similar fixture last July which resulted in a draw.

In addition to enjoying the town’s football, Lt Cdr Humphries revealed the crew will welcome a female officer aboard HMS Quorn for the first time in her 23 years at sea.

“Cassie Stavely will be joining us in Ipswich to take up her position as gunnery officer,” he said.

The 60-foot ship has been affiliated with the town since 2009.

Ipswich was previously partnered with HMS Grafton but she was decommissioned in March 2006 and sold to the Chilean Navy. HMS Quorn visits the town approximately twice each year.

n Is it important for Ipswich to maintain links with our armed forces? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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