27.03.17 Peter Dias

A royal naval evening aboard HMS BELFAST


An evening of good company, drinks, finger food and films was held on Wednesday 15th February on the light cruiser HMS BELFAST for 25 Coachmakers and guests. The ship, which provided an atmospheric evening including a tour of the ship’s museum, was built in 1936 and was the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital city of Northern Ireland. She is a veteran of Arctic convoys, and took part in the hunt for German battleships the Scharnhorst and Tirpitz and in the Battle of Normandy during World War II. She also saw action during the Korean War.

In 1967, efforts were initiated to avert HMS BELFAST’s expected scrapping and preserve her as a museum ship, and it took until 1971 to bring this to fruition. The ship provided an insight into life on board in the Royal Navy and 25 Coachmakers and guests were spellbound by our excellent host, the Clerk, Cdr Mark Leaning RN, providing great commentary on life onboard the ship in port and at sea, especially at a time of war. The Assistant Clerk, Lt Cdr Rachel Frith, gave a superb commentary on the role of women in the modern navy.