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Last chance to look around Ark Royal

Pompey News: Last chance to look around HMS Ark Royal

Portsmouth News 13 Jan 2010 said:
HMS Ark Royal will be opened up to visitors for the last time during a weekend of celebrations for the axed aircraft carrier, the Royal Navy announced today.

Members of the public will be able to step on board for free on Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23, to say goodbye to the most famous ship in the world.

Up to 250 of the ship's company will also march through Portsmouth City Centre on the Saturday with a ceremonial service held in Guildhall Square to celebrate the close affiliation between the warship and her home port.

Fifty of the sailors will then go to Fratton Park and be paraded on the pitch ahead of Pompey's match against Leeds - the city the Ark is affiliated to... (more)
RN website 19 Jan 2011 said:
Two special events celebrating the 25-year career of Royal Navy flagship HMS Ark Royal take place in Portsmouth on the weekend of January 22 and 23.

About 250 sailors from the Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier – which is being decommissioned in March – will parade through the city on January 22 to celebrate the close affiliation between the warship and its home port. And the public have a last chance to see the ship in close-up when she opens to visitors free of charge at the Naval Base on both days.

A Royal Marines band will lead the parade which starts at Paradise Street (near the city centre Tesco) at 11.15am. The troops will march to Guildhall Square via Commercial Road, past Portsmouth and Southsea train station and under the civic buildings.

A special service will then take place including speeches from Ark Royal’s Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Paula Riches and Leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson. Ark Royal’s padre, the Rev Martin Evans, will close the service with prayers. The event will conclude with Captain Kyd presenting the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Paula Riches, with a ship’s white ensign. The service is expected to finish around midday when the city council will host a reception for the ship’s company and their families in the Guildhall.

HMS Ark Royal will be open to the public at Victory Jetty, Portsmouth Naval Base between midday and 4pm on Saturday January 22 and 10am and 3pm the following day. Areas open on board will include the hangar, flight deck and operations room. Entry to the jetty will be through Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s main entrance at Victory Gate. Admission to the ship is free and access will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The ship cannot accommodate wheelchairs or pushchairs.

“The strong association that Ark Royal has maintained throughout the last 25 years with the city of Portsmouth is immensely important,” said Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd.
“It is a real pleasure to be able to mark these links with a parade through the city, reception in the Guildhall and take the opportunity to open my ship to the public for the final time over the weekend.

“Ark Royal has played a very important role throughout her history and we have always been lucky enough to draw great affection and support from the British public wherever we go. For me, personally, I have been exceptionally proud to serve as her Captain – my very first job after finishing my initial officer training 25 years ago at Dartmouth was in the then brand new HMS Ark Royal. It is therefore a great honour for me to be her last Captain.”

He added: “I am very fortunate to have an exceptional crew, whose professional skills will be re-allocated and valued in the wider Royal Naval service, long after the ship herself has been decommissioned – so her success in delivering carrier strike and valuable corporate memory will continue to serve the Royal Navy well.

“I am only too aware that this famous ship and her iconic name mean a great deal to many people, but although Ark Royal will be decommissioned, the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are vastly more capable and will provide the Royal Navy with an exciting future.”

Cllr Vernon-Jackson, said:
“It’s very important the city celebrates the close links the Navy, and Ark Royal in particular, has with Portsmouth, and that residents have a chance to say goodbye to this special ship in this way.

“I am very pleased to be hosting this event with the Royal Navy. It’ll be a very moving day for the whole city.”

During her busy life the ship has seen service around the globe and has shown her adaptability from the original role as an anti-submarine helicopter carrier designed for the Cold War through to the commando helicopter carrier. She clocked up 621,551 nautical miles during her career and made her final entry to Portsmouth on December 3.

The Historic Dockyard is celebrating Ark Royal’s 25 years of service by offering a 25% discount off its site ticket on adult, senior and child tickets (not valid on family tickets) during the open weekend. The ticket gives one entry to HMS Victory, a harbour tour and the Mary Rose Museum plus unlimited entry to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and HMS Warrior 1860 for a year (subject to special events).


War Hero
Serious question. Why all the fuss and melodrama over a ship?, there will be others named the same, and what bit of history did this one touch that makes her iconic.
Give her to the submariners to practice on, they seem to be quite neutral about sticking tiger fish into pieces of pussers ex fleet with very little sentiment.
The only difference between a carrier and any other wagon is size, and unless your FAA that can work against you.
On the other hand I do find the razor blades they make from them very useful.
Rummers - To paraphrase the famous Rolls Royce idiom, "If you need to ask, then you'll never understand."

(But I think you know really ;P)


War Hero
Rummers - To paraphrase the famous Rolls Royce idiom, "If you need to ask, then you'll never understand."

(But I think you know really ;P)

I tell you in absolute honesty before I had a heart attack I was quite sentimental. However I now sincerely believe that it is a waste of time as hoarding treasures only invokes a need for others to scrap your treasure......but their junk. They then feel obligated to treasure things that mean nothing to them out of respect for you and not the "icon".
Most people in Britain given a choice to have cheaper ( enter commodity of choice) or scrap the Victory would probably choose the commodity. It may be an icon to the Navy and their families and a good number of "others" but I would not gamble on the outcome of a vote. And no I don't propose we actually scrap it, it was mealy an example. To be truthful most of the country will not know what the Victory is within the next few years.
I have had two of my favorite ships sunk, and another went to the breakers, and I may well have shed a tear, but I would cry harder if asked to stum up to preserve them all.
I do not believe that this Ark Royal has any true claim to "icon" except maybe she is the last carrier. Very soon there will be a great many end of line ships given the trends in government spending and ideology.
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