Council flies the flag for Merchant Navy Day

Coun Kevin Cranney, the Deputy Mayor of Hartlepool,  left, hoists the Red Ensign council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher.
Coun Kevin Cranney, the Deputy Mayor of Hartlepool, left, hoists the Red Ensign council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Hartlepool Borough Council showed its support for seafarers by flying the Red Ensign from the Civic Centre yesterday to mark Merchant Navy Day.

Coun Kevin Cranney, the Deputy Mayor, raised the Red Ensign during a special ceremony attended by council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, and chief executive Gill Alexander.

Since the beginning of this century, September 3 has been the UK’s officially-designated Merchant Navy Day.

The day was chosen because on that day in 1939, the first day of the Second World War, SS Athenia was the first merchant navy ship to be torpedoed and sunk, with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

Coun Kevin Cranney said: “We are indebted to the fabulous work of the Merchant Navy, not just during times of conflict, but also for the work they do to transport goods to this country, including half the food we eat.”

The charity’s president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign. Visit: www.merchantnavyfund.org to find out more.