Hartlepool set to mark Merchant Navy Day

Councillor Rob Cook, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool.
Councillor Rob Cook, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Borough Council is about to show its support to seafarers by flying the Red Ensign from the Civic Centre to mark Merchant Navy Day

Councillor Rob Cook, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, will raise the Red Ensign during a special ceremony on Saturday September 3.

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

The day was chosen because on that day in 1939, the first day of World War 2, SS Athenia was the first merchant navy ship to be torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 128 passengers and crew.

The Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Rob Cook, said: “I am very much looking forward to raising the Red Ensign to mark Merchant Navy Day.

“The day gives us the opportunity to honour the brave men and women who have served in the Merchant Navy and pay tribute to their dedicated service.”

The charity’s president, HRH The Earl of Wessex, has endorsed the campaign, saying: ‘On this Merchant Navy Day, I very much hope you will support this campaign to remember the sacrifices, salute the courage and support the future of the often unsung personnel of our Merchant Navy."

As an ‘island nation’ the UK relies on Merchant Navy seafarers for 95% of our imports, including half the food we eat.

The UK has the largest ports industry in Europe with 75% of our exports shipped from UK ports. Some of these ports are supporting the campaign by encouraging visiting ships to sound their horns at 10am on September 3.

For further information, visit: www.merchantnavyfund.org/merchant-navy-day