Indian High Commissioner visits Hartlepool as two special anniversaries loom large

left to right, High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai; John Megson, Chairman of the HMS Trincomalee Trust; Cath Purdy, Trustee, HMS Trincomalee; David McKnight, General Manager HMS Trincomalee; Commodore Sandeep Beecha, Naval Advisor

left to right, High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai; John Megson, Chairman of the HMS Trincomalee Trust; Cath Purdy, Trustee, HMS Trincomalee; David McKnight, General Manager HMS Trincomalee; Commodore Sandeep Beecha, Naval Advisor

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A special guest has paid a visit to a Hartlepool tourist attraction.

The visit to HMS Trincomalee by the Indian High Commissioner comes at a time when the ship is approaching its 200th birthday.

Were both honoured and delighted to welcome the Indian High Commissioner to HMS Trincomalee. The visit is significant because it comes just two years before we celebrate the ship’s two hundredth birthday

David McKnight, HMS Trincomalee Trust general manager

His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai visited the warship which celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.

HMS Trincomalee, a 46-gun frigate berthed afloat at Hartlepool’s Historic Quay, has been a major tourist attraction for the past 28 years.

The vessel was built in Bombay, India in 1817, and brought to Hartlepool in 1987 where a ten-year restoration programme was carried out.

David McKnight, general manager of HMS Trincomalee, described the importance of the High Commissioner’s visit.

Mr McKnight said: “We were both honoured and delighted to welcome the Indian High Commissioner to HMS Trincomalee.

“The visit is significant because it comes just two years before we celebrate the ship’s two hundredth birthday.

“Trincomalee was built in Bombay, India of Malabar Teak, so the visit is hugely symbolic.”

“It’s also significant as 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration of Indian Independence, giving opportunities to plan joint celebrations.”

The last few months have been a period of significant developments for HMS Trincomalee.

Since last year, Trincomalee has been part of the heritage fleet of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

It means she ranks alongside HMS Victory, HMS Alliance and HMS Caroline.

Trincomalee is also included within the core collection of the National Register of Historic Vessels of the United Kingdom.

The tourist attraction which pulls in thousands of visitors to Hartlepool every year, is owned and maintained by the HMS Trincomalee Trust which is a registered charity.