IN centuries gone by, she defended the realm.
These days, the iconic tourist attraction HMS Trincomalee is so much more than an impressive ship with a vast array of armoury.
She is the centrepiece for black tie dinners, live music nights and even on-board beach parties.
It has been a bustling year full of activity for Trincomalee which arrived in Hartlepool for a £10.5m restoration programme 25 years ago this year.
HMS Trincomalee Trust general manager David McKnight took time out from a busy schedule to describe how more of the same could be expected in the weeks and months ahead.
He told the Mail: “This year we’ve hosted fashion shows, a beach party, live music, seminars, promotions, private functions and military dinners on board.
“Increasingly, events are largely sold out through word of mouth as the popularity of the venue spreads.
“Live music on our mess deck is a popular element of the new philosophy at HMS Trincomalee.
“The Mess Deck is a small, intimate venue with a great atmosphere, which proves very popular with all who play the Trinc and our great audiences who support us.”
Acts such as 2 Bob, Vin Garbutt, Mambo Jambo and Shona Duthie have all performed on board the ship recently but The Trinc is much more than a music venue.
Mr McKnight added: “Our magnificent Captain’s Cabin and Gun Deck provided the catwalk for our first fashion show for up to 95 VIP guests who also enjoyed pre and post show hospitality.”
More formal occasions have also proved to be a hit. Commodore Jim Scorer was the Guest of Honour and speaker at the HMS Trincomalee Trafalgar Night black tie dinner, held to mark the victory of the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar and “remember the sad loss of Nelson in that battle”, said Mr McKnight.
He added: “Much more informal was our first ever Pickle Night dinner.
“It celebrated the arrival of HMS Pickle in London, bringing the momentous news of the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and the loss of Nelson to the Admiralty.
“It might have been our first Pickle Night, but it certainly won’t be the last as we have bookings for next year already on word-of-mouth recommendations.”
Another hugely well attended event was the Trincomalee Christmas fair held last weekend.
Mr McKnight said the occasion was a mix of “exciting, unique gifts” a party atmosphere, and hundreds of people turning out to look for bargains.
But the fun does not end there. There is plenty more still to come.
l More live music will be played on Friday, November 30, with jazz sounds provided by Ruth Lambert. This adults-only event which includes real ale, a wine bar and light supper, costs £5.
l Christmas lunches will be held on board the ship throughout December in the Captain’s Cabin.
l The HMS Trincomalee annual Christmas lecture is provisionally booked for Thursday, December 6, with matinee and evening performances planned.
l Santa Claus arrives at the Historic Quay at 3pm on December 1 and will be there throughout December.
l More live music is planned on the ship on Wednesday, December 19. Tickets costing £5 are available for adults only.
To book Christmas lunches in the Captain’s Cabin, contact (01429) 891556.
For more details on Santa’s arrival, contact (01429) 860077, and for information about all other events contact (01429) 223193.