Ship set for Royal visitor

HARTLEPOOL will welcome a Royal visitor on Monday at the town’s leading tourist attraction.

The Duke of Kent will visit Hartlepool on Monday when he will be given a guided tour of HMS Trincomalee, the world’s oldest British warship afloat and the last of the commissioned frigates of the Nelson era.

After being welcomed by civic leaders, other dignitaries and HMS Trincomalee Trust representatives, the Duke will be taken on a 75-minute tour of the historic vessel by Colonel Euan Houstoun, the trust’s vice president.

The Royal visitor is keen to see how to see the fully-restored vessel is being used successfully for educational purposes and during the tour he will meet up with several schoolchildren who are benefitting from the close links being forged.

The Duke will also meet bosses from three of the many educational establishments working closely with HMS Trincomalee. These include Hartlepool’s Manor College of Technology, Hackforth and Hornby C of E Primary School in North Yorkshire and Teesside University.

David McKnight, general manager of the HMS Trincomalee Trust, said: “Encouraging children to learn by using the ship as a unique outdoor classroom is a key priority for the trust.

“To achieve our aims, we need inspiring teachers to work with us; we are lucky to have such people on our Education Team and the trust is pleased to recognise their contribution and that of their schools by the awards.”

Professor Cliff Hardcastle, deputy vice chancellor of Teesside University and chairman of the trust’s education team, added: “The University is delighted to be working with our education partners in utilising the unique opportunities provided by HMS Trincomalee to create an exciting and dynamic learning experience for young and old.”

A selection of songs of the sea by Manor College of Technology’s Choir will be piped around the ship during the visit.

The Duke’s tour will conclude by visiting the Worlds of Trincomalee Gallery before unveiling a plaque to mark his visit.

Captain David Smith, president of HMS Trincomalee Trust, will then present a framed picture of HMS Trincomalee in original teak removed from the ship during restoration.