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HMS Dragon thrills visitors in Liverpool

31 October 2016
HMS Dragon set a roaring pace to start the Arctic Convoy commemorations in Liverpool when she welcomed more than 1800 visitors in a single morning.

The Type 45 destroyer arrived in the city on Friday and tied up alongside at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal, where her distinctive silhouette and the splendid red dragons on both sides of her bow attracted scores of sightseers.

On Saturday she opened to the general public and attracted 1800 visitors in just a few hours. The following day, she held guided tours for selected groups of visitors including Sea Cadets, Royal Naval Association members and students from the URNU – University Royal Navy Unit.

The girls became really interested in the Royal Navy and what it does after Cdre Doyle came to visit us, so when he invited us to look round a ship in Liverpool, they were very keen to come and see for themselves

Jamila Kossar

Among her early visitors on Sunday was a group of 12 schoolgirls from the Manchester Islamic High School for Girls, whose headmistress arranged the visit after a personal invitation from Cdre Gary Doyle, Naval Regional Commander Northern England and Isle of Man.

Cdre Doyle visited the school as part of his outreach programme.

The girls, aged 11-16, were welcomed by HMS Dragon’s  Commanding Officer, Capt Craig Wood, and had a guided tour of the ship. They were shown the Ops Room, the galley, the hangar and the bridge, as well as looking at firefighting equipment and weapon systems.

Teacher Jamila Kossar, Service Leadership Team from the Manchester Islamic High School for Girls, said: “The girls became really interested in the Royal Navy and what it does after Cdre Doyle came to visit us, so when he invited us to look round a ship in Liverpool, they were very keen to come and see for themselves – in fact we had to limit numbers so we brought just two from each year.

She added: “They have really enjoyed it, and you can tell by the questions they asked that they were fascinated by life at sea and how the Royal Navy works.”

HMS Dragon is in Liverpool supporting the Arctic Convoy 75 commemorations, which are taking place over three days.

The formal event is on Monday 31 October, when veterans from the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy have been invited to a reception at Liverpool Town Hall and will watch the Lord Lieutenant taking the salute as the Band of the Royal Marines Beat Retreat, in the presence of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, and the Minister of State for the Lords, the Rt Hon Earl Howe.

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