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New Perry Buoy celebrates WRNS100

26 May 2017
A new Perry Buoy made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) has been handed over to HMS Raleigh.

Captain (Capt) Ellie Ablett, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy training base, and Mrs Jacqueline Clink, a former WRNS officer, took delivery of the Perry Buoy, which was made by Babcock staff employed at Devonport Naval Base.

Capt Ablett said:  “We are very honoured at HMS Raleigh to be the first to use the Perry Buoy at our WRNS100 celebration next month when around 50 former members of the Service will visit us for the day.

"The Perry Buoy will then be transported around the country for the various events marking the centenary, after which it will be hung in St Nicholas church in HMS Drake as a permanent celebration of the WRNS and the influence the Service had on the opportunities for women today.”

If I can give back something to the Navy by giving my time to help co-ordinate the WRNS100 events which get together former Wrens who can catch up with old buddies, reminisce and make themselves feel young again, I’m very happy and I feel really privileged to be part of it.

Mrs Jacqueline Clink

The Perry Buoy has taken 120 hours to make over a period of five weeks.  Painter Rob Oliver and Paul Loveridge, a joiner, have completed the majority of the work supported by their wider team.

The Perry Buoy has been filled, sanded, primed and spray painted two or three times. The crests and wording have all been painted by hand in a dedicated sign-writing shop by time served painters, a highly skilled trade still seen in the Devonport Dockyard today.

The wooden frame is manufactured from marine plywood and Sapele hardwood. It is wall mountable and finished with six coats of varnish to create the mirrored finish.

The Product Cell Manager, said: “My team of painters and joiners from Babcock Devonport, jumped at the opportunity to showcase their skills and provide support to the WRNS celebrating their 100 years of Royal Naval service.

"It has been a challenge to meet the timescales required to manufacture such a prestigious piece, but hard work and dedication ensured the delivery date was met. I wish the WRNS100 project every success in its endeavours and look forward to seeing the piece being promoted proudly around the UK.”

Mrs Clink joined the WRNS at HMS Raleigh in February 1983 as a communicator on the Cadet entry scheme, which guaranteed her an Admiralty Interview Board with the potential to become an Officer.

She passed the interview and undertook her Officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College in 1985.  Mrs Clink comes from a Naval background.  Her mother was a Wren, her father finished his career as a Commander and her brother completed an eight-year commission as a submariner.

She is married to Rear Admiral John Clink, Flag Officer Sea Training, and is one of the organisers of WRNS100 events in the area. Mrs Clink is due to lead the former WRNS platoon at the parade at HMS Raleigh on Friday 16 June, when her husband will be the VIP inspecting officer.

She said: “I did the transition from the WRNS into the Royal Navy and volunteered to go to sea!  I feel very proud that I was one of the traditional blue badge, blue stripers to go to gold before I left the Service.

"If I can give back something to the Navy by giving my time to help co-ordinate the WRNS100 events which get together former Wrens who can catch up with old buddies, reminisce and make themselves feel young again, I’m very happy and I feel really privileged to be part of it.”

HMS Raleigh’s WRNS100 event is now fully subscribed.  However places are still available for HMS Drake’s commemoration of WRNS100 on Thursday 13 July.

Anyone interested should contact Mrs Wendy Cracroft on 01752 557822 or click the following link for an application form: http://www.wrns100.co.uk/Calendar.html

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