Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Prince of Wales becomes Prince of Dales

HMS Prince of Wales becomes Prince of Dales
9 November 2017
Sailors from Britain’s next aircraft carrier swapped the bracing banks of the Forth for the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales to help a community sports project.

A 15-strong team from HMS Prince of Wales made the 175-mile trip from Rosyth to land-locked Long Preston, a village on the southern edge of the Dales National Park, to help locals get their playing fields in order for the winter.

The sailors spent a week toiling on the sports fields and pavilion, fixing the roof and replacing rotten timbers, performing routine maintenance on the play park, refurbishing the tennis court and clearing leaves and overgrown bushes.

Despite the chilly weather, they worked hard to ensure that the playing fields can be enjoyed by local children for many more years to come, and completed their break in Yorkshire by helping villagers build a bonfire ready for November 5 celebrations.

Helping out at the playing fields was good fun and it’s rewarding to know that a village community was able to enjoy bonfire night as a result of what we did

Leading Seaman Kevin Makepeace, HMS Prince of Wales

For the sailors – whose ship’s company will only be 100 fewer than Long Preston’s population and whose flight deck is almost the size of three football pitches – the week-long workout was a welcome change from dealing with the engineering challenges of completing the 65,000-tonne leviathan.

The second of Britain’s two new carriers – the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy – was formally named earlier this year by the Duchess of Rothesay and is in the later stages of fitting out in Scotland before undergoing sea trials next trials.

“It’s really important to give back to our communities, even if it is just for a week,” said Leading Seaman Kevin Makepeace. “Helping out at the playing fields was good fun and it’s rewarding to know that a village community was able to enjoy bonfire night as a result of what we did.”

Andy Kay, from the playing fields committee, said: “The guys came into our village and really breathed new life into our playing fields. To see how happy the kids were on bonfire night really highlighted how important this facility is.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.