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HMS Montrose visits Fowey for the first time

HMS Montrose visits Fowey for the first time
2 August 2018
Just days after being fêted in her namesake port in Scotland, HMS Montrose called in at her other affiliated town: the picture-postcard Cornish resort of Fowey.

It’s the first time the frigate has been able to call on townsfolk – despite formalising an affiliation with Fowey nearly five years ago.

In charge of the ship on the approaches to the port was Lieutenant Kevin Cabra Netherton, for whom this was a particular poignant visit as not only was this his last port stop with the ship he has called home for nearly two years, but it was also where 92 years ago his granddad Harry Page Netherton was born.

Harry went on to join the RAF as an engineer, while Kevin joined the Royal Navy as a warfare officer.

“I doubt that nearly a century ago my granddad could have ever imagined that his grandson would be driving a warship in and help moor it just a couple of hundred yards from his house in what was then just a little Cornish fishing village,” said Kevin.

A few hours later and Montrose was hosting a reception and capability demonstration for a range of dignitaries from the community of Fowey, including the Mayor and the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall.

It was a pleasure to visit the town of Fowey and provide the physical manifestation of the long-standing link the town has had with the Royal Navy

Commander Conor O’Neill, Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose

Commanding Officer Commander Conor O’Neill presented the Mayor of Fowey Cllr Ruth Finlay with a framed picture of the ship – a photograph taken that very morning. In return, Cllr Finlay handed a plaque to commemorate the town‘s affiliation with the frigate.

Despite being moored mid-river, the frigate was able to host more than 1,200 people who were ferried the short distance from Town Quay for a tour of the Wildcat, a damage control demonstration and explanations of weapons systems, including a look inside the turret of the Ship’s 4.5 Mk 8 Gun.

Crew particularly enjoyed hosting visitors from both local Sea Cadet units, TS Petroc (Padstow) and TS Hood (St Austell).

The second full day of the short visit focused on attendance at a Sunday morning church service and an official presentation of the crest to Cllr Finlay for display in the council chamber.

“It was a pleasure to visit the town of Fowey and provide the physical manifestation of the long-standing link the town has had with the Royal Navy,” said Cdr O’Neill.

“The ship’s company were overwhelmed with the reception they received from the residents of Fowey and although the ship will shortly deploy, we look forward to returning during our periods away from the ship so we can continue to build on the strong relationships built during the visit.”

Montrose is now back in Devonport undergoing maintenance and readying for Operational Sea Training before she deploys for the first time since her recent refit in the autumn.

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