08-03-11 HMS Campbeltown Visit
HMS Campbeltown will visit her namesake for the last time before her decommissioning next month.

From the Kintyre Forum.

HMS Campbeltown, just over 20 years old and recently refitted at a cost of millions of pounds has been decommissioned by the MOD and will pay her final visit to Campbeltown from 9th to 14th March.

A ceremony to which everyone in Campbeltown is invited will be held in Main Street at the Town Hall starting at 5.00pm. A stage outside the Town Hall will hold the Captain of HMS Campbeltown, the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, the Provost of Argyll and Bute and local councillors.

A parade will march down Castlehill at 5.30pm led by Kintyre Schools Pipe Band followed by the Royal British Legion, the Royal Air Force Association, the Fire Brigade, the Army Cadets, the Girl Guides and representatives from police, ambulance, Coastguard, RNLI, Harbour Master. Following this a second parade will be led by the Sound of Kintyre Pipe Band comprising the HMS Campbeltown's ship's company and Campbeltown Sea Cadets.

The captain will present the Provost with the ship's bell from the original HMS Campbeltown which rammed the dock gates at St Nazaire in 1942. This bell will be on display in Aqualibrium until Monday when the ship sails out of the loch for the last time. There will also be a presentation of a silver plaque which was presented to the ship in 1989 when she paid her first visit to Campbeltown. Presentations will be made to the captain by the Provost, Cllr William Petrie and the convenor of Campbeltown Community Council Jim Martin.

The Lord Lieutenant will inspect the ship's company along with the Provost while Campbeltown Brass plays appropriate music.

This will be a memorable occasion and a good turnout of people will make this a fitting send off for our named ship.

On Thursday Campbeltown Sea Cadets along with pupils from Campbeltown Grammar will spend a few hours at sea on the ship while Friday sees primary 7 pupils from Dalintober and Castlehill and S1 pupils tour the ship.

On Saturday HMS Campbeltown will be open for visitors and transport will be available between 10.00am and 12.00 with buses leaving from the terminus at Aqualibrium. Various activities will be available for the ship's company at the weekend including golf, surfing, Springbank tours and walking Kintyre Way. The Organic Garden and the garden at the Tenants Flat at Broom Cottage will benefit from volunteers from the ship.

A church service will be held in the Lorne and Lowland Church on Sunday at 11.15am conducted by Jim Campbell, Chaplain to Campbeltown Sea Cadets. Also attending will be some of the ship's company, councillors, the Provost and representatives form local organisations. On Sunday afternoon a football match will be held at Kintyre Park between HMS Campbeltown and Campbeltown Pupils.

At 10.00am on Monday HMS Campbeltown will slowly sail up Campbeltown Loch to bid farewell for the last time. Visits from HMS Campbeltown have traditionally been trouble free and it is hoped that this final visit will show the friendship and genuine affection for the ship in the town.

I shall be down tomorrow to get some photos of her arrival at Campbeltown.

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