After all the recent activity with Tall Ships , West India Dock welcomes a very different type of ship with the arrival of the HMS Westminster . The Type 23 frigate will be moored in London for six days and undertake a number of engagements .
Built in the famous Swan Hunter yard in Tyne and Wear and launched in 1992, the 133-metre ship, last visited London in March 2013, since then the ship has had a seven month deployment to the Arabian Gulf, then returned to the UK in February 2014 when she underwent a maintenance period .
As the Royal Navy’s primary Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Frigate, Westminster has undergone tactical development trials with HMS Illustrious ; this was followed by ASW operation activation due to Russian submarine activity.
More recently, HMS Westminster has undertaken a training exercise with the Royal Navy Reserves.
One of its high profile engagements whilst in dock will be a parade through Westminster, the Lord Mayor of Westminster will allow the ship to exercise its right to the Freedom of the City, with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed as they parade through the streets. The parade will be led by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the procession will form up at Horse Guards Parade at 8.45am. The parade will then march onto Horse Guards Road and onto the Mall through the centre of Admiralty Arch and around Parliament Square before arriving at Westminster Abbey for the march past at 9.40am.
On Saturday September 27 , HMS Westminster will be open to members of the public so that local people have an opportunity to experience life on board a warship. Open from 9am until 5pm – with last entry to the ship at 4pm – tickets are available on the hour between these times. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance from www.hmswestminstertickets.eventbrite.co.uk.
One recent events that the HMS Westminster attended this summer was the Bournemouth Air Show, by a coincidence I was staying in Bournemouth for a few days and caught the first day of the show. here are a couple of photographs of the HMS Westminster in Bournemouth.