Mayor visits HMS St Albans

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News release: 15 April 2019

St Albans’ Mayor Councillor Rosemary Farmer sampled life on board HMS St Albans – and even fired one of the ship’s fearsome machine guns.

Mayor firing gun on HMS St Albans
Cllr Farmer joined the Royal Navy Frigate by boat transfer from Portsmouth and was taken on a sail around the Solent.

She got to experience a day in the life of a sailor and engaged in a range of activities to witness the capability of the Type 23 Warship.

The Mayor visited the Frigate’s Operations Room, its command and control centre, and talked to many of the crew.

She also put on a combat helmet – a change from her ceremonial cocked hat – to fire live ammunition from a deck-mounted, general-purpose machine gun.

Cllr Farmer, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said: “I was a bit too short to get in the correct position. It wasn’t an easy thing to do and me realise the high skill levels of the individuals on board.

“This was a fascinating tour which offered me and the other guests an insight into the lives of the men and women from the Royal Navy who guard and protect our nation. I was greatly impressed with what I witnessed and with all the officers and crew that I talked to.

“Luckily, I didn’t have to put up with heaving waves and challenging weather conditions. The Solent was like a millpond and the sky remained blue throughout my stay.”

The highlight of her trip on Thursday 28 March was presenting a General Service Medal to Leading Regulator Everatt. 

“It was a great honour to present an operational medal to one of the crew. That is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” she said.

“Over many years now, the St Albans District has built up a great relationship with HMS St Albans and I’m hoping my visit will further cement those ties.”

Commander John Cromie, Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans said: “It is always a privilege to have our Affiliates on board.  

“It was a truly enjoyable day and such a pleasure to be able to embark our affiliated city’s Mayor. Our links with Saint Albans are so important to us and it was great for representatives of the community to come on board and see for themselves what it is to be part of HMS St Albans’ wider family.” 

HMS St Albans is a type 23 Duke Class frigate and is captained by Commander Cromie.

The ship’s company was granted the Freedom of the City of St Albans at a special ceremony in 2004. 

* The annual Mayor’s Ball, held at the Sopwell House Hotel last month, has raised more than £3,500 for her nominated charity, Mind In Mid Herts.

Sharn Tomlinson, Chief Executive Officer of Mind in Mid Herts, said: “The donation will be put to very good use supporting people who have mental health issues and also to prevent people from becoming unwell - with the early intervention strategies we have in place.  

“The most recent new service we are starting is a young people’s group. If it was not for fundraising we would not be able to do new things like this.”

Mayor on HMS St Albans
Pictures: the Mayor on board HMS St Albans.

Contact for the Mayor’s office: 
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer 
Tel: 01727 819544 

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council. 
Tel: 01727-296130