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Visit to HMS Northumberland in London 29th March 2007

On the 29th March, having embarked several members of the Company at Gravesend, HMS Northumberland came up the Thames to London escorting a replica of the slave ship Zong, representing the ships that were used for transporting the human cargo of slaves to the Americas from Africa. It was part of the celebrations for 200years since the abolition of slavery

They made a grand sight as Tower Bridge was raised and the Northumberland came through to lay alongside HMS Belfast. The Tower of London was floodlit and it all created a fairy tale picture, ensured to bring a great feeling of pride in our City and Country.

Captain Tom Guy and several of his officers and men entertained us at a cocktail reception in the Helicopter Hanger, and although there was a delightful relaxed atmosphere, having seen the crew on an exercise, I had the feeling that, should the occasion arise, they could rapidly be ready for action. They have been most generous in their treatment of the Bowyers and obviously value, as do we, the affiliation and growing friendship between us. Several of the Past Masters were there, John Burnett, Clive Arding and Peter Seaton, it is due to these men that we have this relationship with the ship, and their continuing support is highly valued.

During the course of the evening I was introduced to The Rt. Hon. John Prescott and his wife Pauline. Whilst I am not one of his supporters, I must say he came across as a pleasant fellow.

The weather was, as it had been on our trip to sea, very kind to us, someone up there must know we are not all good sailors.

Tour of HMS Northumberland 31st April 2007

Carole Seaton writes:

On the weekend of March 31st - April 1st the naval frigate HMS Northumberland, moored alongside HMS Belfast was open to the public. The purpose of the visit being to participate in the ceremonies associated with the abolition of slavery. Four of us were privileged in being given a private tour by two naval officers. On visiting the bridge and being shown the numerous screens showing highly detailed information, it was reassuring to hear that 'eyes on the look out' were still vitally important. It was a reassuring and up lifting experience.

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