Grand parade planned to welcome warship HMS Dauntless to Great Yarmouth

HMS Dauntless off the coast of Cape Town. Pictures: Leading Airman (Photographer) Nicky Wilson, HMS

HMS Dauntless off the coast of Cape Town. Pictures: Leading Airman (Photographer) Nicky Wilson, HMS Dauntless / Royal Navy / Crown Copyright - Credit: Archant

A rallying call has gone out across the county to guarantee a superstar welcome to Great Yarmouth's affiliated warship HMS Dauntless.

Organisers are hoping the prestigious warship's second visit will be the kind of occasion which will see children hoisted aloft on shoulders as its crew parades through the town.

The ship will spend three days in its adopted home from February 8-11 mixing pomp and pageantry with social activities and sport.

But the highlight of the visit receiving top billing is the parade by the ship's crew on Sunday at 10.45am, leaving from the town hall and marching to St Nicholas Church for a special service.

She will also open her gangway to the public from 10am to 3pm on the same day.

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A civic reception will be held at the town hall for the ship's company and invited guests at 1pm on Sunday, immediately following the parade.

It is the 7,350-tonne ship's first visit to her affiliated town for two and a half years.

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She will arrive at the outer harbour at around 10am on February 8, leaving at around 9am on February 11.

The weekend, kicks off on Friday with visits by Lowestoft and East Norfolk Colleges in the evening, followed in the afternoon by a resilience capability demonstration to emergency services and, later, a reception on board for invited guests.

Saturday brings with it varying commitments throughout the town including sports matches with local clubs, further group tours of the ship and a number of charity activities.

Access to the ship will be from behind the EastPort offices in South Beach Parade where there will be parking, an undercover waiting area and buses through the port area to the ship – last bus to the ship leaves the EastPort offices at 2.15pm.

Getting on to the ship is via a gangway and there is no facility for disabled access.

Locals will have the chance to talk to crew about life on board and the role of the modern navy in protecting our nation's interests.

'This is a much anticipated visit to our adopted port,' said new commanding officer Adrian Fryer, taking the helm for the first time in Yarmouth.

'We are lucky enough to enjoy a great level of interest and support from our affiliated town and it is a real pleasure to be able to bring the ship home.

'I know that my ship's company is looking forward to welcoming local people on board during the time the ship is open to visitors and they are happy to chat about their jobs on board, what the ship has been doing and what life is like in today's modern Royal Navy.

'And it is a true honour that we have been invited by the borough council to parade through the streets of Great Yarmouth. I hope that the town's people will come out to line the route and greet their warship's crew.'

Mayor Colleen Walker said she was delighted the ship was visiting, adding to the town's long maritime heritage and hoped local people would take the opportunity to visit her and her crew.

HMS Dauntless, was the second of the Type 45 destroyers, to join the fleet.

She was the first of her class to fire the new Sea Viper missile.

Almost two years later, she returned to her home base of Portsmouth in October 2012 after her maiden deployment to the Atlantic, where she notched up 30,000 miles visiting 18 countries across four continents.

During a series of exercises Dauntless worked with 27 other navies and provided training for 600 foreign military personnel.

The ship also played host to almost 4,000 diplomatic guests on behalf of UK embassies and consulates in every port she visited.

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