17 March 2011

The Royal Navy Sandown class mine countermeasure vessel, HMS Shoreham, one of the most advanced of its type in the world, will pay a five-day visit to her affiliated Sussex Port of Shoreham from 18th to 22nd March 2011.  During her visit, the commanding officer and crew of the warship will be honoured with the award of The Freedom of Shoreham-by-Sea.

While berthed in the port, various local groups will visit the vessel, including members of Adur District Council who have developed a strong friendship with the ship's crew since its affiliation in 1998.  The special 'Freedom of the Town' ceremony will take place in the car park of the Shoreham Community Centre in Pond Road at approximately 2:30pm and will be attended by the entire ship's complement of 40 officers and ratings. After the ceremony, the crew, accompanied by the Band of HM Royal Marines Portsmouth, led by Drum Major John Beech, will be taking to the streets of Shoreham to exercise their right to march through the town with bayonets fixed, colours flying and drums beating.

Commanding Officer of HMS Shoreham, Lieutenant Commander, Sarah West, said, "It is a fantastic honour to have the Freedom of Shoreham conferred on HMS Shoreham and her crew. The ship's company and I will feel very proud to exercise this ancient right in our favourite town. Unfortunately on this occasion we are unable to open the ship up to the public, but I know that I and my crew are looking forward to meeting local people on the day of the parade".

Shoreham Port Harbour Master Julian Seaman said, "With her extensive duties around the world, it may be a long time before HMS Shoreham is able to visit us again and I would urge all her local supporters to turn out and cheer the crew round the town on Sunday".

To find out which roads will be affected during the parade and where the route will go, please contact Julia Smith on 01903 221150 or email Julia.smith@worthing.gov.uk