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Warship docks for Yarmouth's market charter celebrations

PUBLISHED: 05:55 26 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:36 05 July 2010

One of the Royal Navy's most sophisticated warships will be docking in Yarmouth tomorrow to help the town celebrate an 800-year milestone.

The minesweeper HMS Hurworth will dock at South Quay as part of the end of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Yarmouth being granted a market charter by King John.

One of the Royal Navy's most sophisticated warships will be docking in Yarmouth tomorrow to help the town celebrate an 800-year milestone.

The minesweeper HMS Hurworth will dock at South Quay as part of the end of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Yarmouth being granted a market charter by King John.

The ship and its crew of 45 will be hosting the market charter ceremony on Saturday afternoon which is the last in a year long series of events.

The service will also be the last official civic event led by Canon Michael Woods, of St Nicholas Church, who is retiring next month.

Weighing 750 tonnes, HMS Hurworth is one of the largest warships in the world to have a hull made from glass-reinforced plastic, and carries a remote control submersible to blow up mines.

In 1991 HMS Hurworth took part in the Gulf war to remove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait by clearing coastal waters of mines under the noses of Iraqi missile and gun crews.

HMS Hurworth, which is armed with four guns and is 60m long, was also involved in rescue operations after the 1987 Zeebrugge disaster and last year carried out minesweeping operations in the Baltic Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Her captain, Lt Cmdr Charles Maynard, said: “We are very much looking forward to spending time in Yarmouth and feel honoured to have been included in this important celebration.

“I hope that as many people from Yarmouth as possible will be able to attend the service.”

Saturday's celebrations will see the ship's company, youth groups with seafaring links and civic dignitaries process from the town hall to HMS Hurworth at 1.50pm.

The service, led by Canon Woods, will include readings by the Vice-Lieutenant of Norfolk, Lady Knollys, and the deputy leader of Yarmouth Borough Council, Barry Stone.

Borough mayor Terry Easter will then officially declare the end of the year-long market charter celebrations as the bells of St Nicholas Church ring out, accompanied by sirens from boats docked on South Quay.

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