Crew help honour naval history link

Lieutenant Commander Matt Sykes and members of the ship's company with Mayor of Blyth, Coun Margaret Parker, taking part in a special memorial service. Photograph courtesy of The Image Farm Northumberland.
Lieutenant Commander Matt Sykes and members of the ship's company with Mayor of Blyth, Coun Margaret Parker, taking part in a special memorial service. Photograph courtesy of The Image Farm Northumberland.

Dignitaries gathered at a special service to mark the role Blyth has played in the country’s naval history.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Blyth, Lieutenant Commander Matt Sykes, and six crew travelled to the town on September 10, to meet the Mayor of Blyth, Coun Margaret Parker, and guests for a special memorial service.

The service was held in recognition of the important part the town played in naval history during both world wars and celebrated the close affiliation between HMS Blyth and the town.

Lt Cdr Sykes and the crew also visited The Dales School, a special needs primary school with whom they have had a close affiliation since the ship was commissioned.

Lt Cdr Sykes said: “I was delighted to be able to bring some of my crew to Blyth and to continue building on the previously established affiliations with both the Town Council and The Dales School.

“The memorial service was a great opportunity to remember the important role that Blyth has played in naval history, playing a major part in shipbuilding and hosting naval warships in both world wars.

“It is essential that we maintain the relationship between HMS Blyth and her affiliations.”

Coun Parker said: “The Town Council is delighted to renew our connection with HMS Blyth. We have followed their vital work around the world and are grateful for their service.

“Blyth is proud of its associations with the Royal Navy and HMS Blyth.”

Three members of the ship’s company were especially chosen as they are local to the town.

Leading Diver Coates, 30, is from North Shields, said: “It was a nice opportunity to be able to show people in my local area what the Royal Navy and HMS Blyth do on a day to day basis around the world.

“It was a pleasure to be able to inspire and educate the younger generation especially so close to home and so close to the sea.”