On 7th July 2015, HMS St Albans sailed down the Thames and passed through the lock into West India Dock where she remained for a week adjacent to Thames Quay below Canary Wharf.

The Master, Andrew Marsden, was invited to the select Civic Lunch in the Wardroom at the invitation of the new Captain, Commander Richard Hutchins RN. In the evening, six Marketors were invited to a Reception and Capability Demonstration. They were the Marketors’ Clerk, John Hammond, Court Assistant John Hooper, Chairman of the Marketors’ Trust, Liveryman Dr Keith Williams of the Heritage Committee, Past Master John Fisher and Liveryman Frank Auton, none of whom had been invited on HMS St Albans before.

 Assault Group Royal Marines defending the Ship against her own Sea Boats

Assault Group Royal Marines defending the Ship against her own Sea Boats

Towards the end of the evening the 1 Assault Group Royal Marines brought three of their Offshore Raiding Craft and decisively defeated the ‘enemy’ HMS St Albans own sea boat. The Offshore Raiding Craft are fast and versatile craft that can carry twelve Royal Marines Commandos and has a forward and rear gun mount for a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG). The ORC can be transported and launched by trailer, under-slung from a helicopter and has tie down points for securing it to the deck of a ship or hold of an aircraft. The evening ended with the traditional sunset ceremony.

HMS St Albans with O2 Dome in Background

HMS St Albans with O2 Dome in Background

At the end of their trip to London, Middle Warden, Susan Garland Worthington OBE, Court Assistant Andrew Cross, Court Assistant David Williams, Liveryman Andrew Robinson, Vice Chairman (Navy) were seen off by Court Assistant Hugh West and proceeded out of West India Dock, past the Dome, through the Thames Barrier, under the QE2 bridge and into the Thames Estuary and out into the English Channel. After two days of capability demonstration and a night on board, the ship docked at Fountains Lake Jetty in Portsmouth Harbour and the Marketors disembarked.

On Thursday 23rd July 2015 Marketors returned to the ship, for the Admirals Cup, at the invitation of the Captain together with representatives of the other affiliates – The City of St Albans; The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers; 2nd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment; The Royal Naval Reserve; RAF Marham; Haileybury CCF; Ryde School CCF and 1st Luton Sea Scouts Those attending were – Master Andrew Marsden, Chairman Communications Committee Court Assistant (D) Andrew Cross, Liveryman Ian Barclay (new to ship), Liveryman Andrew Dugdale (all the way from Spain) and Liveryman Timothy Royle (both new to ship) and Court Assistant Hugh West. On board Marketors assembled on the flight deck and met the other fellow affiliates. From the flight deck Marketors were yards from the America’s Cup boats as they were being prepared and lowered into the water.

At exactly 1200 hours, with the assistance of the Serco tugs Bountiful, Indulgent and Mr K Marshall, HMS St Albans slipped its mooring and drifted into the main channel accompanied, rather closely, by the British Contender and press helicopters. At 1400 the Ship’s Merlin Helicopter made a number of flypasts, eventually landing on the stationary ship and in the process soaking the Marketors. At 1500 the anchor was raised and turned to Portsmouth and docked at 1545. For full details of the HMS St Albans events please read the attached newsletter HMS St Albans – July Activities

Court Assistant Hugh West
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