Thousands get chance to see warships up close

112272-148_FORCES_DAY_SR_25/6/11'HMS Gloucester is crammed with visitors at the Armed Forces Day celebration at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.''Picture:Steve Reid 112272-148
112272-148_FORCES_DAY_SR_25/6/11'HMS Gloucester is crammed with visitors at the Armed Forces Day celebration at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.''Picture:Steve Reid 112272-148
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Visitors poured into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to enjoy Armed Forces Weekend and were given a rare chance to see the Royal Navy’s finest warships up close.

Thousands of people queued for a free look round HMS Daring and HMS Gloucester, along with other events and activities for all ages.

112272-670FORCES_DAY_SR_25/6/11'Left to right, Graham Filer, Graham Marshall, Anne Filer and Maurice White from the Festival Players dress as 1940's soldiers, sailors and airmen at the Armed Forces Day celebration at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.''Picture:Steve Reid 112272-670

112272-670FORCES_DAY_SR_25/6/11'Left to right, Graham Filer, Graham Marshall, Anne Filer and Maurice White from the Festival Players dress as 1940's soldiers, sailors and airmen at the Armed Forces Day celebration at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth.''Picture:Steve Reid 112272-670

On Saturday a wartime-style street party took place next to HMS Victory, and guests were treated to field kitchen demonstrations, a selection of military vehicles from throughout the ages, and 40s makeovers with lipstick and curls.

Then on Sunday music was provided by the HM Royal Marines band, while in the National Museum of the Royal Navy there were performances from festival players, Punch and Judy shows, and even a chance to soak the management to celebrate 100 years of naval heritage.

Adela Cox, 29, of Highbury Grove, in Cosham, said: ‘My husband is in the navy, so it was great to finally get a chance to look round one of the fleet’s most impressive ships.

‘We went aboard Daring and it was amazing, the whole day has been brilliant.’

Warrant Officer Chris Smith said the navy had worked closely with the historic dockyard staff to make the day a success.

‘We estimate around 6,000 people will have been aboard the two ships,’ he said. ‘It was a unique opportunity.

‘People could compare the technology in an older ship like Gloucester to the newer Daring, and really see how far we’ve come.’