Field gunners prepare for fierce competition as HMS Collingwood opens up

HMS Collingwood Field Gun teams A and B in Fareham town centre promoting next weekends HMS Collingwood open day and field gun competition''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (141400-1) PPP-141005-121733001
HMS Collingwood Field Gun teams A and B in Fareham town centre promoting next weekends HMS Collingwood open day and field gun competition''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (141400-1) PPP-141005-121733001
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SAILORS are getting ready to show their strength and determination ahead of the annual field gunners competition at HMS Collingwood.

This year’s open day takes place on Saturday, May 31, and always attracts hundreds of people from across Fareham and beyond.

The field gun competition will feature crews from across the UK and as far afield as Gibraltar competing for the coveted Brickwoods Trophy.

The competition is fast and furious and requires 18-man teams to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire the gun in the shortest possible time, traditionally in heats of six crews at a time.

Lieutenant Commander Kay Burbidge, who is the officer in charge of the open day said it will be a good day.

‘I’m really excited about this year’s open day.

‘Not only do we have the spectacle of the field gun competition, but we’ve built on the success of last year’s day.

‘Supporting the local community is very important and, this year, we’ve added an area for local food producers’ stalls too as well as the charity stalls.

‘The profits from the day will go to charity so it’s a great way of supporting local causes too.’

The event will raise money for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

During the open day there will be attractions, entertainment and displays designed to capture the imagination of all ages.

Attractions will include displays from the Royal Navy Raiders Parachute Display team, the Tigers Motorcycle Display Team and more.

People will have the chance to have a look around a Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall.

There will also be an opportunity to have a look at training equipment used by sailors in the navy.

Plus people can experience Royal Navy training first-hand in the Bridge Simulator which allows people to simulate taking a ship into harbour.

Meanwhile, the local Military Wives Choir will 
be performing during the 
day.

Lt Cdr Burbidge said opening up the Royal Navy base is a good way for people to see what goes on.

‘You’ll definitely get a good insight in to what goes on at HMS Collingwood.

‘The HMS Collingwood open day is very much about trying to show our support for the local community and also showing what goes on here ‘behind the wire’.

‘Last year we were able to give £20,000 to charity because of the success of the day and this year we’re hoping to give even more.’