The axe of HMS Collingwood’s annual open day hits charities

FUN DAY Liam Bone playing naughts and crosses with Diver 1 Steve Wilkins at the HMS Collingwood Open Day last year
FUN DAY Liam Bone playing naughts and crosses with Diver 1 Steve Wilkins at the HMS Collingwood Open Day last year

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CHARITIES will be left out of pocket after a major fundraising event was cancelled.

HMS Collingwood’s annual open day raises thousands of pounds each year – with the Fareham naval base usually splitting the money between a mixture of local and national organisations.

But this year’s event, which was due to take place on May 26, has been cancelled because the fields it uses for car parking and some of the attractions have been turned into quagmires by the worst April weather on record.

The Rainbow Centre, for children with motor skills problems, and based at nearby Cams Alders, has close ties to the base.

Community fundraiser for the centre Clare Acklam said: ‘We were devastated when we heard it had been cancelled.

‘It’s difficult, because they obviously want to help us and I don’t think this was a decision taken lightly. We have a very good relationship with Collingwood and they’re so supportive of us, but this is very sad.’

The base had not announced who it would be raising money for this year.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity Field Gun competition, which is the day’s main attraction, where 22 teams battle for the coveted Brickwoods Trophy, will still take place on the 26th, behind closed doors.

The HMS Collingwood field gun crews will visit the Rainbow Centre on Monday to hand over a cheque for more than £800 raised during a charity horse racing evening held recently at its Wardroom Mess.