Visitors flock to attend HMS Collingwood open day

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. "The eventual winners, The REME". PPP-170406-171141001
HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. "The eventual winners, The REME". PPP-170406-171141001
Jack Edwards, 10, John McLaverty, Jon Margon, Elizabeth Rands, Alan Crosby, Lynda Saunders, Lea Dawkins, 13. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-171208-172212006

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IT’S A long-standing community tradition that visitors from far and wide flock to attend – and this year’s HMS Collingwood open day was no different.

Hundreds gathered at the Royal Navy base in Fareham for a day of fun, activities, and spectatorship, as they watched crews take part in the ever-popular Field Gun Competition.

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "Visitors were treated to display of precision marching". PPP-170406-164439001

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "Visitors were treated to display of precision marching". PPP-170406-164439001

In it, crews from across the UK and as far afield as Gibraltar competed in 18-man teams to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire a gun in the shortest time possible.

Mr Hughes, commentator for the competition, said: ‘The Field Gun Competition has been around for a long time now, the sport has a very historical origin.

‘There are 24 crews across many services taking part and people absolutely love to watch.

‘It’s a wonderful spectacle and when it comes to teambuilding and crews being together, there’s nothing like it.’

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "riders on the ferris wheel". PPP-170406-164338001

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "riders on the ferris wheel". PPP-170406-164338001

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers crew took home the coveted Brickwoods trophy for the second year in a row.

Parts of the base were open to visitors, allowing them to see Royal Navy training equipment and experience some training first-hand, like navigating a ship.

Lieutenant Commander John Brennan helped to organise the event, he said: ‘We’re raising money for charities, allowing children to gain new experiences, selling the Royal Navy, and letting the community get behind the wire and find out what goes on at our base.

‘We’ve got charity stalls, a funfair, children’s entertainment, tours, simulations, challenges like the high-rope course and more.’

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "Deed Arms players, 3rd Lt, Lt Mould HMS Temeraire akaSteve Wittingham, Greg Daily and Graham Ashford". PPP-170406-164503001

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "Deed Arms players, 3rd Lt, Lt Mould HMS Temeraire akaSteve Wittingham, Greg Daily and Graham Ashford". PPP-170406-164503001

The open day is a long-standing tradition and has been running for decades.

Debra Court, from Solihull, was at the event with her family. She said: ‘My son is in the RAF reserves and is taking part in the Field Gun Competition.

‘It’s absolutely fabulous here, we’re surprised at how much there is for people to see and do.’

Nikki Clapcott made the journey from Bournemouth to support her husband, a submariner.

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - HMS Collingwood 'A' crew in action". PPP-170406-164427001

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - HMS Collingwood 'A' crew in action". PPP-170406-164427001

She said: ‘It’s a perfect day out for the kids, my niece has really enjoyed herself. The organisers have done really well, there’s so much to do.’

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition.  - "William Morgan, 9 from Portsmouth leaps from the Hi Ropes Stance". PPP-170406-164415001

HMS Collingwood Open day and Field Gun Competition. - "William Morgan, 9 from Portsmouth leaps from the Hi Ropes Stance". PPP-170406-164415001