THIS WEEK IN 1971: Heaving Galatea’s giant crest ashore

Petty Officer Bob Clements, of Fishbourne, Isle of Wight, directs the lifting operation.
Petty Officer Bob Clements, of Fishbourne, Isle of Wight, directs the lifting operation.

Six ratings aboard the Portsmouth frigate Galatea struggled to manoeuvre a jumbo-sized crest across the flight deck. 

They had to pipe four extra hands before they moved the 10cwt. plaque, which measured 10ft by 6ft.

It came ashore in Portsmouth Dockyard, where it was cleaned up by the ship’s company and traced back to its origin.

This ‘heraldic crossword puzzle’ was sent to Galatea by a demolition firm which found it in commercial shipyard buildings in Hull.

The buildings were the former base of the Hull Division of the Royal Naval Reserve, also called HMS Galatea, during the Second World War. 

The giant crest was returned to Hull and eventually presented to sea cadets.