‘EGGSHELL white’ isn’t the standard issue colour normally used by these Royal Navy sailors when they’re called in for painting duties.
But that is exactly the shade the men and women of HMS Tyne were using yesterday to help brighten a ‘tired-looking’ Portsmouth community hub.
The 20 sailors gave up their spare time to give a makeover to the Discovery Centre at St John’s Catholic Cathedral.
They spent the day giving the Bishop Crispian Way institution a new lick of paint – redecorating corridors and the centre’s large community hall.
It was a far cry from the work they had to do on their offshore patrol ship’s hull a few months ago.
AB Daniel Dempsey is a reservist on deployment with Tyne and was part of the team giving the site a makeover.
The 25-year-old was pleased to lend a hand and said: ‘The place was quite dilapidated. It clearly needed a bit of love.
‘So to come in and give back to the community has been invigorating for the crew.’
He added: ‘It’s nice to paint something white instead of battleship grey.’
The hall is used by about a thousand people every week.
Lucy Sayer, manager of the cathedral centre, was delighted with the sailors’ work.
She said: ‘It was an extremely grubby space before. Our volunteers managed to paint a third of the area last year but we were defeated by the hall.
‘So we’re really delighted the navy has come in to help us create this beautiful space.’
The ship, which is back in Portsmouth, was contacted after the cathedral got in touch with the navy.
Lieutenant Commander Peter Barfoot is Tyne’s commanding officer.
He said: ‘This has been a really good opportunity to do something different and to give back to the local community.
‘It’s something that can often be taken for granted here in our base city of Portsmouth, but it’s nice to do that little bit of outreach.’
HMS Tyne is part of the navy’s fishery protection squadron. It enforces maritime laws designed to protect fish stock in UK seas.
Tyne is currently crewed by MCM2 Crew 6, which normally operate on minehunters.