THIS WEEK IN 1980: HMS Brecon gets royal send-off

Hazy spring sunshine, clusters of daffodils and a royal guest in primrose yellow, set the festive scene on the quarterdeck of HMS Vernon in Portsmouth for the commissioning of the Royal Navy's £25m mine countermeasures vessel, HMS Brecon.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 7:00 am
Phillip Hutchings, 17, Brecons youngest sailor helps Pearl Birkett, the ships commanding officers wife, cut the commissioning cake

The send-off for the world’s largest plastic warship was watched by the families of the 42 officers and men who would take Brecon out for a work-up before she became fully operational from a probable base at Rosyth in Scotland.

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Guest of honour at the ceremony was the Duchess of Kent who was presented with a Welsh loving spoon, bearing the ship’s crest, by Brecon’s commanding officer, Jack Birkett, of Cosham.