THIS WEEK IN 1997: Volcano veteran back with a bang

HMS Liverpool made an explosive return to Portsmouth.

Sunday, 17th December 2017, 6:00 am
Leading WEM Phil Phillips, from Fareham, waves to his wife, Lynne, in the crowd as HMS Liverpool returns home after seven months on duty

A mock-up volcano smoked and smouldered on the hangar roof and a Caribbean-style ‘steel band’ played brightly coloured oil drums as the destroyer sailed into harbour.

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During her seven-month deployment to the West Indies the destroyer spent 28 days off the British dependency of Montserrat helping the people of the volcano-hit island.

Petty Officer Mal Chumbley, 33, of Gosport, had the idea of the mock-up volcano to herald Liverpool’s return after a similar homecoming gesture when her sister ship Southampton returned from Montserrat two years previously.