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Collingwood open day to return this summer

By Connor Steel

HMS COLLINGWOOD will again open its doors to the public later this summer, with the announcement that the annual open day will return after three years due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The unique family event will take place on July 2, which is a slightly later date than normal due to other commitments for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations scheduled for early June.

The open day will allow local visitors to explore the historic establishment, based on Newgate Lane, whilst also participating in celebrations for the Jubilee and marking the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

Organisers of the event have confirmed that the open day will further see the return of the RNRMC field gun competition, which is set to feature eighteen teams from across the UK and as far as Cyprus all competing for the coveted ‘Brickwoods Trophy” title alongside bragging rights

The competition is set to be as fast and furious as ever in 2022, with teams of 18 required to run, dismantle, reassemble and fire the field guns in the shortest possible time. Participants must be able to use a range of skills with strength, stamina, and teamwork all essential in this challenge.

There is much to play for this year as the competition was last played in 2019; ending in a draw between Portsmouth Naval Base and the Army’s REME that saw the two crews share the ultimate ‘Champions’ status in a thrilling finale to the contest.

​Although the field gun competition showpiece, organisers have said there will be many fun-filled family attractions during the day with entertainment and displays, which have been designed to capture the imagination of everyone. This includes an insight into HMS Collingwood, Defence Training, the Royal Navy and other Armed & Public Forces.

There will be Interactive Zones for hands-on activities, parts of the establishment will be open to visitors, allowing them to see the Royal Navy’s training equipment and experience some training first hand, including navigating a ship into harbour in our Warship Bridge Simulator.

Gates open at 9:30am, and a free bus service will run throughout the day from Fareham and Gosport in both directions. Entrance fees will cover all entertainment and attractions throughout the day including fairground rides, with more information expected in due course.

Commanding Officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Catherine Jordan said in a press release: “I am looking forward to welcoming the public back to HMS Collingwood for our popular Open Day, after 2 years in which we’ve not been able to hold the event.

She continued: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase our establishment and support our local community and we are very excited for the return of the Field Gun competition, which always offers great entertainment for the spectators and dedicated followers.”

Readers are encouraged to visit HMS Collingwood social media such as Facebook or Twitter sites for more details such as ticket prices and announcements on further entertainment or attractions in the run-up.

PICTURED BY KEITH WOODLAND: HMS Collingwood Field Gun Crews compete in 2019 establishment open day, the last one before cancellations in 2020 and 2021 (Crown Copyright)