Plymouth is preparing for the eyes of the UK to be on the city once again, as the one-month countdown to the Armed Forces Day National Event begins today (Wednesday 30 May).
On Saturday 30 June, celebrations will be taking place across Britain to honour our Armed Forces, but the spotlight will be on Plymouth as this year’s host city for the Armed Forces Day National Event.
Organised by Plymouth City Council and sponsored by Babcock International, a packed day of family friendly activity will be taking place on The Hoe, including military displays on land, sea and air, as well as an appearance from the spectacular Red Arrows, which is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the city.
One of the highlights of the day for visitors will be the unique opportunity to go on board the Royal Navy operational warship HMS Argyll and get an idea of what life is like for naval forces while at sea.
The ship, which has been deployed to Sierra Leone and the Middle East, will be open to visitors for guided tours throughout the morning. Tickets are available now, completely free of charge, from the Barbican Tourist Information Centre and will be given out on a first come, first served basis.
Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Michael Wright said: “Plymouth has a rich and proud maritime heritage going back for centuries so it is a great honour for us to be hosting the Armed Forces Day National Event. We’ve got a packed programme of activity lined up to mark the occasion, which will give the public a chance to meet both serving members of the forces and military veterans, find out more about what they do and get up close to and perhaps into some of the most impressive military equipment around.”
Lieutenant Commander Bob Evans, of Devonport-based HMS Argyll said: “I’m very excited that we are able to offer visits on board HMS Argyll – it’s not every day the public are welcomed onboard an operational warship and it will be a really eye-opening experience to see what it’s like for the men and women who serve on the ship and often are living on it for months at a time.
“Places on the trips are limited, so I would strongly advise people to book their tickets now to avoid disappointment.”
HMS Argyll will be open to visitors from 9.30am to 11.30am, with boats to the ship departing every half hour.
Tickets can be booked by visiting or phoning the Barbican Tourist Information Centre on 01752 306330 and can either be collected in person or sent out by post, providing a stamped addressed envelope is supplied. Children must be aged 10 or over and must be accompanied by an adult.
The Armed Forces Day national celebrations will round off Plymouth’s Armed Forces Week. Celebrations start at 9.30am on Saturday 30 June on The Hoe and include interactive and static displays as well as live music and entertainment which will run throughout the day, with evening entertainment on the Barbican from 6pm.
See our Armed Forces Day National Event page for the full schedule of events and activities.
Source: Plymouth City Council