1. ITV Report

HMS York comes home

HMS Yorke Photo: Press Association

After 27 years patrolling the oceans of the world, the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyer HMS York is visiting the region as it prepares to bid farewell.

Affiliated to the City of York, the 5200-tonne HMS York has come to the natural end of her working life in the navy and will decommission from service in Portsmouth later this month.

A celebration of HMS York's long and illustrious career within the Royal Navy, the visit begins when the ship sails into Hull's King George Dock this evening.

For some crew, this is also a home coming visit, with members of the ship's company from Hull and the surrounding area, as well as North Yorkshire.

A number of the crew will journey to York on Friday to make the final preparations for the Freedom parade, while invited guests and dignitaries will visit the ship for a lunch and evening reception. On Saturday the ship's company will travel to York to exercise their Freedom of Entry to the City for the final time.

The parade will form near York Minster at 11am and will be welcomed and inspected by City of York Council's Lord Mayor, Councillor Keith Hyman.

The parade concludes at 12 noon having returned to Duncombe Place when there will be a fly past made by the ship's own Lynx helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron, before the crew is invited to an official civic reception at the Mansion House. Normally based in Yeovilton, when not at sea with the ship, the helicopter will make her home at Imphal Barracks for the weekend.

On Sunday 16 September the ship will open her gangway to the public, so visitors can explore the ship, discover more about her equipment and speak to the men and women who have sailed with her.

This visit is one of celebration and appreciation of the sterling service which this exceptional ship has offered her country during her 27 years at sea.

To be bringing her back home to Yorkshire is, without question, not only the absolute pinnacle of this celebration, but also a very poignant and dignified moment in her long and illustrious life.

We have always enjoyed exceptional links with York. I know that my crew is honoured and excited to show off their ship once more to the Yorkshire people, who have always shown unparalleled hospitality and enthusiasm for this great ship.

I am extremely proud to have commanded HMS York and her crew - there is obviously some sadness in bidding farewell to any ship, but, more than anything, this is a time to honour her and her achievements.

I sincerely hope that as many locals as possible will make the journey to the King George Dock to visit the ship on Sunday when we open to the public. It allows us in our own small way to return the hospitality and affection extended to us for many years before bidding our final fond farewell.

– Commanding Officer of HMS York, Commander Rex Cox

We are delighted to welcome the Commanding Officer and ship's company of HMS York to the city.

Plans have been made to make this a special occasion, when the ship's company will exercise their Freedom of Entry to the City for the final time. It is an opportunity for the city to say goodbye to the ship and the company, with whom we have enjoyed an affiliation since 1991.

– The City of York's Lord Mayor, Councillor Hyman