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Ship's Captain describes final voyage

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

She's the equivalent of about 78 in human years, she carried around 30 million passengers and did thousands of cross-channel trips but, as we showed you last week, the Pride of Calais met a somewhat undignified end, being deliberately crashed into the shore at a recycling yard in Turkey.

Now her captain has talked to Meridian about what it was like bringing her days to an end. David Johns reports, speaking to the ship's former Master, Paul Wood.

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Portsmouth prepares to say goodbye to HMS Ark Royal

Hundreds of people are expected at the Round Tower in Portsmouth to watch the final sailing of HMS Ark Royal. The ship will past the tower at 1pm.

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Sad day now the #HMSArkRoyal is being scrapped. My favourite memory as a 15th Long Eaton "Ark Royal" Cub Scout - was a tour & tea on board.

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The ark royal is going to a scrap yard today, after being decommissioned, I was christened on that! How sad!! ???? #hmsArkRoyal #lastsail

The Queen Mother and HMS Ark Royal

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother meets the crew of HMS Ark Royal
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother meets the crew of HMS Ark Royal Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

The Queen Mother launched HMS Ark Royal when she was built in the Swan Hunters Shipyard, Wallsend in 1981. She maintained a close relationship with the ship and its crew, serving as the company's patron until her death in 2002.

In November 2001 at the age of 101 she joined the twelve hundred crew members and their families to rededicate the ship after a major refit.

Nine years later her daughter the Queen would also visit Portsmouth to say goodbye to the ship before it was decommissioned

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother greets the crew of HMS Ark Royal
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother greets the crew of HMS Ark Royal Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive
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