Staff and crew on board HMS Trincomalee, the world’s oldest warship, have played host to a visit by the Indian High Commissioner.
His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai visited the 197-year old warship, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.
HMS Trincomalee, a 46-gun, fifth rate Leda-class frigate, is berthed afloat at Hartlepool’s Historic Quay where she has been a major tourist attraction for the past 28 years.
Built in Bombay, India in 1817, of Malabar Teak, HMS Trincomalee was brought to Hartlepool in 1987, where it took over 10 years to restore the ship to her former glory. She is now the premier attraction at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
David McKnight, General Manager of HMS Trincomalee, said: “We were both honoured and delighted to welcome the Indian High Commissioner to HMS Trincomalee.
“The visit is significant because it comes just two years before we celebrate the ship’s two hundredth birthday. Trincomalee was built in Bombay, India of Malabar Teak, so the visit is hugely symbolic.”
He added: “It’s also significant as 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration of Indian Independence, giving opportunities to plan joint celebrations.”
Since 2014, Trincomalee has proudly been part of the heritage fleet of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, alongside HMS Victory, HMS Alliance and HMS Caroline. Trincomalee is included within the Core Collection of the National Register of Historic Vessels of the United Kingdom and is owned and maintained by the HMS Trincomalee Trust, a registered charity.