Sunderland reunion was shipshape for ex-HMS Arrow crew

Crew members from Sunderland's former adopted warship HMS Arrow, at their reunion at the Royal Navy Club, Roker Avenue, Sunderland.
Crew members from Sunderland's former adopted warship HMS Arrow, at their reunion at the Royal Navy Club, Roker Avenue, Sunderland.
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Ex-service personnel from Sunderland’s former adopted warship came together for a special reunion.

More than 60 former crew members of HMS Arrow recently gathered at the Royal Navy Association (RNA) Club in Roker Avenue.

David Wright, Colin Sutcliffe, Kevin Richardson, Steve 'Dibbs' Dyball and Eddie Dodd at the HMS Arrow reunion.

David Wright, Colin Sutcliffe, Kevin Richardson, Steve 'Dibbs' Dyball and Eddie Dodd at the HMS Arrow reunion.

Among the crew were men who served on the ship from her build on the Clyde between 1972-74 up to her sale to the Pakistan Navy in 1994.

There was also several sailors in attendance who served on her during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

Sandra Hodgson, the club’s secretary, said: “The reunion was wonderful, we had men travelling as far afield as Thailand, Ireland and Abu Dhabi.

“We have very strong links to HMS Arrow, we even have a piece of the ship’s bridge at the RNA which was damaged by a rocket attack in 1982 which we keep on display.

The fondness we have for Sunderland still remains.

Julian Mayston, ex Petty Officer

“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting together and reminiscing and we’re hoping to do it again, if not next year, then the year after.”

HMS Arrow, a type 21 frigate, was adopted by Sunderland on June 23, 1975.

She was commissioned in the city on July 29, 1976, and was a regular visitor to Wearside throughout her years in service.

In 1989, along with Kate Adie, the vessel was awarded the freedom of Sunderland, and paid her last visit on August 26, 1993.

HMS Arrow saw active service during the Falklands conflict of 1982.

HMS Arrow saw active service during the Falklands conflict of 1982.

Julian Mayston, ex Petty Officer on HMS Arrow between 1989 and 1991, said: “All these years on, the fondness we all have towards Sunderland still remains.

“The only remaining relics of HMS Arrow are in Sunderland. A ship’s bell is in the civic hall and the RNA Club is almost a museum to HMS Arrow.

“The RNA Club have always been a fantastic friend of HMS Arrow, HMS Ocean the current adopted ship, and the Royal Navy as a whole.”