- Merseyside mariners will be calling the world to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.
Merseyside mariners will be calling the world to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.
Members of the Mersey Light-vessel Preservation Society (MLPS) - will be aboard the old Mersey Bar Light Ship 'Planet' in Birkenhead docks broadcasting to all Commonwealth countries and the rest of the world between Friday October 18 and Sunday October 20.
A grant of £5,000 has been awarded to the society from the National Lottery Awards for All, to buy special radio equipment to make commemorative Jubilee year connections with the Commonwealth. Members of the society will man Morse and radio telephony round the clock to connect to as many countries as possible. Those with whom they make connection will be sent a specially printed Jubilee acknowledgement card.
The ship, berthed at the Historic Warships Museum, will be open to the public from 10am-4pm on each of the four days. Access to the vessel will be free with a discounted rate for those wishing to visit the whole museum.
The Awards for All grant will also pay for talks by MLPS members to local schoolchildren on life in the Merchant Navy in the 1950s and
1960s, as part of a history project, and in spring 2003 for schools to visit the lightship.
Said MLPS chairman, Stan McNally, of Pensby, Wirral:- "We are thrilled with this grant. For a group like ours this is a large sum of money - and it will allow us to inform many other people of our mission."
"We've worked very hard to develop this project and this grant is a big boost. We hope the public will support us by visiting the ship over this special weekend. The equipment will remain as part of a museum to commemorate the Merchant Navy."
The Society was formed to save the bar light-vessel, presently up for sale, from being scrapped or sold abroad. She was the last manned lightvessel to serve the Mersey bar from 1961 -1972 and the last ever manned light-vessel to serve Britain's coast, off Guernsey, until 1980.
If you served on the lightship and would like to help, seek further information about the weekend, or wish to join the society or give donations, contact Stan McNally on 0151 648 2266. Alternatively log on to www.barlightvessel.org.uk.