Royalist’ is no Thames ghost from past as she slips past London’s 02

THE Tall Ship Royalist’ slipped quietly past East London’s O2 Arena at the weekend, heading up the Thames for a special navy celebration. But the twin-mast 90ft-long brig wasn’t a sea-faring ghost from the past

By Linda Lewis

THE Tall Ship Royalist’ slipped quietly past East London’s O2 Arena at the weekend, heading up the Thames for a special navy celebration.

But the twin-mast 90ft-long brig wasn’t a sea-faring ghost from the past. It was only built in 1971 and is used as a training ship by the Sea Cadets, giving 30,000 youngsters the chance to experience life at sea since it first set sail four decades ago.

She was recently featured on BBC2’s Empire of the Seas series with historian and former Sea Cadet Dan Snow.

The Royalist glided majestically past the high tech backdrop of the O2, crewed by cadets from the City of London unit normally based onboard HMS Belfast at Tower Bridge, after sailing from Gosport in Hampshire on Monday.

She is in London for the naval commissioning of her baby sister’ training ship, the Jack Petchey, the Sea Cadet Corps’ newest 16-berth power vessel Jack Petchey, named in honour of retired East End multimillionaire businessman Jack Petchey who donated �1 million for its construction.

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The Jack Petchey has been undergoing sea trials ready of Thursday’s commissioning.