LIVERPOOL is preparing to give its Royal Navy namesake HMS Liverpool a very special final homecoming to the River Mersey.
HMS Liverpool is sailing into the city for a packed programme of events before the vessel is decommissioned after three decades of outstanding service.
The Type 42 Destroyer is due to arrive tomorrow at 9.30am for a six-day visit, during which she will be docked alongside the cruise liner terminal.
Already on board will be the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Frank Prendergast, who joined the ship’s company a couple of days ago.
Highlights of the visit include the ship’s company exercising its right to march through the streets of Liverpool.
The 180 strong crew will be led by the commanding officer of HMS Liverpool, Commander Colin Williams, and an official Royal Marines band.
The crew will be marching with bayonets fixed and drums beating – something they are allowed to do after receiving the Freedom of the City in 1982.
At Exchange Flags the parade will halt for inspections and a salute will be taken by the Lord Lieutenant and Liverpool’s Lord Mayor. During her stay the ship will host a reception for invited guests and visits by school and college groups.
Thousands are also expected to tour the ship for the last time when she opens to the public on Saturday and Sunday before a farewell ceremony takes place on Monday.
As she sails out, HMS Liverpool will perform a five gun salute as she reaches Cammell Laird.
The ship will then turn around and do a final sail past along the waterfront and perform another five gun salute as she sails past the Liver Building.