New warship should be named HMS Dido to restore Bolton's proud association with navy, says councillor

The last HMS Dido

The last HMS Dido

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

BOLTON should restore its proud association with the Royal Navy with the naming of a new warship, Bolton Council has been told.

The Ministry of Defence is planning the building of 13 new warships to start coming into service after 2020.

The Type 26 vessels are set to replace 13 Type 23 frigates and Bolton Council was tonight asked to call for one of the ships to be named HMS Dido.

Westhoughton South councillor Kevan Jones put forward a motion at tonight’s meeting of Bolton’s full council to ask the Admiralty if one of the ships could be named after the ship, which has strong historical links with the borough.

In 1941, during World War Two, the people of Bolton raised more than £1 million in just seven days for the country’s war chest in what was known as “warship week”.

The money raised by Bolton residents allowed the town to adopt a warship — HMS Dido.

The ship was scrapped in 1958, but three years later a second HMS Dido was launched.

Cllr Jones said: “The fact that the people of Bolton raised that huge amount of money was very impressive — that would translate at between £30 and £40 million today.

“Bolton has a proud history of association with the Royal Navy — Westhoughton was actually the home of the Naval Gun Company, which made guns used on warships in World War One and Two.

“It would be great if we could get one of the new ships to be named HMS Dido and renew our proud association with the Royal Navy.”

In his motion, he said it was currently an apt time to approach the Admiralty as he believes that no names have yet been suggested to any of the new type of vessel, despite plans being at an advanced state.

See our live updates from tonight's meeting here.

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