Events planned for HMS Belfast anniversary

Imperial War Museums (IWM) will celebrate the 80-year history of HMS Belfast with an anniversary weekend on March 17-18, exploring the vessel’s action in Arctic convoys, D-Day, the Cold War, the Korean War and beyond.

Visitors to HMS Belfast for the anniversary weekend will be able to journey through the ship’s nine decks and uncover its history from the launch in 1938 through to its arrival in London in 1971. There will also be a programme of activities on board to mark this anniversary.

Leading up to this milestone, visitors will be able to get involved in preparing the ship for the commemorations.

During February half term, the programme of activities on board will allow visitors to participate in hands-on conservation and find out how HMS Belfast’s conservation team preserves the historic ship.

A private ceremonial event will take place on board HMS Belfast on March 16, when many the ship’s surviving veterans will be reunited to mark the anniversary.

Ian Kikuchi, senior curator of Second World War at IWM said: “’HMS Belfast is a rare survivor, a veteran warship and a unique witness to 20th-century conflict.

“During this anniversary weekend, visitors can come on board and experience the ship’s life and adventures by walking the same decks, ducking through the same hatches and climbing up and down the same ladders as the crew who served on board.

“With 80 years of stories to discover and nine decks to explore, there really is no museum quite like HMS Belfast.”