The latest news about and from the Worshipful Company of Butchers

‘Never been busier’: a report from HMS Tyne

Published on: 29 November 2019

Military connections are important to Livery Companies and the Worshipful Company of Butchers is no different. This is an update report from our affiliated Warship, HMS Tyne.

The crew aboard HMS Tyne
The crew aboard HMS Tyne.

Having been threatened with decommissioning in 2018, 2019 has been a very different year. The ship has received significant investment delivering increased operational availability and capability, as well as a much-needed lick of paint! 

The Ship and Ship’s Company have never been busier…. delivering the wide range of tasks that naturally fall to a front line Patrol Ship, including the core duty of Marine Enforcement Operations (Fisheries Protection), escorting foreign warships through UK waters, navigation training, support to civil authorities and wider engagement tasks in and around the UK and Northern Europe. These are just a slice of what Tyne offers in protecting the rich maritime tapestry of the UK, spending, as it does, up to 320 days at sea per year.

With a Ship’s Company of 44 (with about 30 on board at any time), having sailed 33,900 nautical miles, escorted 10 Foreign Warships, conducted 87 Fishery Protection boardings and with 27 Port visits a busy schedule helps mould a team into being able to tackle any challenge.

HMS Tyne

Recent stops in the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and regular visits to the affiliate town, Newcastle upon Tyne provide variety. Foreign port visits provide a fantastic opportunity for engagement with allies and friends in Northern Europe, while time spent in Tyneside is always welcome. Recent engagement there has included local schools, cadet groups, the local Royal Navy Reserve unit and elements of the council.

The Ship’s Company always enjoys those visits!

HMS Tyne
Liverymen visiting HMS Tyne in May 2018.

One simple fact underlies everything…. Tyne's men and women – our sailors – are what make the Ship, and they are more than ready for any challenge. That the enduring humour and ‘matelot spirit’ of the sailors is truly alive is undeniable. A Halloween costume night, whole ship quiz competitions, daily exercise circuits, sports nights and more help build a strong bond between the diverse team. This year’s successes are solely down to the people, their commitment to the Ship and to each other.

The link between the Worshipful Company of Butchers and HMS Tyne is important in aiding this success. Sailors love to tell stories and as we seek to forge ever closer links between WCB and the Ship we look forward to developing that relationship and meeting Liverymen, to show off their skills and their ship and to learn more of the role of the Livery. 

Looking forward, and in today’s unpredictable world, HMS Tyne can never be sure what its operational role is. Although the core business will not change, Tyne will remain an essential element in enforcing fisheries regulations, providing invaluable training at sea and protecting our waters. Tyne will be out there, quietly executing its duties with confidence, good humour and full stomachs from world-beating meats.