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Poignant day as Castleton celebrates special street naming

02 March 2018

Ark Royal Avenue celebration.

There was nostalgia in the air as the Castleton community took a trip down memory lane to dedicate a famously named local street.

Scores of people witnessed the unveiling of special street signs on Ark Royal Avenue, located on the site of the former Whipp and Bourne factory.

It was a poignant moment for those present, as the famous factory spanned generations supplying marine switchgear for historic ships like the Titanic, Royal Yacht Britannia and Ark Royal.   

Dignitaries at the ceremony included ward councillors, former Whipp and Bourne employees and a number of veterans who served on the Ark Royal.

The service was preceded by a special parade through local streets by armed forces personnel, schoolchildren and Castleton residents.

Children representing 4 Castleton primary schools laid wreaths by the street signs, to help mark the special occasion.

Councillor Janet Emsley, lead member for the armed forces, said: “It was particularly moving to see different generations of people present to witness the sign unveiling at this special event.   

'A special thanks to those who travelled far and wide to join in the celebrations'

“Whipp and Bourne will always be synonymous with Castleton and the event was a vivid reminder of the major role it played in winning the peace and keeping our high seas safe.   

“Thanks to everyone who supported the ceremony and a special mention to those who travelled from far and wide to join the celebration.”   

Gregory Cranfield, who served on the Ark Royal during the Gulf War, said: “I was proud to play my part in keeping our seas and the UK peaceful and safe by serving on the Ark Royal.   

“It is brilliant that the council has invested so much time and money in these wonderful signs. They are a lasting legacy to Whipp and Bourne and everyone who served on the Ark Royal. It was a really moving and emotional day.”   

Ward Councillors led by Billy Sheerin, who had played a key part in organising the event, thanked everyone for attending before balloons were released into the sunlit sky. People then went to the nearby Carnegie building to swap stories and reminisce.