FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Argyll at sunset

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on January 19, 2014

HMS Argyll, the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy, passed through Tower Bridge this afternoon after a four day stay in the capital. I hadn’t been mad enough to get up for her arrival earlier this week (at the unearthly hour of 1.45am on wednesday) but a sunday afternoon seemed a much more achievable target.

HMS Argyll turns 180 degrees with the assistance of two tugs

HMS Argyll turns 180 degrees with the assistance of two tugs

The departure time was scheduled just before sunset, which would normally have been an irresistible lure for photography but for the rather gloomy weather of late. I didn’t hold out much hope but was astonished to see the weather forecast for today steadily improving as the week progressed until, finally, they promised sun!

The weather forecast proved to be reliable for once, the sun picking out HMS Argyll with a golden glint as she made her way through the Lower Pool, assisted by the tugs Svitzer Bootle and Svitzer Laceby. At a spot opposite Surrey Water the tugs helped to turn the frigate 180 degrees, then followed as she headed downstream. It was truly impressive to see just how quickly the warship could be turned round – the whole procedure took just five minutes.

HMS Argyll passes Globe Wharf on her departure from London

HMS Argyll passes Globe Wharf on her departure from London

Quite a crowd had gathered by the riverside to watch HMS Argyll (F231) head through the stretch of the Thames at Rotherhithe and the warship made for a wonderful sight until she disappeared from view, bathed in the pinkish glow of sunset.

It is always a pleasure to see the incredible range of cruise ships, tall ships and warships that stop off in London but it is particularly satisfying when the conditions come together quite so perfectly as today. I just hope it signals an end to the miserable wet and windy weather that we have seen so far this year…

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One Response

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  1. folkestonejack said, on January 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Baynes Media has produced a rather impressive time-lapse video of HMS Argyll turning 180 degrees whch you can see at

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