Allerdale Mayor, Councillor John Crouch, led today’s ceremony marking Merchant Navy Day.
The flag-raising ceremony took place at Allerdale Borough Council’s offices in Workington. Over 30 people joined Cllr Crouch in marking the work of the British Merchant Navy, including local veterans, councillors, mayors and members of the public. The local Sea Cadets provided the bugle salute and Reverend Philip Jackson led the prayer.
Speaking at the event, Cllr Crouch said: “The Red Ensign, or ‘Red Duster’ as it is affectionately known, has been the recognised flag of the British Merchant Navy since 1854.”
“It has become inextricably linked with the world-wide trade links…and while there are now fewer ships on the home register, many thousands of British seafarers still work on the oceans of the world.”
“But today we also honour the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy who kept our island nation afloat during both world wars, and even during peace-time faced and continue to face the more routine perils of violent storms and mountainous seas.”
Merchant Navy Day takes place nationally on Monday 3 September. Hundreds of places across Britain will take part in the Seafarers UK ‘Fly the Red Ensign’ campaign, to honour those who kept our ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars, and celebrate the modern day Merchant Navy seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK’s imports, including half the food we eat.