IT would be nice just to say there has been a lot of water under the bridge since, but sadly even the bridge has gone.
However, that doesn’t stop us learning that while HMS Dido may have long since succumbed to the breakers – she was one of two frigates that came to the Tyne during Navy Week in 1965, you may recall – she lives on in spirit.
It’s nice to know we are still remembered. Hopefully we will be making our way up to the Tyne to celebrate one of our annual reunions.HMS Dido Association
Since featuring a picture of her in the river 50 years ago, it’s been smashing to hear from the HMS Dido Association, which was formed 10 years ago.
It currently has 300 members worldwide, many of them from the era when the picture was taken, by reader Dennis Maccoy.
I mentioned previously that the vessel had appeared in the TV drama Warship, under the name HMS Hero.
The Association tell me: “When she starred in Warship, in the mid-1970s, she had her pennant number changed to F42 for a short time.”
It seems she was no stranger to transient change.
“When she was laid down, she was due to be named HMS Hastings, but after the keel was completed she was renamed.
“It’s nice to know we are still remembered. Hopefully we will be making our way up to the Tyne to celebrate one of our annual reunions.
“We are gradually making our way around the country, visiting all the places the ship visited.”
And very welcome they will be too.
Sadly, Dido – which was eventually sold to the New Zealand Navy – ended her days run up a beach in Goa in the mid-1990s (after her boilers were first removed, to go to a rubber plantation).
Dennis took a number of splendid photographs - happily in colour, too – of the ships when they visited in 1965.
This is another of his, of the cruiser Tiger in the river in company of a tug (whose name I unfortunately can’t make out).