Ex-commanding officer backs HMS Illustrious plan for Hull
A FORMER commanding officer of HMS Illustrious is backing the idea of bringing the ship to Hull on a permanent basis.
The aircraft carrier is being decommissioned next year and the Royal Navy is looking for organisations to maintain it.
Professor Calie Pistorious, vice-chancellor of the University of Hull, is leading efforts to bring the carrier to the city as a new visitor attraction.
Now-retired vice-admiral Bob Cooling has given his support to the idea of the ship being based in Hull.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He was commanding officer on Illustrious for two years from 2004 and is currently president of the HMS Illustrious Association.
He said: "I am absolutely delighted that Hull has expressed a very strong interest in the Illustrious after she leaves service next year.
"It is a very exciting project and what has impressed me most so far is that different parts of the community in Hull appear to be uniting on this to try to make it happen.
"Professor Pistorious has put together a compelling case and he has also got the academic weight of the university behind him.
"It's also encouraging to hear the city council is being very supportive.
"It seems a lot of people in Hull have a positive attitude towards this.
"They are looking at how they can overcome issues such as the shallow nature of the Humber and a comparative lack of dock space compared with other ports.
"That positive attitude is the right way to take things forward."
Mr Cooling, who now lives in North Yorkshire, met Professor Pistorious yesterday to hear more details about the idea.
"I was very impressed by what he had to say and the breadth of his ambition for the ship," said Mr Cooling.
"It really is an inspired idea and linking in the history of naval aircraft building in Brough is an excellent way of broadening its appeal as a visitor attraction.
"I have offered my time towards the enterprise and I am only too happy to put my shoulder to the wheel. I wish it every success."
He acknowledged other cities might table rival bids for the carrier but insisted Hull could be a front-runner.
"Although it does not have the same recent naval connections as somewhere like Portsmouth, I actually think that could be a strength," said Mr Cooling.
"Portsmouth already has its fair share of naval ships, while the idea of bringing the Illustrious to Hull to stimulate wider economic generation is a good one."