Kids get the run of warship
TAKING hold of the controls and leaning into the microphone, Caylem Scott shouted: "This is your captain speaking".
The nine-year-old from east Hull was just one of hundreds of young boys who got to realise their dream of playing life-sized Battleships yesterday.
Youngsters tried out machine guns, sat in the captain's chair and pretended to fire rockets at the enemy when they stepped aboard HMS York.
The ship was docked in Hull and opened to the public on Sunday before it is decommissioned later this month.
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Caylem went onboard with his grandad Paul Markham, 58, who served as an electrician with the Royal Navy from 1969 to 1980.
"I wanted to show my grandson what life was like in the Royal Navy," said Paul.
"I wouldn't knock anyone for joining the Navy or any of the Armed Forces – it was a brilliant time.
"I served on aircraft carriers and was on HMS Eagle, HMS Hermes and the Endurance.
"Being an electrician, I was responsible for some of the general maintenance and keeping everything running okay.
"I worked on the radar too."
Caylem said: "I've got a map in my playroom with all the places granddad has been to.
"The Navy sounds like it was a lot of hard work – I'm still thinking about what I want to do when I'm older."
Out on deck were Stephen Lobley, 63, his daughter Katherine, 31, and grandson George Tatton, 3.
Katherine, who lives in Leconfield, queued for more than two hours to see HMS York.
She said: "We thought this would be a good opportunity to look round – George loves anything outdoorsy like boats, tractors and farms.
"I think the little kids enjoy all the big guns and missiles, but the grown up boys like it too."
It is thought about 2,000 people climbed aboard HMS York yesterday.
It was one of the last chances to see her before she is decommissioned. Tomorrow, she will depart from Hull's King George Dock on a final voyage to Portsmouth.
Die-hard fans of ships and the Royal Navy spent up to three hours queuing to get on board.
Once there, they were able to ask questions of the crew, look round the decks and see what the living quarters were like.
Taking the chance to see the ship were Neil Morgan, 46, of Bransholme, and his son Travis, 10, who tried out one of the machine guns.
Travis said: "I like Army boats and playing with guns."