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Torre Abbey Museum has welcomed a new permanent exhibition which celebrates the history of one of the Navy’s most famous names – HMS Torbay.
The exhibition highlights the exploits of bravery and heroism of the captains, officers and crew of latter ships in the 20th Century culminating in the retirement of the Trafalgar Class Nuclear powered submarine HMS Torbay.
Torbay by the Sea, on the first floor of the Abbey, showcases the history of the vessel, points of contact, tours and the role it has played defending us and keeping us free. HMS Torbay, one of the oldest names in the Royal Navy since 1694, is the only ship that is older is HMS Ark Royal.
A series of plaques are displayed on the staircase leading from the exhibition gallery, each one was presented to the Borough from visiting ships. It is a great record of naval ships that have visited Torbay over very many years.
There have been a number of famous HMS Torbays down the centuries because Torbay was the home of the Royal Navy until 1840 when Plymouth Breakwater was built.
Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “Torbay by the Sea exhibition is a respectful nod to our wonderful maritime history. The Bay has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times and the lives of our residents and visitors have had long standing connections to the sea – whether as a source of food, employment or as a leisure activity.
“We have a strong naval and military history and also tourists and residents have enjoyed our stunning coastline for years. The Bay has been chosen to host many prestigious events one great example is 1948 Olympics’ sailing event. Today, we continue to be a high profile event destination with over 50 sea based events taking place here each year.
Cllr Nicole Amil, Executive Lead for Tourism, Culture and Harbours, said: “This is a wonderful exhibition with a collection of works and artefacts that showcase Torbay’s relationship with the sea. You can see the exhibition as part of the standard entry fee for the museum. Children and teenagers go free with one paying adult – which makes visiting the museum great value for money.
“If you haven’t visited Torre Abbey Museum, you won’t be disappointed with the vast array of art and historic artefacts that sit within this beautiful building.”
Torbay by the Sea opened on Friday 19 January. Please check www.torre-abbey.org.uk for opening times.