Letter: Loss of the 'Ark'

Click to follow
Sir: I was very saddened to read of the planned closure of Cammell Laird and the subsequent loss of hundreds of jobs in Birkenhead ('Sixty years after shipyard riots, the bitterness returns', 3 December). The City of Leeds has a long-standing association with the Ark Royal and many people have pointed out to me that your photograph shows the fourth Ark Royal under construction at Cammell Laird in 1950, and not 1932 as your caption states.

Leeds adopted what was then the third Ark Royal, in November 1941, only 10 days before it was sunk off the coast of Gibraltar. The people of Leeds rallied round and within 10 days raised the incredible sum of pounds 9m towards the cost of a replacement. It was this replacement, like its predecessor built at Cammell Laird and launched in 1950 by HM the Queen (now Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother), that your photograph shows.

Over the years the relationship with the ship has remained strong, and I have witnessed the tremendous amount of time and effort donated by the ship's company towards the Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal to convert a farm on the outskirts of Leeds into a holiday centre for needy children.

Yours faithfully,


Lord Mayor of Leeds

Civic Hall


West Yorkshire

3 December