Campaign for a new HMS Sheffield backed by pub named after famous ship
The campaign for a new HMS Sheffield has been backed by the manager of a pub named after the famous ship.
Sheffield is vying to get one of the Royal Navy's new fleet of submarine-hunters named after the city, which continues to provide steel to equip the nation's armed forces.
The city's lord mayor Anne Murphy and its MPs are among the high-profile figures making the case for what would be a fourth HMS Sheffield.
But Sheffield faces stiff competition from cities across the UK to secure naming rights for one the remaining six frigates, after the first two were christened Belfast and Glasgow.
The Shiny Sheff in Lodge Moor takes its title from the nickname given to the first HMS Sheffield, due to the abundance of stainless steel she sported.
Manager Tracy Skitt only took over at the pub on Crimicar Lane just five months ago but has quickly learnt how much the ship's history means to Sheffielders.
"I think people are very proud of the city's association with the HMS Sheffield and getting a fourth one would mean a lot to them," she said.
The pub is the regular meeting place for members of the HMS Sheffield Association, which includes people who have served on the ship over the years.
They were there earlier this month for Remembrance weekend, and are due to return in May to commemorate the anniversary of the HMS Sheffield's sinking during the Falklands War, when 20 crew members were killed.
"It was fabulous to have them in. We learned a lot about the ship and we're looking forward to welcoming them back and helping with their fundraising," she said.
"There was a mother there whose son died when the ship was hit in the Falklands, and she said how nice it was speaking to people who served alongside her son."
The Shiny Sheff's pool room is a shrine to the ship in its various guises, with a huge model of the first HMS Sheffield dominating one wall, which is also covered with photos, press cuttings and other memorabilia connected with its history.
Among them are the memories of an ex-marine boy bugler who served on the first HMS Sheffield during the Second World War, and an old token entitling the bearer to three pints of Trophy Bitter at The Shiny Sheff as a reward for serving on the ship.
Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara recently joined calls for a new HMS Sheffield, asking the defence secretary whether one of the new ships would be named after the city.
He was told the names had already been chosen and would be revealed at 'appropriate opportunities'.