This image courtesy: BBC & Chippenham Museum & Heritage Centre.
There was a long tradition of Royal Navy warships being ‘adopted’ by local areas – formal or informal links would be established between a town and a particular ship. Often the ships company would visit the ‘adopted’ area and there might be a parade. The ship’s Arms or a plaque would be displayed in the town council. Sometimes there might be reciprocal visits to the ship by local dignitaries, see for example Canvey Island. At the beginning of 1942 a national campaign extended this idea by linking it to a fundraising efforts for War Bonds. Over 1200 cities, towns and villages took part. Many if not most exceeded their targets and an extraordinary £955,611,589 was raised in total.
Godfrey Dykes has summarised the information for just Yorkshire, illustrating the wide range of types of ship that were adopted during the fundraising process. Some towns had ships named after them – for example HMS Eastbourne.. The strength of the link established between ship and locality varied enormously but some associations have been maintained up to the present day and some towns will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their adoption of a particular ship this year.