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03 September 2021

Flags hoisted to thank seafarers on Merchant Navy Day

Today, Friday 3 September, Cumbria County Council are showing their support for Merchant Navy Day by flying the Red Ensign flag at County Offices in Kendal, Cumbria House in Carlisle as well as the Port of Workington.

The 3 September 1939 marked the outbreak of the Second World War and also marked the first major British maritime casualty, the merchant vessel SS Athenia, torpedoed just a few hours after hostilities were declared.

This day later became enshrined as Merchant Navy Day to honour the bravery of those during both World Wars, and to raise awareness of the UK’s ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.

The County Council is supporting the nationwide call from the Seafarers UK charity and the Merchant Navy Association for the UK Merchant Navy’s official flag to be flown on public buildings and landmarks.

The Red Ensign, also known as the Red Duster, was ceremonially raised at the Port of Workington today by Chairman of Cumbria County Council, Councillor Tony Markley, and Cabinet Member and Armed Forces Portfolio Holder, Councillor Celia Tibble, using one of the Port’s Liebherr cranes.

The Port of Workington, owned and operated by Cumbria County Council, has an operational area of approximately 50 acres, handling up to 500,000 tonnes of cargo per year including dry bulk, liquid bulk, renewable energy, project cargo, forest products and container sectors.

Chairman of Cumbria County Council, Councillor Tony Markley, said:

“Merchant Navy Day is a great way to show our support for the servicemen and women who kept our 'Island Nation' afloat during both World Wars. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the whole nation to show its support and appreciation. Cumbria County Council is proud to be flying the flag.”

Cabinet Member and Armed Forces Portfolio Holder, Councillor Celia Tibble, added:

“I am delighted that we are supporting Merchant Navy Day again and have been able to fly the flag from the Port of Workington this year. It is the largest port in Cumbria and one of the main hubs in the North West of England, so to fly a flag there is a great way for us to honour and celebrate our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 90% of the UK's imports, including much of the food we eat, most of the fuel we burn and other imports.”


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Today, Friday 3 September, Cumbria County Council are showing their support for Merchant Navy Day by flying the Red Ensign flag at County Offices in Kendal, Cumbria House in Carlisle as well as the Port of Workington.