The annual Bournemouth Air Festival was attended by a number of ships, including the Southampton based 1954-built steamship Shieldhall, which made her usual journey to Poole during August, and she is seen approaching the harbour entrance on 15 August.

After spending a few days open to the public alongside Town Quay, Shieldhall made trips into Poole Bay as spectator ship for the Air Festival. However, her Saturday sailing was cancelled due to bad weather and it was hoped that passengers would transfer to other trips as the issuing of refunds would have a severe impact on Shieldhall’s trading position this season.

The former Clyde and south coast sludge carrier was joined in Poole Bay by the cruise ship Saga Sapphire on one of her new British itineraries, while the Royal Navy was represented by Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth, the casualty ship RFA Argus, the Archer class patrol vessels HMS Ranger and HMS Smiter as well as a mine countermeasures vessel.

HMS Monmouth (F235) is the sixth Duke class frigate, known as ‘The Black Duke’, and is the frigate with more battle honours than any other serving warship. Laid down at Yarrow Shipbuilders during 1989 she was launched on 23 November 1991 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 24 September 1993. She is homeported at Devonport.

The trip boat Liberty Lass was also involved, and was photographed approaching Bournemouth Pier on 19 August during Royal Navy tendering operations for the annual Festival. At anchor in Poole Bay was Saga Sapphire, which had arrived from Dover that morning before sailing to Portland later in the evening.

The 200m former Bleu de France was originally scheduled to berth overnight at the Port of Poole, where she would have been the largest ship ever to have called. However port improvements including the construction of the new South Quay are now not due to start until later this year.

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