Due to Bridport's long connections with rope and sail production for the British Naval Fleet over the centuries, it seems appropriate for the Royal Navy to name one of their ships after the town. The first HMS Bridport was a fleet minesweeper of the Bangor class. She was built at Dumbarton, Scotland and launched in December 1940 to take part in the hostilities of the second world war. She served in minesweeping flotillas in Scapa Flow, Harwich and Portsmouth. She also gained battle honours at Dieppe in 1942 and Normandy in 1944. In 1945 she was decommissioned by the Royal Navy. However, in 1946 she was taken over by the Royal Air Force and became HMRAFV Bridport. She continued in service until 1958, when she was finally broken up in Plymouth.
In 1992 a new HMS Bridport was built. Part of the Sandown Class Single Role Minehunters, HMS Bridport was part of the Third MCM Squadron, based at Faslane, Scotland. She was built by Vosper Thorneycroft (UK) at their Southampton yard. She was launched by Lady Deborah Hill on 30th July 1992 and accepted by the Royal Navy on 15th June 1993.
HMS Bridport had a ship's company of 5 Officers, 7 Senior Ratings and 24 Junior Ratings.
HMS Bridport also enjoys a number of affiliations:
The Town of Bridport
Bridport Royal Navy Association and Sea Cadet Corps (TS KEPPEL)
The Town of Oban
Leith Academy in Scotland
Alas, the Royal Navy decided to decommission HMS Bridport early in 2005.
Visit the Bridport Museum in South Street or the Local History Centre in Gundry Lane for more information