Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visited in October 1973 to perform the ceremony granting the HMS Ark Royal the Freedom of the City of Leeds. Freedom of entry gave them the giving them the privilege of marching through the streets of the city on all ceremonial occasions. Around 400 of the crew were in the city for the celebration which also included a march past from Leeds Civic Hall through the city centre as well as a flypast by 26 aircraft from the ship. The 50,000 tonne aircraft carrier boasted a long association with the city. In 1941 the predecessor of the present ship was torpedoed and sunk by a German u-boat in the Mediterranean. It prompted an astonishing fundraising appeal from Leeds and its residents who raised £9 million for a new Ark Royal. These photos, plucked from the YEP archive, turn back the clock to showcase the celebrations in 1973 - were you among the crowds that day? READ MORE: Ark Royal Week - How Leeds raised £9 million for a new warship LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook
When HMS Ark Royal was granted the Freedom of Leeds
It was the day thousands lined the streets as Leeds celebrated the Ark Royal being granted the Freedom of the City.
By Andrew Hutchinson
Published 25th Jan 2021, 11:30 GMT
Updated 25th Jan 2021, 17:36 GMT
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