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Model boat event pays tribute to Royal Marine father

PUBLISHED: 14:59 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 01 July 2010

Model Warship day at Eaton park organised by Richard Thurston (pictured) in memory of his father Ray.

Model Warship day at Eaton park organised by Richard Thurston (pictured) in memory of his father Ray.

Sam Emanuel

Scores of model boat enthusiasts have met up to show off their vessels at a special event organised by a Costessey man in memory of his father.

Richard Thurston, 43, of Three Mile Lane in New Costessey, is a member of the Norwich Model Club and organised the day in honour of his father Raymond Thurston.

Scores of model boat enthusiasts have met up to show off their vessels at a special event organised by a Costessey man in memory of his father.

Richard Thurston, 43, of Three Mile Lane in New Costessey, is a member of the Norwich Model Club and organised the day in honour of his father Raymond Thurston.

He was a Royal Marine with 42 Commando and he travelled home on HMS Ocean after being sent to help out with the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956. He was among 590 Marines who were taken home by the vessel, stopping off at Malta on the way back.

Mr Thurston wanted to find out more about photographs he had of his father, and so managed to track down some of his father's friends from the navy, who also attended the event.

Last year, Mr Thurston made a nine-and-a-half foot replica of the boat, which has 186 lights, battle sounds, working anchors, two working radars, a smoke unit, helicopter sounds and Morse code lights. Together with the model and his father's comrades Ray Plowright and Ken Applegate, he joined about 100 other boat club members from Norwich, Maidstone and other clubs across the country at Eaton Park.

He said: “I had a lot of photographs of my father but I didn't know when or where they were taken, and my mum wasn't sure either, so I decided to get in touch with some people who would. I got in touch with the Royal Marine Association Club and they were able to put me in touch with some of his friends. They were really helpful - when I showed them the pictures they knew exactly when and where they were taken, and had some more themselves.

“I went down to Plymouth, where my dad was based, and they were very welcoming there - I had lunch in the officers mess. It was litk a trip down memory lane - I had my picture taken in the place my father was standing in one of the pictures I've got.”

Mr Thurston said the day at Eaton Park was a success and about 100 boat enthusiasts took part, with hundreds of people watching. He has organised a similar event at the park on Sunday, September 12 from 9.30am, where the Royal Marine Cadet's band from Winterton are expected to play.

For more information or to contact Mr Thurston, visit www.norwichmodelboatclub.com.

Have you organised an event or fund in memory of a loved one? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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