As HMS Ark Royal sailed into Portsmouth harbour for the last time, her crew were greeted by a huge banner hung on the sea walls welcoming them home. Leading flag manufacturer, Hampshire Flag Company, produced the 22m x 1m banner, in partnership with The Portsmouth News. Crowds of well-wishers braved the freezing temperatures and gathered round the banner, which said ‘Farewell to The Mighty Ark’ the nickname that the ship is affectionately known as. The PVC banner, which was produced on a Dupont Cromaprint printer, was turned round in just three days.
Graham Wilkinson, Hampshire Flag’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have produced this banner. HMS Ark Royal is very special to Portsmouth and we were glad to be able to help celebrate her final return to the city.”
“As the ship sailed in, the crew posted a picture of the banner on twitter – it was great to know that they had spotted it despite the thick fog,” added Graham.
Mark Acheson, deputy editor of The Portsmouth News, said: “The banner was a big hit with everyone who turned out to welcome HMS Ark Royal home, as well as the crew of the ship itself. We were glad to help celebrate its final return.”
This recent banner is just the latest that Hampshire Flag Company has produced to support a local cause or event, working alongside The Portsmouth News. Earlier this year produced the huge 40ft flag that travelled to Wembly to support Portsmouth Football Club in the FA Cup final.
Hampshire Flag’s team of 21 produces hand-sewn national and international flags and digitally printed banners. The Waterlooville firm also offers a bespoke flag design service, PVC banners, marine flags, bunting, table flags, exhibition graphics and event systems in addition to the supply and installation an extensive range of flagpoles.
Its prestigious portfolio of clients includes Selfridges, the BBC, Channel 4, Portsmouth Football Club, IBM and British Airways. Hampshire Flag supports various charities and expeditions including Action for Kids, Samaritans, Gumboots and for swimmer and environmentalist Lewis Pugh’s on-going feats.