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Historic shield back on display in Selby
A PIECE of Selby’s wartime history is back on display in the town after it was saved at auction and refurbished.
The shield from HMS Sturgeon, a Second World War submarine with close links to the town, was in poor condition when it was bought at auction by Selby Town Council in 2010, and has since undergone professional restoration.
Coun Steve Shaw-Wright, leader of the town council, said the shield, which has this week been put on display at Selby Town Hall, was a vital link to the town’s history.
He said: “Selby was a maritime town, with ships being built in Selby until relatively recently, but we unfortunately do not have a lot of accessible history. During the Second World War, funds were raised to support the war effort, and one of the activities was Warship Week, where towns and villages were asked to raise money to fund the building of warships. Selby raised money to help build a submarine, HMS Sturgeon. Larger towns and cities funded frigates and larger ships, and to mark the Warship Week, communities were presented with copies of the arms of the relevant ship.” The HMS Sturgeon ran as a patrol submarine throughout the Second World War, and made history when it completed the first successful torpedo attack of the war.
The vessel was also involved in the hunt for the battleship Bismarck, and the shields were presented to the former Selby Rural and Urban District Councils when they adopted the submarine in March 1942.
The restoration of the shields was carried out by South Yorkshire-based restorer Mike Howden after they were bought at auction in Scunthorpe two years ago.
Coun Shaw-Wright said: “Mike did a wonderful job on the restoration of the shields. The shields were given to the council as custodian for the people, who had raised the funds. Selby District Council allowed Selby Town council to hold one of the HMS Sturgeon plaques.
I feel very proud that this is now on display in the Town Hall in Selby for all to see, a small but not insignificant reminder of Selby at war.”