The Mayor of St Albans experienced a day in the life of a sailor on board the Royal Navy warship that bears the town's name - and even fired one of its machine guns.

St Alban’s Mayor Cllr Rosemary Farmer joined the frigate HMS St Albans from Portsmouth on March 28 for a day of activities on the Solent.

Cllr Farmer took part in range of activities to show off the capabilities of the Type 23 Warship, visiting the Frigate’s operations room - its command and control centre.

She also put on a combat helmet to fire live ammunition from a deck-mounted machine gun.

Cllr Farmer said: “I was a bit too short to get in the correct position. It wasn’t an easy thing to do and made me realise the high skill levels of the individuals on board.

“This was a fascinating tour which offered me and the other guests an insight into the lives of the men and women from the Royal Navy who guard and protect our nation. I was greatly impressed with what I witnessed and with all the officers and crew that I talked to.

“Luckily, I didn’t have to put up with heaving waves and challenging weather conditions. The Solent was like a millpond and the sky remained blue throughout my stay.”

The Mayor also presented a General Service Medal to one of the crew, Leading Regulator Everatt.

Cllr Farmer added: “It was a great honour to present an operational medal to one of the crew. That is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

“Over many years now, the St Albans District has built up a great relationship with HMS St Albans and I’m hoping my visit will further cement those ties.”

Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, Commander John Cromie said: “It is always a privilege to have our affiliates on board.

“Our links with Saint Albans is so important to us and it was great for representatives of the community to come on board and see for themselves what it is to be part of HMS St Albans’ wider family.”