HMS Westminster proved a lean mean fighting machine

She may be the most advanced frigate in the Fleet, but some things still require all hands on deck.

Lower decks on HMS Westminster were cleared and sailors mustered for the arduous task of ‘storing ship’ – filling the freezers, fridges and pantries with dry, fresh and frozen goods.

Routine business – and not ordinarily worthy of a little news story – but it’s not been done aboard the Type 23 in a couple of years as the ship has been in refit in Portsmouth.

With the overhaul complete, the frigate is due to begin sea trials in December – which means sea time and therefore plenty of ‘scran’ to sustain the 180-plus souls on board.

Chefs and caterers plan their menus meticulously but some RN set pieces remain long-standing favourites, such as, cheesy hammy eggy

Carried aboard on the very first load by a daisy chain of men and women on the jetty, flight deck and down into the bowels of the 4,500-tonne man o’war were: more than one tonne of potatoes, 3,400 rashers of bacon, 200kg of chicken, and 520kg of baked beans… plus several boxes of crackers, Angel Delight and some crates of peanut butter.

The ability to store for prolonged periods at sea is often the limiting factor when it comes to operations; therefore efforts are always made to ensure best use is made of the limited supply of produce.

Chefs and caterers plan their menus meticulously… but some RN set pieces remain long-standing favourites, such as, cheesy hammy eggy (cheese, ham and a fried egg on toast), fish and chips every Friday, and the obligatory Sunday roast.