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Among the various activities and re-enactment groups playing their parts in the Tall Ships Festival at Gloucester Docks was the Royal Navy cutter ‘Blue Launch’, built by the Historical Maritime Society. Totally pre-occupied as I was by a group playing folk music, the first volley of fire caught me unawares and I leapt out of my skin – the next time, I was ready!Smoke surrounds the Royal Navy cutter ‘Blue Launch’ built by the Historical Maritime Society firing rifles during re-enactment at Gloucester Tall Ships Festival (All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)

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