Beside the Cluster of Nuts Car Park, beside the pick-up point for visiting coach parties, is a ship’s anchor .
The anchor was salvaged by John Trower and friends from the waters of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands where many German naval ships were scuttled (sunk) at the close of the First World War.
Once in Wetherby the anchor spent many years outside Rodger Field’s house in Deighton Road before being rehoused outside Wetherby Social Club. In 2018 it was decided to move the anchor to the Cluster of Nuts Car Park and make a feature of it celebrating Wetherby’s Royal Naval connections.
The surrounding garden was planted up and is maintained by volunteers of Wetherby in Bloom as part of their 30 Year Anniversary.
The map & information boards were made by Knaresborough Engineering and paid for by Wetherby Town Council and Wetherby Civic Society.
In 1942 the Royal Navy took over an unused camp on the York Road as a ‘ship’, and also the area in Hallfield Lane now occupied by the High School as the associated female residential camp, known as HMS Ceres (Moorland) or more usually ‘the Wrennery’. This became the Supply and Secretariat base for the Royal Navy, and once fully established was the country’s largest land based ship. Commissioned as HMS Cabot, according to the German wartime propaganda broadcaster Lord Haw-Haw, it was reported to great local amusement that it was promptly sunk!
The Name changed in 1943 to HMS Demetrious and again in 1940 to HMS Ceres. The base was finally closed in March 1958 and it’s work transferred to HMS Pembroke at Chatham in Kent.
You can read more about HMS Ceres and Wetherby’s Service connections here.