Unicorn to blame as ship's burglar alarm annoys residents

Scotland's only remaining ship from the sailing days of the Royal Navy has been accused of making a racket to wake the dead because her burglar alarm keeps going off.

A close-up of HM Frigate Unicorn's distinctive bow

His Majesty’s Frigate Unicorn, launched in 1824, nominally with 46 guns, never made a sound during her 140 years with the fleet, as she was never rigged, never sailed, never fired a shot, and only took to sea once en route from the Royal Dockyard at Chatham, Kent to Dundee, during which time she was under tow.

She was brought to Dundee in 1873 to serve as the reserve training base for the Tay.

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As a result of her sheltered life, Unicorn, now a museum ship, is considered to be the best preserved of all historic wooden ships in the world from her era.

HM Frigate Unicorn

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But residents of waterfront homes at Dundee’s City Quay think she is also the noisiest.

One described the ship’s alarm as “hellish” and said it was becoming “too stressful to ignore”.

Police Scotland confirmed that officers had attended at the Unicorn three times during April as a result of alarm activations.

HM Frigate Unicorn

The Unicorn’s development manager Susan Curran said she was “sorry for any upset” caused by the alarm and that she would raise the matter herself at a residents’ meeting on the ship.