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Messages - stokerstan

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Naval History / Re: Rum.
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:30:00 PM »
Wooden Pot Stills.  !!!!

Naval History / Re: Rum.
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:20:13 PM »
Page two.

Naval History / Re: Rum.
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:16:38 PM »

  Pusser's Navy Rum.

Naval History / Rum.
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:13:07 PM »
                 A notelet was attached to the neck of a bottle of Pusser's rum I was opening. Whilst I know that very few of our membership registered as "T" I fancy that some bits about making rum may not be fully known to all. I will admit, that reading about rum may not be as popular as drinking the stuff, but education is never wasted (and neither is good rum).

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 13, 2019, 08:28:19 PM »
Another Final item !!
 The Western Morning News for April 1922 had an interesting item on its pages.
                      Headed ... "Boys and the Sea",  it advised its readers that there was a Trafalgar ship in Falmouth Harbour, the frigate Foudroyant.

  The ship, it advised, had been rescued from the breakers yard by Mr George Wheatly Cobb,and was offering boys the chance to participate in "Holiday Training".
The ship had been originally named "Trincomalee", but renamed by Mr Cobb in memory of his lost Foudroyant, and was to continue with this name until 1992, when she reverted back to her original name . Trincomalee now rests in excellent condition in Hartlepool.
      Foudroyant is French for thunderbolt, and was probably in her early years an apt name. But when I last visited her as Trincomalee she was quiet and waiting for the visitors. A lovely ship to see.

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 09, 2019, 08:56:37 PM »
   Final Note on the matter.  Foudroyant souvenirs became a major cottage industry in various locations round the country. Much of her timbers disappeared into the night, and Foudroyant timber jewel boxes,tables, walking sticks and all manner of furniture could be purchased. A lot of her metal was melted down and medallions were struck showing the ship.
   They were openly on sale as far away as London. Eventually, another ship carried the name of Foudroyant, but I do not think she ever visited Blackpool.

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 09, 2019, 08:38:29 PM »
     In August 1897, a court case was underway in Liverpool. The case involved Cobb v Beecham and Challinor.
        It seems that Challinor had boarded the wrecked Foudroyant as she lay on the beach. He had daubed in letters three foot high and two foot wide the words..

                                         ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN TO DO HIS DUTY AND TAKE BEECHAM PILLS   
   Mr Challinor claimed he had misread a communication sent by Mr Beecham (this gentleman is thought to be the father of the Great Thomas Beecham the conductor). Mr Challinor was fined
 40 shillings. Mr Beecham however was fines £50-00. but was appealing.

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 09, 2019, 04:57:55 PM »
 The life boats had been able to do very little to help the ship until the worst of the wind died down, and when the life boat " Samuel Fletcher" got along side Foudroyant, all the crew, were safely rescued. It transpired that Mr Cobb was also on the ship,and described the event in a letter to his mother, as follows.
     " Floods of water swept through the Admirals cabin. I have never seen waves like them... no one could have lived two minutes in that sea. Every internal fitting and bulkhead was swept away, the decks rent to pieces, timbers ripped in every direction and she bumped with such violence that the lower deck guns ploughed grooves three feet deep through the solid oak sides of the ship.... A shout went up that the new lifeboat had put out. We got into the Samuel Fletcher and were landed in a crowd of several thousands. No body was lost"
 An enterprising Blackpool Advertising Manager by the name of C.Nadin had in the mean time been very busy telegraphing the story all over the country, bringing in trainloads of souvenir hunting sightseers.
        Estimated losses sustained by Mr Cobb were in the region of £30.000. A great deal of money at that time. Cobb struck a deal with a Glasgow salvage company, who tried to re float the ship.
   They could have her for £10-00 if they would take her away. Souvenir hunters took quite a lot first.

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 08, 2019, 04:41:43 PM »

 In Nelsons day,Foudroyant would have had a very well trained crew of up to 700 men, (and I would guess at least one good stoker for the steam launch). It was reported at the time that the Captain of the Foudroyant had been advised by some of the local sailors that he was taking quite a risk with his ship. However it would seem that the captain, one William John Robbins,paid no heed, and with his crew reported to be six men, and twenty "lads" set to showing off the ship to the paying public, with her restored admirals cabin,polished guns and beautiful carved figurehead.
  The fifteenth of June was calm and fine, but by 0530 on the morning of the 16th with little warning  the wind had turned to the South by West and rapidly  increased to gale force.
    The sworn inquiry heard at Fleetwood Court on the 17th, that very early in the morning the ship parted her starboard cable at the hawse pipe,and commenced to drag towards the shore.
Foudroyant carried no spare anchors,and by 10.00 he stern touched the ground and her foremast snapped off close to the deck, her bowsprit and head gear going at the same time.Shortly after, her remaining masts snapped off and it became obvious that she was wrecked. The steam launch had sunk as soon as the ship began moving,and a gig at the port boom also went whilst two boats hanging at the quarters were destroyed as the ship commenced to bump along the beach.

Naval History / Re: HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 07, 2019, 12:28:02 PM »
 Foudroyant, was going very nicely for Mr Cobb. He had made a few visits with her into resorts on the South Coast, and had had a very good few days in Southport, and had advertised Foudroyant's Blackpool visit widely throughout  industrial Lancashire. The railways were planning extra trains to the resort, and Blackpool, at this time was becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities presented by tourism. Foudroyant's visit provided the town with a spectacular made for it ,Blackpool liked the sensational happenings (they had after all built the "Tower" quite recently) ,
 and Nelson's ship fully decked out in bunting, looking as smart as paint with smartly dressed young sailor boys, it was irresistible.

    On the 4th June 1897, Foudroyant,towed by a small steam launch arrived at Blackpool. The weather was perfect and she dropped her (only) anchor about three miles off shore, within easy reach of both the North shore and Central Pier jetties,from where paying visitors could be ferried out to tour the famous ship.
                         Crowds packed the promenade to cheer her arrival, and for two weeks all was perfect.


Naval History / HMS Foudroyant Visit to Blackpool
« on: February 06, 2019, 03:33:13 PM »
     In 1897 Mr Wheatley Cobb took Nelsons favourite ship to Blackpool. She was  to be open to public viewing (for a small entry fee), and was billed as a grand attraction to salute Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee year.   

A run ashore / Re: Reunion Week-end 2019
« on: February 02, 2019, 08:54:26 PM »

   Contract signed with Britannia for the reunion week-end, and we have requested that the coach trip be to the Black Country Museum again. "018 trip, it was rather cold and wet, and several
 members said that they had not seen some of the museum, and suggested we  improved the weather for 2019. I am working on that now..... It is very cold and wet in Leeds right now, but it will be fine in Coventry in October.

A run ashore / Reunion Week-end 2019
« on: January 23, 2019, 08:12:01 PM »

 Reunion week-end 2019. 4th-5th-6th October. Britannia Coventry as usual ! No increase in costs again. Booking forms and details to follow.

Naval History / Re: Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock R.N.
« on: January 21, 2019, 02:41:11 PM »

   Admiral Cradock's Memorial in York Minster, still receives fresh flowers, I think on a regular basis. I feel the man is worthy of more note than he has been granted in the past.

Naval History / Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock R.N.
« on: January 20, 2019, 08:40:48 PM »
The Duke of Wellington was once asked how he had managed to win so many battles without losing any ! His reply was that he always made sure he was able to win the fight before he engaged the enemy, if he was not sure of victory, he retreated, he retreated he said and waited for a more opportune moment.
  Admiral Cradock engaged a German fleet in 1914 which he knew was greatly superior to his own.It seems that he had guessed the outcome of the  the battle that was not going to be in his favour,he had even left written word that he felt he would not survive the engagement. History records that he was correct, and he died along with 1570 of his men,in an engagement that became know as the battle of Coronel.
  The battle was the first defeat of the Royal Navy in a naval action in more than 100 years.
   Admiral Cradock, from my preliminary reading does not seem to have been a bad commander. His service record reads like that of a hero. However, it was reported, that some month earlier a Rear Admiral Troubridge had been brought before a court martial for failing to engage the enemy because the prevailing odds were severely against him, and it is suggested that this greatly influenced Cradock's course of action. There does seem to be other issues at play in the disaster. Orders issued to Cradock by the Admiralty seem to have been disingenuous,to say the least, and were in fact withdrawn ,three days after the battle !! I think further research into this battle might be interesting,I suspect that the Admiral was really worthy of his memorial in York.
    Wellington was on several occasions abused by the authorities for failing to attack the enemy, he lived to fight lots of famous victories, but it may be that the Lords in London still believed that Nelson's Navy could indeed still work miracles in 1914, sadly it was not so.

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