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Messages - stokerstan

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A run ashore / Re: Belated Reunion 2020
« on: September 29, 2020, 11:24:25 PM »

    Arrr !!!  false news. Have obtained a full print out now from Leeds City Council (not the brightest knives in the drawer) but they insist that Leeds
 has not gone into lockdown. We are quite at liberty to go on holiday to Fleetwood (or anywhere else you fancy, as long as you stick to the government rules that are currently applying). Cathleen has it in writing. !!
   Social distancing, no going into other hotel rooms other than your own, and the hotel has full cleaning plans and table arrangements . ALL GOOD.
  Members going on their three day hols on the 19th will be given an advice sheet when they check in at the hotel reception.  Take Care Stay safe, and relax a little.

    Full details will be sent out prior to the 19th.
      P.S. The cake is safe !!  Watch this space.

A run ashore / Re: Belated Reunion 2020
« on: September 27, 2020, 09:09:41 PM »

  Well here we are! 27/09/20.   Just when I thought it safe to go back into the water, or into a "lock In" at Fleetwood, along comes another set of instructions on how to fight the bug !!

    I am not sure of exactly where we stand at the present time re reunion, but I shall contact the hotel, and confirm matter at their end, and put out the results next week.
     Anyone with any cunning plans re reunions , lockdowns, or anything else cunning, please email me. Do not get depressed, do not listen to nutters who have the sky falling down,
just take common sense precautions, keep clear of crowds and kids, and the next door neighbours particularly if they look ill !!! ???

       I may just have a beautiful cake going spare if the worst case happens. ...  and a super raffle prize Any ideas for disposal ???   No rude relies please.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: September 09, 2020, 05:31:52 PM »
 An Epitaph For a Hero. In the central part of the nave of Westminster Abbey where Cochrane was buried is a stone bearing the following statement.

  Here rests in his 85th year Thomas Cochrane tenth Earl of Dundonald Baron Cochrane of Dundonald of Paisley and of Ochiltree in the Peerage of Scotland Marquess of Maranham in the Empire of Brazil G.C.B. and Admiral of the Fleet who by the confidence which his genius his science and extraordinary daring inspired, by his heroic exertions in the cause of freedom and his splendid
services alike to his own country Greece Brazil Chile and Peru achieved a name illustrious throughout the the world for courage patriotism and chivalry.

  Born Dec.14th 1775. Died Oct.31st 1860.
 At the top of the stone is his coat of arms, crest and motto  "Virtute et Labore" and at each corner are the shields of Chile, Brazil, Peru and Greece.

 No paint or graffiti here. Each year a dignified remembrance service takes place by representatives of the above nations who see Cochrane as their original liberator.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: September 07, 2020, 09:45:06 PM »
!847- Cochrane was amazed to receive a letter from Lord Aukland, First Lord of the Admiralty. Cochrane at the age of seventy two was made Commander-in Chief for the North American and West Indian Station. It seems that Cochrane was very pleased indeed. There was no war going on in that part of the world, so it was unlikely that Cochrane  was going to lead any boarding parties on cutting out ventures.
  However Cochrane had not been idle during his enforced years ashore. Thomas had struck up a friendship with Marc Isambard Brunel. Brunel had come up with some very plausible plans to build steam tugs that could be used to tow warships. Cochrane had always claimed that steam driven war ships would and should be developed, if Britain wished to keep control of the seas. Predictably the Admiralty poured scorn on the idea, but again Cochrane saw steam development making sailing ships redundant. Cochrane also produced a compressed air device that made a tunnel under the Thames at Blackwall viable. Cochrane also worked with Brunel to produce a steam engine that would drive propellers on a ship.
   Cochrane however, being obsessed with inventions, poured much of his own money into the schemes, often to the detriment of his wife and family, his wife reportedly said in a letter to Cochrane,
" I hate the inventive faculty", it seems that he did not spend much time at home.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: September 05, 2020, 08:42:41 PM »
1829 things looked up for Cochrane. King George IV died. King George did not like Cochrane, who many years before had managed to stop some members of the Royal Family getting a huge totally unearned rise in their spending money!! However King William IV had always been a fan of Thomas Cochrane, nicknamed the sailor king, he had long taken an interest in Cochrane's career, and was in total agreement of much on what he had campaigned.Same year the Wellington party lost the general election, and in 1830 when the famous Earl Grey (of tea fame) took power and began enacting the very parliamentary reforms that Cochrane had been advocating years before, to the detriment of his naval career and reputation. Cochrane lived to see many of his old enemies in the Admiralty turfed out of power. Politics still dogged Cochrane, the government privately wrote letters to him assuring him that he had their full approval, and that he should have his name completely cleared, and his naval record put right. But as in politics on most issues things never got done. Cochrane's wife Kitty,was not satisfied at all, and at a function attended by the king, Kitty told the king of her dissatisfaction at the treatment still being meted out to her husband. On the 2nd of May 1832 Cochrane was appointed rear Admiral of the fleet,and a complete pardon was issued to him by the king at St. James Palace. Cochrane however was still not happy, his Order of the Bath that was stripped from him when he went to prison, did not get reinstated until 1846, when he was seventy years old.Word had it that Queen Victoria had personally intervened in the matter, she was a huge admirer of the man, and the first vacancy that occured she had reserved for her hero.

A run ashore / Re: Belated Reunion 2020
« on: September 05, 2020, 07:42:57 PM »
 I expect to have a further meeting with the manager of the North Euston hotel before October. We will be discussing seating plans, menu, and some presentations we propose to make to the hotel
 The museum,market,and shopping malls are open, but when we visited the lifeboat station, they had not then re-opened to the public, I have since heard that they may well have done so now, but will check. Bus services seem to be running as normal as are tram car services. I will be checking this nearer the reunion date.
    The hotel issues us with a simple "do and don't" list at check in, it is mostly common sense about practising hand washing and using the provided sanitising gels etc. The manager did mention several times that the hotel is spot checked on an ad hoc basis, to ensure regulations are being adhered to. On our stay we did adhere to all the rules, and found nothing inconvenient.

I have recently been without communications, some fools in a stolen car wiped out a major junction box. Everything now reinstalled.
Please note that my phone number is 01132 555562. It was misprinted in Flat Top, and people keep shouting at me !!   Stay Safe but lets start living a little bit, but safely.


A run ashore / Re: Belated Reunion 2020
« on: September 05, 2020, 07:20:30 PM »
 Usual Details. Free car park at rear of hotel. Gala Dinner Tuesday. and .....Wednesday, being Trafalgar Day, we will of course be recognising this (probably earlier in the day with a tincture of drink), but keeping drivers who may be on the road next day safe from breath test problems. The Victorious Cake ( a thing of great beauty) will be at the Tuesday dinner, as will be the raffle, disposal of said raffle funds to be decided at dinner.   Trams will be running (social distancing has been introduced, and extra trams laid on right through illumination period).
 Members who booked with the hotel for the original reunion, will automatically have a place for this "reunion". I am proposing that we do not invite any local guests until we are satisfied that our membership has booked. I am aware that 30 persons does not seem many, but at the count back on the original mini-meet, I believe that 16 persons booked for the reunion,the Gala dinner numbers swelled by people only staying for the meal.We have already had a couple of members unable to attend for various reasons, so I feel we will cope within the regulations.
  Members wishing to attend, please advise the hotel. Ring 01253 876525 and State you want to book for HMS VICTORIOUS MEETING. any problem at all,or anything you are not clear on please contact me on   0113 2555562. The receptionists seem good, but I have been dealing directly with the manager, and can generally answer details for you, hotel staff still operating on  reduced numbers.Masks and face covering are not required in the hotel, but local shops request they are worn on their premises.The museum and Affinity Outlet were fully open.

A run ashore / Re: Belated Reunion 2020
« on: September 05, 2020, 05:33:46 PM »
 After a short delay to sound out some opinions, it has been decided to hold an abbreviated/reunion/do/at the North Euston Hotel, 19th/20th/21 October.
I have had two discussions with the hotel management,and the dates were their recommendation. The hotel in ordinary circumstances, would be booked out.The Blackpool Illuminations normally commence at this time, and as the tram rides through the displays start and finish close to the hotel, families have traditionally booked in for an overnight stay for children's treats.
Blackpool has extended the illuminations period this year,until after New Year and the hotel has agreed to reserve us 20 rooms, in anticipation of a lower demand on these nights.
 The hotel has been surveyed for suitability to safely open, by the environmental agency, but with a limit of no more than 30 persons as a party booking. The rooms are all booked in my name, and the hotel will monitor for me numbers of members wishing to join us.
The postponed reunion details have been kept on the hotel's books. The costs of the event has remained unchanged for us.Deposits lodged are on record, and of course remain valid for this event.
Our private gala dinner room is available for us on Tuesday evening, silver service, cooked to order, fully served at table by covid aware staff. Breakfasts are similarly served completely by hotel staff who do maintain social distancing regulations. All rooms have been sanitised prior to your arrival. The rooms will not be entered during our stay by staff, UNLESS you have a problem. The main difference is that you will need to make up your own bed for the three nights. However should you require assistance, requiring staff intrusion, you will have to vacate your room for three hours !! that means sitting in the lounge, with free news paper, and a coffee whilst your room is sanitised by a trained cleaning squad. Any requests for tea/coffee/ milk refills will be supplied foc to you, in a goody box which is handed to you on request by reception staff.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 31, 2020, 08:31:07 PM »
Cochrane had been away for over six years, his achievements the stuff of legends. The problems that he had highlighted were still much the same, and for the most part his enemies much the same.
Cochrane had decided to have nothing to do with politics,but he still needed to make money! He headed up to Scotland where he was greeted as a hero. He was too popular for the government to think of taking any actions against him.
    Cochrane, liked money, and having little to do other than tour Scotland, when a large cash sum was offered to him to take on the job of sorting out the Greek navy he accepted it.. He was again warned about taking up arms for a foreign power, but he again slipped over the channel to France. The Duke of Wellington, (never a fan of Cochrans) attempted to warn Cochrane against the job. However, Cochrane was never a great fan of Wellington or Wellingtons politics, and he just ignored him.
    It was probably a mistake,and eventually Cochrane did return to England in1829. He had achieved very little. The Greeks were fighting the Turks, and the French were constantly getting involved.
Cochrane did not approve of the wide spread slaughter being carried out by both main propagandists, and a hard fight against a heavily armed slave ship,turned out  to be his last sea battle.
 The Greek problem was eventually solved by Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, who commanded a combined squadron of English, French and Russian warships that annihilated the Turkish fleet in
the battle of Navarino Bay in October 1827.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 29, 2020, 06:13:05 PM »
Cochran's time in Brazil, grew increasingly complicated.The Brazilians were fighting for independence from Portugal. However, as independence became a reality, it seems that fresh problems constantly arose among the administrations that took over government. Cochran's effortless control of the eastern seaboard of South America,with ,in effect only one major ship consolidated Brazilian independence. By mid June 1824, Cochrane was complaining that prize money and crews wages were not being paid as promised, and a major insurrection had broken out in
 Pernambuco,and Cochrane was asked to take overall control to sort the matter out. The Emperor himself offered Cochrane huge sums of money and full wages for the crews. Cochrane arrived on the scene of the battles, in mid August,he used his crews to establish some control, but it seems he simple got tired of the politics of the are He had moved his admirals flag into a small ship
 Piranga, and saying that he was returning to Rio,in fact set sail for England. He later said that he always intended to return to Brazil, (the Piranga was the property of the Brazilian government),
but he arrived in Spithead two weeks later, advising people he had left the employment of Brazil.
When he anchored at Spithead, he was not sure whether his status as First Admiral of Brazil would be recognised,he had been away six years, but his cannon salute was answered, although technically he was still officially an "out-law".

A run ashore / Belated Reunion 2020
« on: August 27, 2020, 03:58:26 PM »
  Had a two night stay at the North Euston Hotel 24th /26 Aug.2020 to have a check on the current situation re pandemic The hotel has been checked out and is open for business.
  Hand cleanser, (gallons of it). Staff maintaining social distancing, in bars and restaurants (very professionally) politely, but firmly !! All restaurants have spaced tables, (the hotel has plenty of floor space). Bedrooms sanitised, and have no staff entry in place. Have a full detailed breakdown of all details concerning the subject of corona cleaning. All meals are waiter service, and the dinners first class still, and cooked to order.
   Had a couple of private meetings with manager, and the only restriction now in place is group numbers. He has permission to hold wedding parties etc for groups of no more than thirty(30) persons.
and seating must adhere to the social distancing rules.   
   We are good to go. I has spoken with the committee members who agree with me that the reunion is over due. I have contacted the hotel and requested availability of a three night  slot in October.
   More details when I get info back from hotel manager.
      Take care. Stan.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 21, 2020, 02:52:45 PM »
Cochrane in South America. Supreme Admiral of the Fleet
 Cochrane rounded Cape Horn and he landed at the port of Valparaiso to a huge welcome on the 28th of November 1818. A grand ball had been laid on for the now Admiral Cochrane, and the main leaders of the republican uprising were presented to him. The enormous task that he had set himself, (to drive the Spanish out of the Pacific) soon became obvious.The Spanish had fourteen first class frigates and numerous smaller craft.However, starting with a two frigates and a few guns boats he set about the task. He cut out and captured the Flag ship of the Spanish fleet, and after a couple of set backs, he got into his stride, and drove Spain out of Chile. Cochrane made a few mistakes, but given a free hand, and the opportunity to earn a great deal of money from prizes,he proved that many of the ideas he had wanted to implement into the Royal Navy were valid and effective. Experienced naval officers, and men on the lower decks proved happy to serve under his command,when  the men who won the money and the victories, got a share of the spoils and the due recognition. Cochrane was ready to return to England following the liberation of Chile, however he was asked to form and train navies for the emerging republics of Brazil, Peru,and eventually, Greece Cochrane's ability as a seaman, together with his flair for seeing and exploiting opportunities to act where others did not, produced many victories for him. But as in his life in the Royal Navy, he inevitably crossed swords with the Establishments, and it often cost him vast amounts of money and lost him friends. It seems that nothing at sea, and very little on a fighting ship caused Cochrane any real problems. Politics and Politicians were the stumbling blocks in his life.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 18, 2020, 03:36:00 PM »
 Word soon reached the English parliament, and bill was passed prohibiting British subjects from fighting for a foreign power( difficult to explain when much of the English army and navy had been made up from men all round the globe).However it was too late to make any difference to Cochrane, he has sailed from Rye in a small fishing boat bound for Boulogne, whence he took passage to South America.He was 42 years old and had not been to sea for nine years, and it was to launch him into a career that was to prove even greater than his time in the English navy, it would seem that his fight against the French was an apprenticeship for greater fame and more surprising victories.
   Surprisingly enough, it was the rumour that Cochrane (always a complex character), had let it be know that he may well attempt to rescue Napoleon from his exile, to aid the cause of the Republics
fighting Royalist and Aristocrats  in South America. It never came to pass, Napoleon being too ill to bother when it was suggested to him. The issue however was confirmed in Cochran's               
 autobiography, written and published years later.
         Cochrane could probably have easily accomplished the rescue when he was passing on his way to Chile, but it was unlikely that Whilst Cochrane ultimately became a folk hero, Napoleon would most certainly have not been welcome.

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 14, 2020, 10:15:05 PM »
 Spain in 1808, had been occupied by Napoleon,and the Spanish royal family arrested. Spain had a provisional government in exile, and it created "juntas" both in Spain and in its over seas
dominions who would rule in the name of the King whilst he remained out of power, South America with its gold and silver mines was now expected to again underpin the Spanish economy.
  By 1817 when the Spanish Royalist attempted to return power back to Spain,they found that the juntas had developed a taste for home rule, and were prepared to fight for it.
 Various battles were fought, and the local republicans made good headway in establishing freedom from the Spanish Royalist factions However a  major obstacle was the  powerful Spanish navy which excised total control of most of the Pacific Ocean. The Royalist navy were able to patrol the coasts virtually unhindered, moving men and supplies at will, and it was known that Spain was in the process of building and manning a bigger more powerful fleet specifically for their Pacific war.
  The government of the newly established Chile,sent a special envoy, one Don Jose Alvarez, to recruit experienced Royal Naval Officers to build and train a navy capable of contending with the
quite decent Spanish fleet, his first call was to the home of Cochrane, they made him an offer he could not resist.
 Thomas Cochrane with his wife and two children arrived at Valparaiso on the 28th November 1818, to be greeted by the Supreme Director General ..General O'Higgins.Bands and Bunting !!

Naval History / Re: Nelsons Navy.
« on: August 12, 2020, 05:46:13 PM »
 Thomas Cochrane , though still  a young man, his health had suffered, and he was only moved from the worst conditions by sustained pressure from his friends. He escaped once, having been supplied with rope by persons unknown, (but probably his wife). All ports went on alert,in the belief that he would flee the country, but it transpired he had gone home. He was rearrested when he turned up in  Parliament, and attempted to make a speech and returned to prison. Cochrane was eventually persuaded to pay the thousand pound fine, and subsequently released. July 1815.
  Cochrane's case had fallen out of public interest, Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and new heroes had been created, but Cochrane took up where he had left off, raising issues that caused embarrassment to the government,and even gaining votes in the Commons to block a government bill that would have given a pension rise to George III hightly unpopular son, the Duke of Cumberland.
  Thomas Cochrane continued his campaigns for over three years,, but his finances were far from secure. Prize money owed to him from his naval battles, often promised to be released to him, was constantly blocked, and he was rapidly heading to the poor house.
  His situation took a remarkable turn round in early 1817, when a messenger arrived at his house requesting to meet him, with an offer of "professional employment" in South America.Thomas accepted the job virtually without question

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