Archives

Prick, Perique or Plug?

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] I first met Ken Yalden a few years ago. Ken is a keen member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. As we chatted he recalled I had mentioned a prick of tobacco […]

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BookPick: The Lifeboat, Courage on Our Coasts

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] The Royal national Lifeboat Institution is a venerable charity which I hold in the highest regard. And in this day and age, when people often seem so self-centred, it’s still manned by volunteers […]

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Huzzah: A Toast to Britannia!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of training of British naval officers on the River Dart in Devon. In 1863 the wooden hulk HMS Britannia was moved from Portland and moored in the Dart. In 1864, after an influx of new recruits, Britannia was supplemented by HMS Hindustan. The original Britannia was […]

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And a Happy Birthday to the Royal Australian Navy!

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] Next week an International Fleet Review is being held to commemorate the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet into Sydney. Prince Harry will attend the festivities on behalf […]

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Novelists and 18th & 19th Century Sea Battles

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] One historical period, the climax of the age of fighting sail (the twenty-two- year period of the French and Napoleonic wars, 1793–1815), has always drawn me irresistibly, as it has done for so […]

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BookPick: The Transformation of British Naval Strategy

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] After the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy continued to be the major arm of British strategy in the war against Napoleon, yet as late as 1807 fleets were forced from their stations […]

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Hats Off to Clayton!

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] Over the years I’ve bought several model kits but sadly never got around to finding the time to build them – and in the end I gave them away. Perhaps this is something […]

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BookPick: The British Navy, Economy and Society in the Seven Years War

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] William Thompson, a former foreman cooper in the Victualling Board, wrote in a work published in 1761: ‘Seamen in the King’s Ships have made buttons for their Jacketts and Trowses [sic] with the […]

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Spending a penny at sea

Early warships featured a beakhead on the bow which was used to ram enemy galleys. Around the 900s platforms for archers were built on either side of this beakhead. Known as ‘heads’, these platforms were slotted to allow drainage from breaking waves and became a convenient way to answer the call of nature. Since then […]

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BookPick: Anatomy of the Ship

[To leave a comment go right to the end of the page and just enter it in the ‘Leave a Reply’ box] The ‘Anatomy of the Ship’ series was first published by Conway (an imprint of Anova Books) in hardback a few years back and I snatched up (and still regularly consult) all of the […]

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