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A Supper With… Admiral Lord Collingwood 17 June, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Nelson, Online articles, Royal Navy, Talks, things you don't need but probably want.
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The splendid supper at Trinity House in Newcastle seems to have been a great success, enjoyed by guests and hosts alike!


“(…) While this year marks the 200th anniversary of his death, Admiral Nelson’s right-hand man  was there in every cleverly thought-out detail of a hugely interesting and well-hosted  night. (…)”

Excellent food was enjoyed in excellent company.

“(…) The company is, of course, as important as the food and many people who sat down as strangers had a few shipmates by the end. (…)”

And thanks to Captain Stephen Healy, we have photographic evidence of this historic event!

An Officer and his Lady on the steps of the Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House preparing to “Dine with Collingwood”.

I think we can all agree that this is a very dashing couple! I love that there was the option for historical dress along to escape the old suit and tie and little black dress routine. It suits the spirit of the evening much better.

The renowned Captain Bover of the Newcastle Pressgang…. aka Dr Tony Barrow, author of “Collingwood’s Northumbrians”, “Trafalgar Geordies” and “Pressgangs and Privateers”…

(c) for all pictures: Captain Stephen Healy – thank you!

And always keep an eye on the Official Collingwood 2010 Website – they add new pictures and reports all the time.


1. ShipRat - 18 June, 2010

It sounds like you all had a wonderful time. And you look smashing!

Not a spot of port to be seen – must be the “before” pics.

Did other people wear period dress?

ShipRat - 18 June, 2010

P.S. Mr Granville Thompson, there’s something on your left wrist

Molly Joyful - 18 June, 2010

That’s perfectly fine. He’s a timelord.

ShipRat - 18 June, 2010

*slaps forehead* Of course! That’s it. I thought he looked suspiciously humanoid!

And you did mention that Old Cuddly had contended with a Dalek…

Watson, I see a pattern here…

ShipRat - 18 June, 2010

These Time Lords do get around. (You only need to watch the first minute)

He would’ve mentioned Collingwood, but everyone was in such a hurry…

ShipRat - 18 June, 2010

(whoa, I finally managed to LINK to a video, not EMBED it… except I don’t know what I did differently. LOL)

2. Granville Thompson - 20 June, 2010

Please… friends, you have it wrong. ‘Tis not the futuristic timepiece you suspect, but a shackle, placed around my wrist and secured by a chain, passing under my arm and onto an eye on the back of the lady’s dress (to stop me doing a runner when the caricature artist with the reflective image device appeared……) Come on, I’ve got to get some credit for coming up with that one??!! If truth be known, all the guests on both nights turned up as the doors opened, wanting no doubt to maximise their experience and such photographs as were posed on the steps were done so in some haste.

ShipRat - 21 June, 2010

It would be lovely if a good number of the eager guests were in period outfits – no doubt too much to hope for, but they would have been a splendid sight at table :-)

For coming up with the shackle story, Midshipman Thompson, you win a prize, namely an anecdote of Lord C at dinner.
He fails to meet his guest’s expectations of “odd expressions” – till he suddenly comes out with a tongue-twister.

George Landmann published his “Recollections of my military life”, 2 vols which are very well worth reading. (They’re on Google Books.) In 1808, then a Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers, he found himself on a transport to Cadiz on a mysterious mission. Several chapters of Vol. 1 provide a window into the everyday monotony of the Cadiz blockade.

‘On the 15th of May, 1808, we joined the fleet off Cadiz, and from that moment followed its movements, that is, we stood towards the land during four hours, and then for four hours sailed in the contrary direction; and this was continued during the whole of the time we were with the fleet, excepting when at anchor.
‘. . . [June] 8th. Our patience was now so completely exhausted, that I resolved on paying a visit to the General [Spencer] on board Lord Collingwood’s flagship, under a hope of gathering some clue to our prospects.
‘. . . At this moment the Admiral’s dinner was ready . . . Lord Collingwood then politely said to me, “We are just going to dinner, sir; I shall be happy of your company, Captain – . What is your name, sir?” I told his Lordship my name. “Very good — very good, sir;” and we sat down to dinner.
‘According to the usage, the Midshipman of the watch — always dressed on board the Ocean with blue breeches, white cotton stockings, and full gold-laced hat — was invited to dinner. The name of this Midshipman was Festing, a brother of my worthy friend Lieutenant Festing, of the Royal Artillery, who was embarked in the same transport as myself. I had often heard of Lord Collingwood’s odd expressions. I, therefore, was upon the look-out; but the only thing worthy of being repeated was, on Festing being helped to a plate of soup, his Lordship said, ” I say, youngster, swallow up that soup like soap-suds down a sink-hole.”

Granville Thompson - 21 June, 2010

On the Monday, there was actually one guest who turned up in the full (Waterloo) uniform of a private 68th Regiment of Foot (predecessors of the Durham Light Infantry). Wonderful, his Lady was dressed for the occasion too. And they walked between the House and the carriage park dressed like that too! Sadly, to the best of my knowledge, no images recorded….

3. Jen - 21 June, 2010

Odd expressions?
Just from being a northerner in a service of mainly southerners, or actually getting things the round way wrong?

ShipRat - 21 June, 2010

Possibly the former; the latter I doubt. But Landmann may have meant something else entirely: Collingwood loved to make plays on words.

(from his obituary:)

“Lord Collingwood’s judgment was sound and firm, his mind acute and penetrating, his wit so very lively that it led him constantly to pun; and though general punsters must be frequently insipid, he seldom failed to produce the playful equivoque he wished.”

4. Jen - 25 June, 2010

Is there any news on what’s happening at the Tall Ships?
I had a quick look at their website, but couldn’t see anything particularly Collingwood – and I’m probably only going to be down on the Sunday, but I’m also going to Kristiansand, so I can’t complain!

5. ShipRat - 28 June, 2010


The other day I was in a jet flying out of Vancouver. It took an unusual route. Half asleep, I sat back and admired the Strait of Georgia and its serried islands some of which are named after Spanish naval officers like Dionisio Alcala Galiano (who died at Trafalgar).

Climbing, we banked northwest and I thought idly, “That’s Howe Sound below us.” Then sat up, “That’s the Collingwood Channel!”

Fumbled urgently for my camera as the channel spread out picturesquely below. Camera batteries dead. Backup set dead. Found a third set with a hint of life, just as a cloud layer closed serenely over the scene.

Rats. Maybe we’ll pass that way on the return trip tomorrow…

A propos of nothing: We just watched a DVD of Viennese light music that closed with “Donner & Blitzen”, and right on cue a powerful prairie thunderstorm is rolling over us, so I’d better shut down the puter *zap*

ShipRat - 1 July, 2010

Turned out I was sitting on the wrong side of the plane to get a decent photo on the way back. I took a couple of shots as the plane came around…

1 and 2:


Map of the area:

Granville Thompson - 4 July, 2010

Hey ShipRat,

Can I pass these to the Festival website people?

ShipRat - 5 July, 2010

Just now I was planning to remove that ugly 737 wing with Photoshop, then humbly offer the result to the Festival website. :-) Give me a day or so and I’ll supply a “clean” photo for the site, with pleasure.

(I just have to find my camera, which has the 2 originals that I’ll combine)

ShipRat - 10 July, 2010

I just emailed you the improved version “sans jet”.

Granville Thompson - 10 July, 2010

Merci !!

A perspective strange to my eye…. not even the view from the maintop on ‘Royal Sovereign’ seems quite this high…

6. ShipRat - 11 July, 2010

you should’ve heard the lecture his lordship gave me when I came down

ShipRat - 11 July, 2010

…yes that was supposed to be a reply to Granville T. I’m too old to figure out this puter thing.

7. fix wrinkles - 12 June, 2015

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