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The Day before Old Cuddy’s Birthday… 25 September, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Online articles, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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… seems to be the perfect day to catch up with the long list of news items which haven’t posted during the last weeks. But first things first:


I hope they’ll throw a big birthday party there tomorrow, but for now, let’s have a look at the


Please always check out the diary at the Official  Collingwood 2010 Festival Website first; they have the latest news when it comes to events.

2nd October, 2010, 2.15pm, West Park United Reformed Church, Stockton Park, Sunderland


Friends of Sunderland Old Parish Church, The Rector Gray Society present Cuthbert Collingwood.  The North East’s Heart of Oak. A concert of Patriotic and North Country music to mark the Bi-Centenary of the death of Admiral Collingwood (Nelson’s second in command at Trafalger).

9th October, 2010, The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, in association with the Collingwood 2010 Festival


The New Scorpion Band present songs, poetry, prose and music written to commemorate the great historical events in the time of Collingwood and Nelson and marking the 200th anniversary of the death of Collingwood.

There will be various events and activities for Trafalgar Day, but that will be covered in a separate entry.



We all know of Collingwood’s habit of planting acorns; this is an article about him and the “Trafalgar woods” planted in College Valley to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar (please scroll down the page).


have planted an oak in honour of Old Cuddy. They’ve already named their bar after Collingwood some months ago (see top of this page). This leaves us with one question: what about that Bounce Castle for the kids…?

Talking about hotels: there’s also beautiful Grade II Listed, Georgian


in Cornhill-On-Tweed, Northumberland. And yes, there’s a Collingwood-connection! I really think I’ll have to stay at the “HMS Sovereign” room one day. And oh, they welcome post horses!


(better known as Ted Tinling) wasn’t a relative of Admiral Collingwood and had no connection with him, but I thought this blog could do with a bit of fashion. Thanks so much for your designs, Ted; the tennis world owes you a lot.


The obvious link to the poet aside, it also has a distant connection with our dear admiral:

Reginald was succeeded by his son, also named Reginald, whose daughter married Cuthbert Collingwood, and their son was the famous Admiral Collingwood. Mrs. Collingwood sold the property to Richard Wordsworth, Attorney at Law, Clerk of the Peace for Westmorland and Steward at Lowther from 1723 to 1738.

So if you should have a spare £785,00 stored under your mattress: click the link above for further information.

That’s it for today, read you tomorrow!


Report: “Trafalgar, the Weather and Collingwood” 19 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Nelson, Royal Navy, Talks.
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Granville Thompson attended last night’s illustrated talk “Trafalgar, the weather and Collingwood” by Dr. Dennis Wheeler. He was so kind to post about the event in a comment here, but it would be a shame if those who didn’t subscribe to the comment-feed would miss out on it. So I took the liberty to repost it here.


Last night, we were treated to the BBC Shipping Forecast for October 21st 1805 and saw the weather map of the day for the Iberian Peninsula, along with (had he had the technology) what Collingwood (and significantly, others too) would have seen as a satellite image of the gathering storm.  And this all based on actual weather data, including from the Spanish station at Cadiz, methodically recorded on ships and at shore stations at the time.  The speaker explained how this data has been rationalised with modern methods and how an accurate picture of the weather has now been built up for every single day back to 1685!!

We also saw reproductions of extracts from the Victory’s log book and Nelson’s personal journal, with their corresponding meteorological observations.

The conclusion of the discussion which followed Dennis Wheeler’s fascinating talk was that while Collingwood would have correctly interpreted the signs of the approaching storm and accurately assessed its severity, nobody could have predicted its duration.  And this was apparently a seriously unusual storm in that respect.  Therefore, perhaps anticipating a couple of days of bad weather, Collingwood believed that, for the most part, the ships could have ridden it out.

The question was also asked as to why Collngwood was not so strongly criticised at the time for the loss of so many prizes.  In addition to the focus being on the victory and the loss of Nelson, it was emphasised that the ultimate aim was the destruction of the Franco-Spanish Fleet and that if that happened on the rocks or from being overwhelmed by the sea, rather than from cannon fire, then it had anyway been fulfilled.  Prize money, although significant, was incidental to the strategy.

Dennis Wheeler is a cracking speaker and much more widely versed on the political and strategic elements of Trafalgar than I think we all thought he might be – easily able to answer wider historical questions than might be expected from a meteorologist!!

A nice balance to the mainstream topics and well attended too.  I also heard him say that some material from his presentation will be made available for the Festival website.

– Granville Thompson

Collingwood 2010 Event: “Collingwood and Nelson: a Unique Friendship” 16 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, Letters, Nelson, Royal Navy, Talks.
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Talk alert!

An illustrated talk by Max Adams

Monday, 22nd March – the ‘Lit and Phil’, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE, 6pm

Max Adams is the author of “Admiral Collingwood: Nelson’s Own Hero”. His biography of Old Cuddy is not the first or only one ever written, but it’s the one I’d recommend to those who sit in front of the screen and wonder who the heck we’re all talking about here.

Of course there is a lot of information on Collingwood’s achievements in the Battle of Trafalgar and his friendship with Horatio Nelson, but first and foremost, it’s not a book on Collingwood the admiral, but on Cuthbert Collingwood the man. Max Adams did a brilliant job – he had me sort of sobbing by the end of chapter one, and that, dear friends, takes a lot.

There’s also a TV documentary on Collingwood presented by Max Adams, dating back to 2005. Like most interesting documentaries, it’s not available on DVD. If you should get the chance to catch it somewhere on TV, please do so. It’s a very loving tribute to Collingwood.

"And now for something completely different..."

Collingwood 2010 Event: “Trafalgar, the weather and Collingwood”: a talk by Dr. Dennis Wheeler 14 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Nelson, Royal Navy, Talks.
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Locals, mark next Thursday in your calendars:

A talk by Dr. Dennis Wheeler

Thursday 18th March – HMS Calliope, Gateshead,  7.30pm

Admiral Lord Collingwood’s decision after the Battle of Trafalgar to head for Gibraltar rather than anchoring the fleet is still subject of much speculation and discussion (please also see this thread). The Fleet was hit by a terrible storm, many people died, great damage was done and some of the captured prizes were lost. Should Collingwood have known? Did he have all the information? Were warning signs ignored?

Unsurprisingly, opinions vary greatly and arguments are presented with great enthusiasm. One could say that “The storm – was Collingwood right or wrong?” is the Age of Sail equivalent to “Balrogs – winged or not?”; a discussion which has kept aficionados of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work busy for decades…

Dr. Dennis Wheeler is an expert on the matter, so you can expect new facts and views; definitely an event which promises to be very interesting!

The talk is open to the public, but you have to register previously so you’ll get access to HMS Calliope.

I wish everybody attending the talk an enjoyable evening! Reports are, as always, very welcome.

And don’t forget: keep an eye on the diary on the Official Collingwood 2010 Website!