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Admiral Collingwood’s Diary is up for Auction, and I’m up for a Rant 20 October, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Letters, Menorca, Quotes, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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The traditional October auction over at Charles Miller Ltd. is just around the corner. There’s always a wondrous plenthora of Maritime and Scientific objects and works of art on offer, but this year, one very special object caught my eye:


This diary is not only of greatest interest to paranormal researchers (having died on 7 March 1810, Collingwood must have added entries from the afterlife), but also to anybody with even a remote interest in naval history. All political and military information aside, this diary might also give us more insight into the last months of Collingwood’s life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could read this diary? If a transcript was available? Or a book? Powerpoint Presentation? Anything?

Alas poor Yorick! I knew a collector, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…

I don’t really mind items like this diary going to private collectors.  The state doesn’t have the money to buy all items of historic importance; taxes just barely cover the essentials like MPs’ expenses for duck houses, toilet seats, moat cleaning and kitty treats for Larry the No. 10 cat (I don’t object the latter, though). When it comes to funding, history and heritage have been hung out to dry on the governmental washing line along with the unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged, the NHS, the arts, education and science.

But I digress. My point is that private ownership of historic documents is not the problem; the attitude of some collectors is. It’s all about owning. It’s all about “me me me”. And, who would have guessed, about money. That’s the only explanation for the request of the Navy Records Society to transcribe the diary before the auction being turned down by the owner. No transcript = exclusivity = higher price. Simples!

If we’re lucky, the new owner will be willing to share this important historic document and help adding another piece to the jigsaw of our history. If not, the diary will end up in a tresor and on an inventory list. And there is not a thing you can do about it. Except, maybe, pushing for a law which makes it mandatory for historic documents to be transcribed before they can be sold off. As things are, the main sources of historical information left for future generations might soon be digital copies of “Antiques Roadtrip”. A comforting thought, indeed.

Menorca goes Collingwood: Part II 13 April, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Menorca, Nelson, Online articles, Royal Navy.
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Finally – the updated list of reports from the “Collingwood 2010 Weekend” in Menorca!


An extensive coverage of the weekend with many pictures!

Helen Ridehalgh has actually modelled the Admiral looking slightly to his right and the bust has been so positioned that he is looking across the channel directly towards the Hotel Almirante – Collingwood House – the building he used as his shore quarters when in Port Mahón.

Captain Stephen Healy, representing the Festival Committee, walked in Old Cuddy’s footsteps and planted cabbage oaks. Football-wise, the team of HMS Monmouth lost against San Lluis F.C., but new friends were made, everybody kept their respective trophy and there will be another challenge in the future, and then: 6:1, at least! Artificial pitch or not! (Becks, join the Navy. This is not a request.)

The place around the bust will eventually become a small garden; what a wonderful idea. I hope the wee oaks will grow fast; Menorca can be very hot in summer and Collingwood would probably appreciate a bit of shadow. ;-)


This one really covers every event of the weekend, from horses to ships and theatre to organ, and the pictures are of great quality. And there are hundreds of them! Needless to say, this is one of my favourites:

Picture by ilpb


It looks absolutely awesome. The name of the artist is Helen Ridehalgh, btw.; there was one slip of the graver.
Or two. Three, maybe.

Lucky Jen was there and took some pictures. Thanks a lot for sharing them!




Oh yes, the organ! It found its way to Menorca under the watchful eyes of Admiral Collingwood himself! But more about that story some other time.

Very special thanks to Nana and Jen for all the links and trouble. Much appreciated!

PS: Thanks a lot for your good wishes. It will take a while to recover, but I’m doing much, much better.

Menorca goes Collingwood: Trees! Busts! Tapas! 30 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Menorca, Online articles, Royal Navy.
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While I’m still moping because Collingwood’s washstand didn’t sell in Bonham’s auction (boo! hiss!), there are more reports and pictures of last weekend’s celebrations in honour of Old Cuddy:

JournalLive: Trees planted in Menorca to honour Lord Collingwood

“The trees are a gesture of goodwill and friendship from the people of the North East,” said Capt Stephen Healy, chairman of the Collingwood 200 festival committee, who will be in Port Mahon for the weekend events.

“The trees will provide a poignant, living memorial to this great figure. They will also establish a lasting link between the North East and Menorca.”

And maybe the trees will get some company:

Collingwood tribute has roots in the Med

Morpeth Mayor Ken Brown said: “I fully support the contribution in principle, but following discussions about how the sapling will be transported it is beginning to seem like the costs will be prohibitive. It will cost about £1,000 to transport the tree so it may not happen.”

(I’m not an arborist, but how about planting an acorn rather than a sapling? It would be the authentic Collingwood-method…)

Of great interest for those of us who could not attend the festivities last weekend is the bronze bust of Old Cuddy, created by artist Helen Ridehalgh. I think it’s a lovely piece of art; I really, really like it.

Photo by José Barber

Do you want to see more pictures of Collingwood’s bust? Ships? Horses? Handsome sailors? Of course you do.


And now for some links in Spanish (all with pictures):
El puerto de Maó recuerda la figura del almirante Cuthbert Collingwood

Cuthbert Collingwood, el almirante que en Maó pactó contra Napoleón

Collingwood ya reposa en la Illa del Rei

News: Menorca honours Admiral Lord Collingwood 26 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Menorca, Online articles.
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Old Cuddy goes global, and previews of the upcoming celebrations in Menorca are trickling in. I absolutely love the idea of planting trees in his honour!


Three oak tree saplings are being planted during a weekend of commemorative events in Menorca – where Collingwood spent his final years.

The trees are a gift to the island as part of the Collingwood 2010 Festival, a year-long celebration of the Admiral’s life.

They have been donated by Corbridge-based Trees Please nursery.

Collingwood 2010: Port Mahón, Menorca is celebrating “El Almirante” 25 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Menorca, Royal Navy, Talks.
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From Saturday, 27th March to Monday, 29th March, Port Mahón is all about Old Cuddy!

There are so many individual events that it’s impossible to mention them all here, but “something for everybody” is a fitting description. The unveiling of a life size bronze bust of Admiral Lord Collingwood is definitely one of the highlights.

And who knows – maybe one of you will run into Collingwood’s ghost at “Collingwood House” …?

I wish everybody a fantastic time in Menorca, and thanks a lot to everybody who will contribute to the event.

Please also see our previous post about this event (contains more details).

Read all about in on the Official Collingwood 2010 Website (please scroll down the page).

Huzzah! The Official Collingwood 2010 Website is ONLINE! 22 February, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, General, Menorca, Online articles, Quotes, Royal Navy.
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Today the official  Collingwood 2010 website went online, so all your questions regarding events, time schedules etc. will now be answered. But that’s not all – information about Admiral Lord Collingwood’s life and his achievements, a special page for “Young Tars”, articles – and even Bounce got his own space! Woof!


Workshops and talks and exhibitions and parades and and… this is going to be a busy year, and not only  in and around Newcastle! Events are planned for Menorca (we already mentioned it here), Collingwood in Ontario/Canada and Collingwood in New Zealand. Additional information will be available in time on the official website.

Dolls made by artist Teresa Thompson. From the collection of Emma C.

Now I only have to try and find at least one date where I can catch a talk by Max Adams… please spread the word that the website is online; the more, the merrier!

Oh – this will make my fellow Aubreyad-aficionados in the area happy: On 6 March, you can watch “Master and Commander” at Morpeth Town Hall, 2pm, free admission!

Events: Commemorating Admiral Lord Collingwood in Menorca 30 January, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Menorca, Royal Navy.
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March 27th. to 30th 2010

The Asociación Menorca Britannia Commemorating
the 200th. Anniversary of the death of
Admiral Lord Collingwood

“(…) The Asociación Menorca Britannia is proud to be arranging the 200th anniversary commemoration in Menorca of the life of Lord Collingwood, completing the full circle, so to speak, from his place of birth to his last honourable post and eventual place of death. (…)”

“(…) The Asociación is also honoured to present a specially commissioned sculptured life size bronze bust of Admiral Lord Collingwood which is to be placed in a prominent position near the harbour side and to leave a lasting memorial which all the residents and visitors to Menorca can admire in the years ahead. (…)”

Now that’s great news. And it looks like Menorca will be a busy place; it’s amazing to see how many events are scheduled:

  • Saturday March 27th.
    Saturday morning Her Majesty’s Royal Navy arrive.
    Afternoon/evening Civic reception by Consell Insular (Island Government)
    Organ recital in Sta. Maria Church together with choir and piano recital.
  • Sunday 28th.11.00hrs/14.00hrs
    Unveiling and dedication of the sculpture of Admiral Collingwood with the ships company in attendance
  • The following displays adjacent to the ship:
    The famous Menorquin Horses, Folkloric Group.
    Menorcan products market.
    Marionets to relate the Collingwood story in Spanish to the children.
    Visits around the ship.
  • Sunday evening
  • A guided tour for crew and visiting dignitaries around “El Fonduco” Hotel Almirante Collingwood. Courtesy of the Family Montanari.

  • Monday 29th. Choice of excursions for crew and visiting dignitaries:
  • Island Tour
    Forts San Felipe and Marlborough
    La Mola (and the 84.1cms Vickers Armstrong Cannon manufactured in Newcastle and supplied and fitted between 1931/36
    Sporting events, rugby, football and golf Local teams versus ships crew.

Please click the link in the title for full information on all events. Click here if you’d like to know more about Menorca Britannia.