Sunday, 12 June 2011

Still on duty HMS Victory (Nelsons ship)

News just in from our mate Notty,who in his early years was an electritian (he has progressed to being an electrical boffin now)

  When I worked on the Victory in the early 60's I had to go into every compartment while installing fire detectors, even then they would lower huge timbers down into the bilges where a gang of old timers using the Adz would shape them to fit the curvature of the hull as rotten timbers were removed, so I don't suppose there are many original timbers left after 50-years. That was one of the more memorable jobs I did.

Notty, in central England

The bow on this type of ship is just a blunt end,the ship was basically forced through the water.

HMS Victory bow details

I took the above three pictures in September 2002,the camera was a Sony Cyber Shot digital.

Nelsons ship,the Victory as seen in a full view side picture.

The Victory in her dry dock at Portsmouth.

Artists impression of the Battle of Trafalgar

Imagine the noise when this lot were fired at the same time,deafness was a result?

Its a tight space down on the gun decks.

We have been asked more than once how long will a wooden boat last,I just point to some pictures of Nelsons flag ship the Victory I took when in the Naval Dock Yard,Portsmouth,England.I was told at the time that the ship still has a command and the Queen attends a dinner there once a year,here is some history on this ship,now around 250years old!

In July 1759, Mr Edward Allen, Master Shipwright of Chatham Dockyard received a letter from the Principle Officers and Commissioners of the Admiralty directing him:

"To make preparation and to prepare costing for a First-Rate Ship of 100 guns, to be built and fitted for sea at Chatham".

Upon receipt of this warrant, work began on the ship that was to become HMS VICTORY, and in time, the most famous warship in the world.

The Victory was designed by Thomas Slade, the Senior Surveyor of the Navy. By custom, seven names were reserved for First Rates. The name "Victory" was the only name not already in use so it was chosen for the new ship in 1760. There were some doubts in the minds of the Admiralty Board before the name was actually chosen, as the previous Victory had been lost with all hands a few years before. But a new Victory did not seem to upset the people of the country and, more importantly, the sailors who would eventually sail her and take her into battle.

The keel was laid down in the old single dock at Chatham Dockyard on 23 July 1759. According to a report it was a "bright and sunny day". Timber for constructing a first rate ship had been placed in store to season some 14 years before. It is very probable that the long seasoning time greatly contributed to the ship's eventual longevity.

At first, some 250 men were employed in one form or another in her construction, but with the changing fortunes of the war with France, the workforce was reduced in 1761. When the Seven Years War ended in 1763 further employees were made redundant as work to complete the ship became less urgent.

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