Monday, 8 September 2014

Ships Of Old English Oak. (with a bit of salt)

English Oak.

The shipbuilder choice.

Where did all that wood go?

Well many of these square Riggers are still on display, saved for future generations to admire.

And a lot of the good serviceable
parts were cannibalised and used on other ships, some of these bits continued to have their original names still burned into them.
Commemorative keep- sakes; a Barometer?
A Wooden Leg would you believe? even a pair of bishops chairs and an Altar. and many other items, all made out of ships oak.
What was left over? was sold on to repair other smaller boats and then on to build houses and furniture.
If you wander around some older museums, you will see many of these pieces, displaying their names and what battles they were in, and many others are lost in time, with their memories, fear, happiness, steel cannons, ropes, sails and the reek and stain of men's blood dried into the oak forever.

I can tell you the story of the end of the "Fighting Temeraire" (with a tear in my eye.)
A ship of her time.

The Fighting Tameraire was first launched at Chattam in 1798 as a 98 gun ship.
She and her crew under Captain Eliab served in many great battles with the Fleet.
The most notable one being at the battle of Trafalgar, where she and her crew served with distinction when she attacked the French ship Redouble! in support of Nelson! who was under some pressure at that time? she sailed on to continue the battle against the French ship Fougeux, earning  her the nick name "The Fighting Tameraire" I believe it's true to say she was a favourite of the English public at that time.

In 1838 the admiralty decided the Temeraire had come to the end of her useful fighting life.
So she was sold off to a Mr John Beaston at Sheerness and towed up river to Rotherhithe to be dismantled.
It's worthy to note, she was towed upriver by two steam tugs, a first in the use of these vessels for such a sad long journey,

Now the sunsets breezes shiver.
and she's fading down the river.
But in England's song's forever.
She's the Fighting Temeraire

Yes she was dismantled and sold on in the manner I described.
But the oak of the Temeraire is another story.

So gather around you? Bloggers and listen to me,
for I have a wee poem I'd like to tell to thee?

Where a low wood gate swings open to some cottage garden fare.
The tired traveller, may ask idly "why?
"The moss grows greener on it's rugged wood there."
Even a sailors child may not answer.
Or even know? that the nights dew lies deep in the wood rents.
Of the "Fighting Temeraire"


No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be shy Please leave a comment. Thank you.