CA talk on Navy Board Ship Models, 10 March

The Cruising Association Kent Section hosts a popular series of monthly talks each winter. The meetings are currently held on Zoom. Non-members are welcome to attend. On Thursday 10 March at 19.00 Nick Ball from Chatham Historic Dockyard will give a talk on Navy Board Ship Models.

Nick is the recently appointed Collections, Galleries and Interpretations Manager at the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. He had previously been a curator at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Together with Simon Stephens, he co-authored the book ‘Navy Board Ship Models,’ published by Seaforth Publishing in 2018. Nick will give a talk outlining his research into the construction and function of the models together with the identities of those who built and owned many of the finest ship models ever made. From about the middle of the seventeenth century exquisitely crafted ship models with distinctive unplanked lower hulls began to be made. Regarded as the pinnacle of the ship modeller’s art, they are valued both as art objects and as potential historical evidence on matters of ship design.

Huge tidal surge today

The current string of storms (Dudley, Eunice etc) whipped up by the vigorous jet stream have played havoc with tidal predictions. This afternoon’s high tide was an extraordinary 1.4 metres higher than predicted, putting areas close to the river at risk of flooding.

CA talk on HMS Bellerophon, now 31 March

This Cruising Association Winter Warmer talk has been rescheduled Thursday for 31 March at 19.00, with Kent Section member Des Crampton to talk about the history of HMS Bellerophon.

Model of HMS Bellerophon made by Martin Male of Upnor Sailing Club

HMS Bellerophon, nicknamed ‘Billy Ruffian’ by her crew, was a 74-gun ship of the line launched at Frindsbury on the River Medway in October 1786, just three years before the start of the French revolution. She fought in all the major naval battles of the Napoleonic wars and crowned her well-deserved reputation when she prevented Napoleon’s escape to the United States after the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was detained on board for twenty-four days until his transfer in Torbay to HMS Northumberland for the voyage to St Helena.

The talk will review Bellerophon’s construction, long naval service, and eventual retirement to become a prison hulk in Plymouth. Her hull design and sea-keeping characteristics will be briefly analysed using the original 1:48 scale drawing of her lines. There will be a review of her armaments followed by descriptions of her participation in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar. The talk will conclude with some detail of Napoleon’s surrender to Bellerophon’s Captain Maitland at Ile-d’Aix off Rochefort.