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Friday, 5 February 2016

Visiting HMS Trincomalee!

Yesterday. I had the pleasure of going to Hartlepool to see the last surviving Leda class frigate still afloat. She was originally commissioned in 1817 and stayed in service till the mid 19th century, she was lucky to be saved from the breakers yard and has now been restored to near her original state.
For more information, please go to this link

Now for the picture tour!

Outside the museum, a couple of more modern artifacts...
On to the Museum area.. 
 The ship, fairly obviously!

Some stores waiting to be loaded on board. 
 Before going aboard myself, I decided to visit some of the period shops on the quayside.
First up, a printers shop...

 Next, a firearm shop.

 This pic makes the poor officer look homicidal!....
 Ah, that angle is better!
 There was a small weapon display down a side street.

Back to the street. Various shot types. 
 Next, a provisioner

 Outside, a small cart loaded with ammunition boxes I think.
 Another little alley. It was more dark and spooky really than this picture suggests!
 Ah. A Bar/tavern.
Now, everything a naval officer would want to wear? 
Very dapper! 
Hat, Sir? 
 Ah, the Swordsmiths.

...and for my French readers! 

A wierd shop - fancy a waxwork?
 Ooh, a little cannon!
At the end of the street, a nice view of Trincomalee's bow. 
The entrance to the ship is on this side. 

On this side too, some little shops, a wig maker! 
For the children - a small display of signal flags, and a mast to hang them from! 
Nice, what is it! 
 There was a set of steps I had to climb...
 ..to get this view.
 The weather was still bright, the forecast rain staying off!
A modern house! 
 Near the Childrens' play ship, a reproduction 12 pdr on naval mounting.
 The gunners view.

 The business end.
 So, on board, a nice an very well informed chap, Richard, welcomed me aboard and gave a good introduction to the ship. I doubt the 'Please mind your head' is period though!
Looking aft on the Gun deck. 
Looking aft on portside. 

 The ladder up to the quarterdeck.
 Aft, who is this Marine protecting?
Ah, the Captains cabin! 

 The Captain's bunk.
The captain's drawers (The plug and electric heater are more modern I perceive!) 

 And hiding in a corner by the door, the Captain!
 Moving back amidships... 
A picture to show how dark it was really! 
 Down to the mess deck, bored sailors!
 Sleeping Jack Tars

 A sailmaker repairing one of the sails, assuredly!
Down the stairs again,to the Orlop and hold.
 Cable store
Right in the bow, the Magazine. 

A little Midshipman logging out stores. 
The bow. 
More sleeping sailors. 
 And so up to the Quarterdeck. 
 Looking aft on the port side.
The wheel! 
The fighting tops on the main mast. 

 Looking along the bowsprit.
 Looking aft from there.
 The rigging. 
 A repro Carronade, these were a British speciality, being made with their ammunition in Falkirk, a short range rapid firing killer.
Top deck capstan. 
 A picture of the decking.
The gangplank. 
The foremast. 
 Big cables, huh?
 Looking aft again from the bow.
 The steering mechanism.
 Navigation aids.
On the way out now, the little shop! 
Back on land a games area! 
Heavy duty, obviously for kids! 
 Lovely ship! 

 A small museum showing artifacts from the period.

 Now, a virtual ship tour on the fictional HMS Prosperity in 1800.
 Another Leda class, the most numerous frigate type in the Napoleonic Royal Navy.
 The Captain.
The Wardroom 

 Down below, a marine supervises punishments.
 ...while others work on.
 Eating was often better on board than on land, you could expect meat 4 times a week!
Good job there was plenty of ale... 
 ...it made the weevil and worm infested food go down! 
 Hoisting from the hold.
The meat ration was often supplemented by Ratatouille - with real Rat!
Fresh chicken was another option!
 One of the ships pumps.
..ashore there were lots of people happy to free a sailor of his money! 
...and other pleasures... 
..and once safely aboard? 
The ship's surgeon 
 the results of flogging.

There, there, its healing nicely! 

The battle

The crews release and lay their guns. 
 Atop, the captain steers his ship to engage a Frenchie!
 The marines, once they have brought ammunition up from the magazine...
 ...prepare to go atop.
Loaded and ready, the gun crews await the order to fire. 
Steady, boys, steady! 
"Hard about, bring the guns to bear" 
 "Fire as you bear!" 
 "Help here!"
Down below. a crewman is raised to safety... 
 ...while another plugs a ball hole below the waterline.
"Cease fire, they've struck their colours" 
 The chaplain prays over the dead crew.
..as the crew clears up the damage. 
A good display, very evocative.

Back to Trincomalee! 
 A bit cloudier now. 
 By the ship, some stalls. weevil cheeses.
 Ubiquitous barrels!
 Fresh fish?
Close ups of the ship. 

 Ah, Crocodile for export?
Hmm, apparently so! 
Back to the ship survey... 

 And there ends the tour! 

An old 30's paddlesteamer nearby, acting as a floating cafe! Pss Wingfield Castle.

That was an excellent day out- if you get anywhere near Hartlepool, give it a visit!


  1. What an excellent venue that would make for a naval wargaming weekend..... :)

  2. I am sure they would accommodate you happily!