- June 14, 2021 at 8:01 am #21839
I work at the London Nautical School (previously Rotherhithe Nautical School) and have been slowly cataloguing and recording some of the history and artifacts of the school relating to our early existence as a nautical school (and our relationship with TS Exmouth and Woolverstone Hall School )
I wondered if anyone knew of the provenance of the attached Gong Stand, I am aware that articles of furniture were made from the Temeraire timbers and Im fairly certain this is a replica of the one presented to George V as a wedding gift as mentioned in the Sam Willis book – Gong Stand fig. 30 (The Fighting Temeraire) – apparently our school was differentiated from London Nautical School (Woolverstone Hall) by appending “Kings Reach” to the name London Nautical School although we have precious little evidence of this…but this suggests another George v connection.
If you are able to shed any light on the provenance of our Gong Stand we would be most grateful as the vast majority of our pre war documentation was lost during the blitz
RobJune 14, 2021 at 8:10 am #21846Sam WillisKeymaster
I’d also be very interested to hear about any other artefacts from the Temeraire – or ‘supposedly’ from the Temeraire.
SJune 16, 2021 at 7:59 am #21856Sam WillisKeymaster
Some great contributions from Twitter on this:
@AlansaysCOYH recommends this blog
Part of the flooring in a Falmouth pub, from memory?
found the attached newspaper? account.
In St Mary’s Church #rotherhithe are 2 bishop chairs & an altar table They were originally made for the Beatsons’ local church St Paul’s very near to their yard. When St Paul’s was demolished in the 1955 the furniture was transferred to St Mary’s, the parish church.
Beatson made 12 dining chairs from the ship’s timbers & his brother took 2 when he emigrated to New Zealand in 1851
One is now in Whanganui Regional Museum. The Times,12th October 1838 ,reported a former Temeraire sailor was given timber for a new wooden leg!June 18, 2021 at 10:12 am #21882Malcolm LewisParticipant
The well-known Gong Stand was made from timber from the Temeraire by H.Castle and Sons who were also shipbreakers with yards at Rotherhithe and Plymouth and given to the Duke of York (later King Georg V) and Princess May of Teck as a wedding present on 6 July 1893. Where it resided in the Royal Household is difficult to say. However, Castles are still in business selling wooden products such as garden furniture. If you have not already contacted them, it might be worth doing so. They have a web site –
castleshipbreaking.co.uk/contact/June 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm #21883
Thank you Sam and Malcolm – we will continue the questJune 20, 2021 at 4:30 pm #21884
Well, it seems the Gong Stand was presented to the school by the author B G Uden in the early 1960’s who wrote about the Temeraire. Information from the Castles webpage (https://castlesshipbreaking.co.uk/ebook/) confirms that they were still making articles from old ships timbers up to 1929 – however the document in the school archive reports that Castles made a Gong Stand for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 (is this another or the same that was gifted to George V upon his marriage…) – when referring to the Gong Stand in the school collection the school document says its made from ” old ships timbers” but doesn’t say which ship… the figures on it are thought to be copies of the figures on the “Temeraire Mantelpiece” which was fitted in Castles office, moved to Portsmouth and destroyed in bombing – there are pictures of the Mantelpiece in the Castles E Book linked above… Castles offices and some artifacts were also destroyed in the blitz…July 4, 2021 at 10:17 am #21898
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