HMS Victory – An Audio Tour Part 1: The Hold

October 2022

This is Part 1 of a three-part special audio tour of HMS Victory, Horatio Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and a First Rate ship of the line which, by 1805, had already acquired a significant history. This, the first episode, looks at the lowest two decks, the hold and the orlop deck, both below waterline; the second episode will look at the gun decks where the sailors lived and fought Victory’s 104 guns; and episode three will look at everything open to the elements – the weather deck, quarter deck, poop deck and forecastle. Dr Sam Willis was taken on a tour of Victory by Tony Noon, one of HMS Victory’s tour guides, and by Rosey Thornber, Principal Heritage Advisor for HMS Victory.

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    Sam Willis 

    From the Society for Nautical Research in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation, I’m Sam Willis. And this is the Mariners Mirror podcast, the world’s number one podcast dedicated to all of maritime history. Hello everyone and welcome to the Mariners Mirror podcast. Today we bring you a three part special inspired by the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar of 1805, which of course falls in October each year. If you are interested in Horatio Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, then do please go back into our back catalogue, hunt through it, and you’ll find several fascinating episodes. There are eyewitness accounts of the battle, a special episode looking in particular at Nelson’s wounds, which is very gory and absolutely extraordinary. And a lovely little episode on HMS Pickle, the vessel that raced back to England with news of Nelson’s great victory. Now, I’m lucky enough to have visited HMS Victory down in Portsmouth on several, perhaps many is a better word, occasions. It truly is a remarkable place. And I’ve always been most impressed with the wonderful tour guides they have there. They are hugely knowledgeable, entertaining, and always extremely good company. One of their team, the brilliant Tony Noon, got in touch with me over the summer to show me a copy of the Trafalgar Times, a quarterly newsletter on all things relating to Nelson and the sailing Navy that he and others have produced at Portsmouth, I was so impressed that I cooked up a plan to bring you an audio tour of HMS Victory which starts today. First a little background; best known for her role in The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 in which Horatio Nelson died, the Victory now has a dual role as the flagship of the First Sea Lord and as a living museum to the Georgian navy. Now to give you some sense of the visitor experience of HMS Victory, we’re going on a tour. This special will be divided into three episodes. The first, will look at the lowest two decks, the hold and the orlop deck, both below the waterline. The second episode will look at the gun decks where the sailors lived, and fought Victory’s 104 guns, and episode three, will look at everything open to the elements, the weather deck, the quarter deck, the poop deck, and the forecastle.  The tour guide, Tony Noon, will be taking us around but with us also came Rosie Thornber, principal heritage advisor for HMS Victory, who kept us up to date on the phenomenal conservation project that they currently have underway. A once in a lifetime project with an army, well, I should say navy, of craftsmen, conservators, engineers, and shipwrights, who are working to fight the impact of moisture, fungus and pests that threaten her and to keep her safe for the next 50 years. So please come on board and join myself, Tony and Rosie in the dark hold of HMS Victory.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So Tony, here we are in the, tell us what deck are we on, it’s certainly dark, and it’s quite smelly.

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’re in the hold now of HMS Victory, we’re actually standing on a walkway that’s been put in for the general public so this walkway wouldn’t have been here. And it’s essentially all the supplies and the stores for the ship are stored down here, you’ve got a sample of section of barrels here towards the far end of the ship.  These barrels will actually come all the way across to the sides of the ship and pretty much up to head height where we’re standing; we’ve probably got about six feet above us, and there’s about another 20 feet below us. So there’s 21 foot of storage space in this section alone. And these barrels gve you everything you need for six to eight months supplies at sea, so 60 tonnes of salted beef, 60 tonnes of salted pork, 300 or so tons of water, you’re looking at 11,000 gallons of beer down here. And then of course, everything else you need to keep a ship fighting and seaworthy.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yes, these barrels are all in their different sizes aren’t they? There’s a small mountain of barrels for those who can’t see them. So different sizes, were they used for different objects?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, so water, beer, and then they give you salted beef and your salted pork. And then we’d also store paint down here in the after hold, because you still need to keep the ship looking nice, but also paint is protected for the wood as well.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yes, and so we’ve got some gravel here as well, is that part of it without being the ballast.

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’ve got two sections of ballast, so if we’re looking down into the hold, where there is a section completely exposed to the floor of the hold, we can see there’s actually some black iron bars about a foot long, and that’s just cheap pig iron.  And there’s 257 tonnes of pig iron that runs along the length of the keel.  That corresponds to the weight of the guns above pretty much, but it also helps correct the list of Victory. So when Victory was launched, she had a list to one side. So this pig iron helps to counteract the list, the natural list of the ship. And then over the top of that we have another 200 tonnes of shingle, which again is ballast. So if the ship’s leaning a bit, just a little bit to the left or the right, and you need to trim the ship, you can then just take bucketfuls of the ballast of the shingle, and move it to where you need to balance the ship correctly. But the second point to the ballast, because of all the barrels and all the stores you have down here, if you don’t have the barrels bedded into something, they’re going to roll through the ship in rough weather, etc. So you can actually bed the barrels, the bottom layer of barrels halfway up into the shingle, and you’re building almost like pyramids of barrels on top of each other, layer by layer by layer coming up all the way pretty much to the deckheads or the ceiling above us here.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Amazing stuff. And how far down below the waterline are we here?

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’re only a few feet ourselves below the waterline, but there’s actually 28 feet of ship all the way from the waterline to the very bottom of the false keel underneath. So it’s just over 28 feet draft in total. So all of this hold supplies cavernous space that you’re looking at would have been completely filled with supplies, and it’s all underwater. We also have our shot lockers down here; there are two shot lockers, it’s like a large bin with flaps on it. And there’s one on two sides around the main mast, and there’s one around the foremast as well. So around this main mast on here we’ve got 80 tonnes of shots stored in that one alone.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Do we have a look.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, we’ve got all the different types there.

     

    Sam Willis 

    We’re just going through an area here taking a rope away, I feel very privileged. Wow. So this is the shot locker that Tony was just describing. And here are some shots. I mean, how many shots have we got down there?

     

    Tony Noon 

    I don’t know what the exact number is, 80 tons.  So at Trafalgar Victory fired 28 tons of shots in four and a half hours

     

    Tony Noon 

    which  out of a total of 120 tonnes, so she’s still had  plenty left, although she was pretty battered by that stage.  28 tons, it’s a three and a half thousand rounds of shots she fired just over. So I couldn’t give you the maths of that.

     

    Tony Noon 

    How do you get this up to the gun decks, literally just carrying them one by one?.

     

    Tony Noon 

    So above us on each side of the shot lockers next to the bin lid here where we can look up through the ship. So we’re looking through the gratings here up to the deck above. So we can take these gratings all the way up to the very top of the ship, to the quarter deck in the waist. So we can take the gratings out, and then you’d literally lower rope knit baskets down to here, the guys in here will put the shot into those that will be hauled up to the decks that that size shot is required of. And then the guys on the deck take it from the neck baskets, the rope basket, sorry, and then place them into the shot garlands around the ship on the required decks. And obviously, that’s continuously going on through the battle.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So slightly back breaking work, but you’re kind of safe down here.

     

    Tony Noon 

    A little bit. We know of some ships that took damage below the waterline at Trafalgar, and after the battle Victory had something like about 190 tonnes of water extra that had come in through the sides of the various damaged parts of the ship. So there would have been a lot of extra water down here towards the end of the battle. But you’re a lot safer, especially compared to the upper decks of Victory where the most casualties were taken at Trafalgar.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Very good, fascinating stuff Tony.  Let’s walk along to the aft hold so if you want to peek through.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, most people don’t realise it’s here. So the hold of  the Victory is set into two sections. As we go back towards the aft of the ship, we have a wall here that separates the two. And there’s a little window just down here through the netting you can look

     

    Sam Willis 

    And have to kneel down, the ceilings are much lower and right OK, and so this is a dark area, I can see the footings of the Mizzen mast there.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes,  the window we’re looking for is only about a foot square, but you can see in the hold because it’s the aft part of the hold of the ship, you can see how it actually starts to rise up. And that’s generally drier than the rest of the ship. So things like your bread, your flour, anything that needs to be kept dry and the rest of the stores is all put in this after part of the hold here. But as I said, most people miss it because it’s just this tiny little window to look through. And as you said we’re kneeling down now to peer through the netting.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yes, braced by a couple of bits of scaffolding, what’s going on there?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Obviously the ship had a lot of movement issues and settling issues over the years with the old cradle, and this is help supporting the ship while the work being undertaken now to reinforce the new cradle underneath Is finished. But that’s actually helping to brace her. while  the rest of the work continues for the next however many years.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Now obviously this would have been very, very dark down here. We’ve got some artificial lanterns. So how would this have been lit?

     

    Tony Noon 

    So yes, they would bring the lanterns down as they need them.

     

    Sam Willis 

    And how did the light, what were the lanterns of, just the tallow candles?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, tallow candles, you’ve got a metal framework with slats in it and then you have your thin sheet of horn inside, which is how they get the name lanthorn, and the thin sheet for horns inside just allow the light to spread but obviously reduces the immediate fire risk. But it would have been very damp, very smelly down here because obviously all the water that leaks in through the ship, whether through the gunports or through battle damage, or just through rain and sprays, it comes down through the shingle which almost acts like a filter, and then the water collects around the bilge pumps, but of course, all the dirt and detritus and horrible stuff. So it’s going to  be very, very fragrant, to say the least.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Fragrant unlike, brilliant, let’s see if we can move up a deck. So we’re walking towards the bows now and then up a  companionway ladder, so taking yourselves up to another deck, but also one which is still below the waterline?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes. Still, we’re still below the waterline here, just undo the ropes.

     

    Sam Willis 

    OK, so this feels much more lived in, what is this?

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’re at the front end of the ship here on the orlop deck ,which is short for overlapping deck. At this end of the ship we actually have the various compartments for things like the Carpenter and the other Warrant Officers like the Boatswain for example. But we also have two passages here in front of us, the very centerline of the ship. There are two passages with large heavy rings and bolts on them. These will be locked at all times apart from when you’re fighting or loading gunpowder, or practising,  and the Captain would release the keys for this. The left hand one leads down to the Light room. So in the grand magazine below us, there’s 35 tonnes of gunpowder stored down there. But obviously, you’ve got to be very careful with fire and gunpowder, they  don’t go together very well. So this one here, inside the grand magazine, there’s a small room with glass shutters on and glass protective panels, and the lights are lowered into that room. So this one, left hand column passage takes us through to there. And the right hand passage here takes you through to the magazine itself, and again, heavily locked, heavily bolted doors, Marine guards at all times. There’s a zinc tray that lines the bottom of each of these passages that’d be filled with an inch and a half of water during battle or during movement of gunpowder. So any aspects of gunpowder are washed off from the shoes and feet, etc. So we’re not traipsing gunpowder around the ship as well.  And one of these corridors also leads to the small arms and the armoury at the very front of the ship, because obviously you don’t want the general crew having access to the armoury when they don’t need to. So that would lead through here as well. On the right, this cabin here, we’ve got the Carpenter’s cabin. William Bunt was a carpenter at Trafalgar. You’ll notice we’ve got lanterns again, that the lanterns are set just outside the room with a little glass panel that allows the light to shine into the room. Because if you’re working with wood you’re going to have lots of sawdust, highly flammable material, combustible material. So by keeping the light outside of the room, then it reduces the risk of fire.

     

    Sam Willis 

    My brain was slowly struggling to work out what the point of that would have been. But obviously, it’ll go up won’t it

     

    Tony Noon 

    The other thing to note, the Carpenter on board Victoria at Trafalgar was William Bunt, he was six foot seven. For those obviously who can’t see on the podcast, on a good day I’m five foot ten and a half. And that’s a very good day, my shoulders are just reaching the lower beam, so my head’s hitting the ceiling.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Not many people know this, but I am in fact, six foot seven and I’m finding it very difficult indeed to be here. And just one carpenter, you can’t just have one carpenter.

     

    Tony Noon 

    You’ve got one carpenter and then he’s got carpenter’s mates with him as well. So they assist him. All of this is important to note as well, because we’re below the waterline. All of the various cabins that are on this deck, there are actually walkways behind all of the cabins. So if there is damage, rather than having to empty the contents of the cabin to get to the hull, there’s actually a clear passage to the hull on the entire level of this deck. So we can go around this side and you can have a peer down.

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’ve got ourselves a protected gated passageway here. And you can actually look down; on the right hand side we’re looking at the starboard side of the hull, on the inside, obviously, and then on the left hand side we’re looking at the back of the cabins. So you’ve got these carpenter’s walks all the way round on this ship, on this level, on the orlop deck.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Just to  give you access to the hull if there’s a problem.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, you can inspect twice a day, the Carpenter would as well just to make sure for checking, and also obviously you do check into the bilge water levels and stuff as well. But yes, it’s just for for ease of access, although, I mean, it’s probably what, four maybe five foot wide? Not exactly a lot of space for working into fixing the hull.

     

    Sam Willis 

    No, and it also makes you realise  how difficult the job of being a  ship’s carpenter would be. There’s a great deal of timber here and almost none of it is a straight angle or a straight line. It’s all kind of beautifully curved, very organic it feels.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, they say six thousand trees for the building of Victory. The Admiralty on average are  building one every roughly every six to seven years.  Obviously that ramps up in wartime and slows down in peacetime. And you’re looking for the shapes in the trees, the ship’s beams, so you’ve got the beam that comes up in a right angle that helps support the deck above and comes into the side of the hull. So it’s like an inverted L shape effectively, you’re looking for that shape in the tree when you’re cutting it down. So you’ve got the trunk which  will be coming up to form part of it, and where the branch comes out, that gives you the L shape for where you’re cutting. So you do have quite a bit of wastage on the trees. But you are looking at six thousand trees or so.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Amazing. Right, let’s carry on down. So we’re going down one of these carpenter’s walkways. There’s some grating on the right with some of the biggest ropes I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

     

    Tony Noon 

    So we’ve got a cable locker here; this is where the anchor cables come where we are right now, we’re not on iron yet, these are  rope ones. We actually carry fourteen different ropes for the anchors as required, different thicknesses. The smallest ones are seven inches circumference and the largest ones are twenty three and a half and a half inches circumference.

     

    Sam Willis 

    I mean the size of the the trunk of a small tree.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes. it’s just colossal. And they’re one hundred fathoms long, six hundred feet long.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Think something like a silver birch, that’s roughly how big these things are. Almost impossible to pick up unless you’ve got a very large amount of people.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes. Dry It’s about five tons, where you’re looking possibly as much as seven or eight tons if it’s been in the water, the largest ones, for a long time. To bring the main anchor on Victory, she carried seven anchors, but to bring the main anchor on board from a full cable length you’re looking at somewhere close to four hundred of the crew in total. You’ve got two hundred and sixty men just on the capstan. So around about four hundred of the crew, somewhere between four and four and a half hours to bring the full length up.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Amazing they could actually even conceive of doing something like that, let alone do it. And then they probably could do it under pressure as well.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, it’s a well practiced task, you obviously have the options of slipping and cutting the anchor. So if you are caught by surprise you can’t ask the French to just hold on for four and a half hours guys while we bring the anchor up. So cutting the anchor is as they say, it’s literally cutting that twenty three and a half inch circumference.

     

    Sam Willis 

    How would you cut that? No idea you needed a saw.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, if you’ve got a little bit more time, you can slip the anchor which is where you put it onto a smaller boat with a float on, you can sail off and then hopefully if you win the battle or survive, you can come back, the float will tell you where the anchor is. Obviously very valuable things and because you just can’t be leaving them willy nilly.

     

    Sam Willis 

    How many anchors on board.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Seven anchors ranging from a quarterof a  ton, the kedge anchor,the smallest one, up to the largest, which is round about four and a half tons, and we carry two identical copies of that one because if you lose that one, that’s the one that’s going to stop us in the worst storm. So you need a spare copy of that one, the biggest one, sixteen and a half tons of anchors in total.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Wow, amazing. All right, let’s carry on through. Clambering over a sailor’s chest I’m sure that wouldn’t be put there when we were at sea. That’s a hazard even.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, that’s more for keeping the public on the ropes, we have a one way route through Victory to make sure the public can see as much as possible, I mean eighty five per cent of the Ship’s open to the public. So it is all about trying to keep making sure they come through safely.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Past a couple of hammocks or cots. We’ll talk about those I think on the decks above. Let’s carry on through here

     

    Tony Noon 

    We’re heading towards the aft of the ship and we’ve come to the aft cockpit. So down here you’ve got lots of high value stores at this end. So we’ve got Lieutenant’s stores, Captain’s stores, Surgeon stores, Surgeon’s office, the rooms all have bars on the windows. Everyone commonly mistakes this for a  prison cell or brig, we don’t have a brig or a  prison cell on Victory. We have iron bars we can chain into the upper gun deck, but it’s to allow air and light to circulate through the ship. As we said we’re below the waterline, and you need to keep the stores dry. We’ve also got Pursers office, Pursers supplies, and supplies for the Marines.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So what sort of high value stores are we talking about

     

    Tony Noon 

    Well, Officers bring their own furniture, their own supplies on board, so they’ll be storing those down here. And then obviously the Surgeon’s got his medicines which need to be locked up. We also have one that’s got an extra bar across it locking it, which goes straight to the aft of  the ship. And that’s where your spirits doors will be, so you’re going to  have a Marine guard down here at all times as well.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yes, I’d be spending a bit of time in that office. And then there’s a pretty gruesome table here what’s going on here?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, the sickbay normal operations is up on the upper gun deck where it’s light and breezy. But in battle obviously that’s in the way of the guns so in battle the surgeon comes all the way down four levels  to the  orlop deck. He sets his table out up here in front of us, sets his tools out, and in battle the injured men come down a set of stairs to the left of us, the men would come down those ladders there. And they would literally line up in front of this table, and it’s first come first served, there’s no real triage, it is first come first served. And you’ll be put onto the table, you’d have your operations, whatever treatment you need, done on the table, while everyone else is standing there watching and  waiting for their turn. And then you’d either be sent back up depending on how serious the wound is, or you’d be sent back over to the side to hopefully survive the battle.

     

    Sam Willis 

    I should just say that the surgeon’s tools are laid out in front of me. And to give you a sense of what we’re looking at here, one of them is a chisel and the other one is a saw. So not perhaps the delicateness that you might suspect, what are these curvy ones?

     

    Tony Noon 

    Those are urethra probes. So if your sailors have been in port and have picked something up they shouldn’t have there- disease infection wise. They’re long, thin spikes that will be inserted through the urethra. Just for gentleman, obviously, they’ll be used to scrape it out. I mean, growing up in Portsmouth I first came on Victory in 1974. And we’ve always had sailors’ tales growing up and stuff. But when I was a young teenager, the threat was always the umbrella which was what later developed into  an umbrella type system that was inserted up, the umbrellas opened and then that scrapes everything out. And then you’ll have mercury sulphide injected afterwards. We’ve got to remember we are very civilised by 1800.  We know that alcohol thins the blood. So you’re not given a shot of rum or a strong drink  before an operation. If you survive, and it’s scabbed over and clotted you might get some rum later on, but you won’t get any pain relief before an operation. We do carry small amounts, or some of the ships carried small amounts of laudanum on board. But you wouldn’t use that on a dying man which seems harsh, but it’d be a waste of resources. And also for an amputation, it’s easy to do an amputation because it’s a clean cut, you’re in control of the wound. Rather than trying to repair fragments and lots of smaller bits of damage, by doing a clean cut you’ve got one clean when it’s easier to maintain and repair. And we’re actually sewing the blood vessels up after the operation. We’re not cauterising them at this stage in history. And we’re not dipping them in tar, so very civilised by 1805, so using silk thread to sew the blood vessels up

     

    Sam Willis 

    And that had its own problems as well, didn’t it? You could get bits of thread caught.

     

    Tony Noon 

    Yes, And when Nelson had his right arm amputated, one of the blood vessels used to dangle out from underneath, outside the stump, and they used to help provide the drains, and one of those got infected effectively with Nelson and he gave it a sharp couple of tugs until it finally came out after a couple of months; the pain that he’d been suffering from it went within a couple of days. Nelson when he had his arm amputated, now how much bravado there is in this or not, he said the worst thing about his amputation wasn’t the amputation itself, It’s the fact that the sharp knife to do the initial cuts and cut through the tendons was cold.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Well, there you go,  I wouldn’t be complaining about that.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Fantastic. Well, that’s given us a lovely little  tour of these  lower decks. Now I think we should go and find out a little bit about the work that’s being done on here.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Rosie, so we’re back up on the orlop deck. And you’re going to tell me a little about the conservation work that’s going on on these these lower decks.

     

    Rosie Thornber 

    Yes. So this area that we’re looking at is a really, let’s say soggy area. So it’s directly below the middle gundeck starboard entrance where rain just comes in because it’s open and but we also get the south westerly prevailing wind and rain blowing in this direction as well. So the whole starboard side does suffer. But also water can come in not just down away but sideways through the joints and in the planking. So basically, we’ve got areas here where over time, we’ve just had a lot of water coming in, and that has encouraged fungus to grow. And then that in turn weakens the timbers and allows deathwatch beetles to eat the timbers. So we have some pieces which the conservators are working on at the moment where they’re stripping off paint so we can see the amount of rot present. What we’re going to do during phase one of our overall conservation works is removing external planking but we’re also strengthening the ship by repairing the structural pieces of the ship that support the hull. So we’re doing not only planking but also structural pieces. We’re going to either stitch in new pieces or maybe remove whole areas, we’re going to save as much as we can. This orlop deck, a lot of the beams are a mixture of 18th and 19th century, so this is one of the oldest parts of the ship. So of course, we’re going to remove as little as possible. But anything that is crumbling will get replaced.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Yes, I can hear banging going on; how many of your team are working on this at the minute?

     

    Rosie Thornber 

    I think we have a couple of conservators on at the moment. They have these tented areas to protect the public from what we’re doing, removing paint, which has years and years of layers of paint which has lead in it. So we can’t obviously let the public anywhere near any lead. So they’re tented off and they’re safely being removed, and then we can see what the wood is like underneath.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Do those layers of paint tell you anything about the history of the ship as well?

     

    Rosie Thornber 

    They absolutely do. Thank you for asking. So they have different pigments that have different dates. So we had a study done by the University of Lincoln in 2014. And they did sample little areas throughout the ship. One of the  areas on this orlop deck had French Ultra Marine, and that pigment was only available from 1824 onwards. So we knew that that layer of paint must be post dated 1824, it was also an expensive pigment. So because this was a first rate ship they didn’t mind spending the money. So that shows that even in store areas they were still happy to spend money on expensive pigments just to paint.

     

    Sam Willis 

    With a painting of a French colour. I’m not sure that would have gone down very well.

     

    Rosie Thornber 

    I can’t say it’s a French colour, it’s just the French pigment used in any paints in Europe.

     

    Sam Willis 

    So down here challenging because of all the water and all of the paint. And I suppose well you have different conservation challenges as we go up through the ship and we’re going to come back and talk to you Rosie a bit more once we’ve gone up onto the gundecks. Thank you very much.

     

    Sam Willis 

    Thank you all so much for listening. If you’re interested in naval history and the Battle of Trafalgar in particular, please check out the Mariners Mirror podcasts YouTube channel, where you can see how we used artificial intelligence and digital artistry to bring to life a plaster cast of Nelson’s face that was taken from him before he died, resulting in an astonishing, and most people who’ve seen it say it’s more than a little creepy likeness of Nelson. Please make sure you find the Mariners Mirror on Instagram and Tik Tok and the Society for Nautical Research on Facebook and Twitter. This podcast comes from both the Society for Nautical Research and Lloyd’s Register Foundation; you can find the snr@snr.org.uk where you can join up and please do so, it’s entirely worthwhile, and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation at h e c.lr foundation.org.uk. where you can find out all about their many and fascinating projects to do with maritime heritage. That’s it for now. Episodes two and three of our audio tour of HMS Victory are on their way very soon.

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