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Menorca Britannia Newcastle 2010.

 
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THE COLLINGWOOD 2010 FESTIVAL, NEWCASTLE

Over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of March the North East of England commemorated the bi-centenary of the death of Vice-Admiral Lord John Cuthbert Collingwood.

Our Vice-President Bryce Lyons together with Sheila were honoured to officially represent Menorca Britannia and unofficially the Island of Menorca at the various events which were held in Newcastle upon Tyne and at Tynemouth.

On The Saturday evening they were guests of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Mike Cookson, at the “black tie” dinner within the Civic Hall. Some 300 guests included the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope and Lady Stanhope, The Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland, the Chairman of the 1805 Club of Great Britain Peter Warwick and members from around the UK, and Max Adams the Collingwood biographer amongst many. There were representatives from the towns of Collingwood Ontario, Canada and Collingwood New Zealand as well as the adult descendents of Admiral Collingwood.

This was the opportunity for Bryce and Sheila to personally thank Sir Mark Stanhope for arranging the visit of HMS Monmouth to Mahón for our commemoration event at the end of this month. They were also able to personally give out our official invitations to Collingwood 2010, Menorca.

The speeches were short snappy and to the point, some were very poignant and tear making.

An evening of excellent company when Bryce and Sheila were able to make new acquaintances and renew old friendships; and apparently the food was pretty good also.

 

Sunday 7th.   The day dawned very bright and sunny but bitterly cold. The centre of the beautiful city of Newcastle busy as always with Sunday, yes Sunday Shoppers!! was suddenly filled with the sound of military music as the Band of the Royal Marines followed by some 500 Royal Marines and Naval personnel from HMS Collingwood and other units as they paraded to the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas where the salute was taken by the First Sea Lord and the Lord Mayor and others.

As guests of the 1805 Club Bryce and Sheila attended the Commemorative Service led by the Dean of the Cathedral the Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston.

During the course of the service various letter from and to Collingwood were read by senior and young members of his descendents. One read by Nicholas Du Sautoy in particular where Collingwood writes to his father in law J.E. Blackett the Lord Mayor of Newcastle at that time is particular emotional when he speaks of his love for his family and his dearest wish to “return to the bosom of my family”.

Another read by Judy Collingwood was from the Marques de la Solana immediately after Trafalgar gives a clear indication of Collingwood´s humanity and the esteem with which he was held by the Spanish people,

Although these letters are well know by most members of Menorca Britannia Bryce says that very few were dry eyed at the end and says that it will be difficult to read these letters at our commemoration event without the voice cracking, not a little.

The youngsters of the Royal Grammar School sang the Cantate Domino by Claudio Monteverdi towards the end of the service whilst the wreath was laid beneath his monument within the Cathedral and the whole service was concluded with a Tribute to Vice Admiral Collingwood given by Peter Warwick, Chairman of the 1805 Club.

A brilliantly, fitting tribute to an honourable and humane man.

The afternoon saw Bryce and Sheila at Tynemouth as guests of Linda Arkley the Mayor of North Tyneside. Here under a specially erected, but open sided, marquee beneath the huge monument to Collingwood erected in 1845 by public funding a simple service of thanksgiving had been arranged. With a bitterly cold wind blowing across from the North Sea children from the Collingwood Primary school of North Shields sang some evocative songs of the sea and the River Tyne whilst the VIP´s sat shivering but delighted.

However, all the guests (and the thousands of general public lining the river) were suddenly brought to attention by the firing of the 4 cannon flanking the monument. The originals from the Royal Sovereign and first to be fired at Trafalgar. Apparently the first time of being fired for over 100 years. These were added to the monument in 1848 having been shipped from Woolwich.

The Vicar of Tynemouth conducting the service said he had been warned that there would be “more flash than bang” but when everyone´s heart rates had slowed a little and he started the service he said “well that was “more bang than flash” “

Admiral Stanhope then took position with the Mayor on the steps of the Monument to salute as HMS Cumberland fired a 19 gun salute while sailing past. The Royal Artillery situated on the river bank fired volley after volley from their field guns in return. It was said some 300 in all.

 

 

Details of the programme arranged by Menorca Britannia, an event over the three days 27th, 28th and 29th of March entitled Collingwood 2010, Menorca, will bring full circle the life and death of Admiral Collingwood. Born in Newcastle and died on waters off Menorca having spent the last years operating from Port Mahón.

Menorca Britannia has received delivery of the beautifully sculpted bronze bust of Collingwood which will be unveiled at the event and the sister ship of Cumberland seen below at Newcastle (HMS Monmouth) will be in attendance during the weekend.

Don´t miss next week´s English Pages for full details of an exciting weekend.

 

 

Should anyone be interested in knowing more about Asociación Menorca Britannia and its Aims and Objectives, then information will be sent by contacting us at-

Asociación  Menorca Britannia,   Aptdo 107,  Es Castell,  07720,  Menorca

or by e-mail 

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