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Trafalgar Festival event highlights
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Trafalgar Festival event highlights
The Battle of Trafalgar

Trafalgar Festival event highlights

At the heart of SeaBritain 2005 is The Trafalgar Festival. Co-ordinated by the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee (ONCC), this is a programme of special Nelson and Trafalgar related events, throughout the summer and autumn of 2005.

Throughout 2005   The Trafalgar tree-planting

A programme of tree-planting to commemorate the bicentenary, aimed specifically at all primary and secondary schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Organisers: The Woodlands Trust and the Society for Nautical Research
Contact: Alan Aberg, Chairman SNR, 29 Pine Walk, Liss U33 7AT

February 2005   Portsmouth Cathedral Trafalgar Crocus Carpet

Portsmouth Cathedral will be extending its Millennium Crocus Carpet with further crocus planting to mark the Trafalgar bicentenary year. The Trafalgar Crocus Carpet will be planted (in Autumn 2004) along the High Street side of the Cathedral in Old Portsmouth following the route probably taken by Admiral Nelson on his way from the George Hotel, in the High Street, to join HMS Victory before his departure to the Battle of Trafalgar.

Donations towards the cost of this project of £5 or over - to mark for example a family anniversary - will be recorded in a special book. This will be on view in February 2005 when the Trafalgar Crocus Carpet will be in bloom. There will also be a Trafalgar Crocus Carpet Celebratory Weekend at the Cathedral at that time.

Organisers: Portsmouth Cathedral, Trafalgar Crocus Carpet, Cathedral Office, St Thomas’s Street, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2HH.
Contact: Mrs Rosemary Fairfax, Tel: 023 9282 5500

13 June   A Race Around the Isle of Wight

A special yacht race around the Isle of Wight for the competitors of the Atlantic Challenge. The prize will be a new trophy, known as the Nelson Plate, a replica of one of Nelson's silver dinner plates presented to him by Lloyd's of London.

Organisers: The Royal Yacht Squadron
Contact: The Secretary, RYS, The Castle, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7QT Tel: +44 (0)1983 292191, E-mail:

18–25 June   The Portsmouth Festivities

The annual Portsmouth Festivities will be given special sea and Trafalgar themes in 2005. Special Trafalgar-related events, including plays, concerts and initiatives involving children.

Organisers: The Portsmouth Festivities Committee
Contact: Portsmouth Festivities Office, The Grammar School, Old Portsmouth, Hants.

July–September    The Nelson Tour

An educational tour of key British ports by a replica of HM Schooner Pickle, carrying a team of re-enactors playing Nelson and his entourage, who will tell the story of Nelson's life with drama and local participation. It will be linked with locally-organised events.

Organisers: Festival Management Ltd
Contact: Peter Workman Festival Management Ltd, 59 Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QH Tel: +44 (0)117 927 6614

12 August–11 September   The New Trafalgar Dispatch

A symbolic recreation of the voyage in 1805 by Lt Lapenotiere in HM Schooner 'Pickle' and from Cape Trafalgar to Falmouth, and his drive by post chaise from there to London delivering Vice Admiral Collingwood's Trafalgar Dispatch to London. It will involve processions of a New Trafalgar Dispatch to Spain and France and also to the English counties along the route. It is intended that, as a legacy, the route will be identified and marked permanently as The Trafalgar Way. The Central and County Committees of the New Trafalgar Trust will organise events and activities along, or close to, the Trafalgar way including a Trafalgar ball, receptions, dinners concerts and lectures.

Organisers: The New Trafalgar Trust Ltd supported by The 1805 Club and The Nelson Society
Contact: G W (Bill) White, Chairman, The New Trafalgar Trust Ltd, 14 Devonshire gardens, London W4 3TN. Tel: +44 (0)20 8994 1416, E-mail:

13–14 September   Nelson's Last Drive

A series of events marking Nelson's final drive from Merton to Portsmouth and his last walk through the town on his way to Trafalgar. Events in both Merton and Portsmouth

Organisers: The New Trafalgar Trust Ltd
Contact: G W (Bill) White, Chairman, The New Trafalgar Trust Ltd, 14 Devonshire gardens, London W4 3TN. Tel: +44 (0)20 8994 1416, E-mail:

16 September   The Thames Nelson Flotilla

A symbolic recreation of Nelson's waterborne funeral procession from Greenwich to Whitehall. The aim is to assemble the largest flotilla seen on the Thames in modern times with a view to entering the Guinness Book of Records. Vessel types expected include traditional Thames craft, Dunkirk little ships and City Guild and Livery Company barges. Also HMS Victory's cutter and the Jubilant, which resembles the original funeral barge. Riverside events may be arranged.

Organisers: The New Trafalgar Trust Ltd
Contact: Peter Warwick, 4a Camp View, Wimbledon Common, London SW19 4UL. Tel: +44 (0)20 8947 9061, E-mail:

17 September   The Trafalgar Great River Race

Entrants for this 22 mile 'river marathon' on the Thames must have four or more oars/paddles with fixed seats. In keeping with the tradition of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, craft must carry a passenger. Entires are handicapped with the fastest starting last. This results in a variety of differing craft becoming the overall winner.

Raising money for charity is strongly encouraged and the overall total raised is more than £100,000. Prize money is given to the first, second and third of 28 trophy classes as a cheque payable to the charity of the recipient's choice. Anyone over 10 may enter and a recent veteran's crew were all over 70.

Organisers: The Great River Race. E-mail:, website:

14–16 October   The Trafalgar Heroes

An international weekend of events to honour all those who fought at Trafalgar – on both sides. To include a conference, concert, civic events and an ecumenical service at Portsmouth Cathedral.

Organisers: The Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral

Contact: Sue Goodger, Royal Naval Museum, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, PO1 3NU Tel: +44 (0)23 9272 7574, E-mail:

20 October   Trafalgar Dinner

A dinner to be held at the Guildhall, London

Organizer: King George's Fund for Sailors
Contact: Commodore Barry Bryant Director General KGFS, 8 Hatherley Street, London SW1P 2YY. Tel: +44 (0)20 7932 0000, E-mail:

21 October   The Royal Navy's Trafalgar Day Ceremonies

The Royal Navy is developing plans for a major ceremony in Portsmouth with HMS Victory as the focus. This will include a VIP dinner in Nelson's cabin.

Organisers: The Royal Navy
Contact: Cdr Tony Higham, 401 the Parade (PP88), HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hants. PO1 3NB. Tel: +44 (0)2392 720064, E-mail:

21 October   The Trafalgar Dinner

A national dinner will be held in the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Organisers: The Greenwich Foundation and The 1805 Club
Contact: Helen Beioley, Director of Development, The Greenwich Foundation, Old Royal Naval College Greenwich London SE10 9LW Tel: +44 (0)20 8269 4753

22 October   The Albert Hall Trafalgar Night

'Nelson Night' - A musical celebration of the Sea and the Battle of Trafalgar in the Albert Hall.

Organisers: King George's Fund for Sailors
Contact: Commodore Barry Bryant, Director General KGFS, 8 Hatherley Street, London SW1P 2YY. Tel: +44 (0)20 7932 0000, E-mail: 

23 October   Trafalgar Square Parade

A special version of the annual Sea Cadets' Trafalgar Day parade aimed at children and young people. It will be followed by a reception hosted by the Sea cadets.

Organisers: the Royal Navy and the Sea Cadets
Contacts:  Royal Navy: Cdr Tony Higham, 401 the Parade (PP88), HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hants. PO1 3NB. Tel: +44 (0)2392 720064, E-mail:

Sea Cadets: Lt Cdr (SCC) Janet Picton RNR, The Sea cadets, 202 Lambeth Road London SE1 7JF. Tel: +44 (0)20 7928 8978, E-mail

23 October   Service of commemoration and thanksgiving in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

A service in honour of those who fought in Nelson's ships attended by their descendants. It will be held in St Nicholas's Church, the largest parish church in England, where Nelson worshipped in 1801 on his return from the Battle of Copenhagen.

Organisers: Norfolk Nelson Museum
Contact: Faith Carpenter, Norfolk Nelson Museum, 26 South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 2RG. Tel: +44 (0)1493 850698, E-mail:

Local events throughout 2005

In addition to all these events, special committees have been formed in many parts of the country and programmes of local events are being prepared.


13–15 July   Europe at war – the Trafalgar campaign in context

A three-day international in central London and Greenwich looking at the political, social and cultural context of Trafalgar as well as the military and naval events.

Organisers: National Maritime Museum, Institute of Historical Research, University of Greenwich
Contact: Dr Nigel Rigby, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6559, E-mail:

4–9   September War at Sea in the Age of Sail

A residential conference looking at the naval context of Trafalgar – the ships, men and operations of the period. Sessions in Christchurch Oxford with special excursions to Greenwich and Portsmouth.

Organisers: Christchurch College Oxford and the National Maritime Museum
Contact: Dr Nigel Rigby, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6559, E-mail:

14–16 October   The Trafalgar 200 Conference

A three-day international conference in Portsmouth to coincide with The Trafalgar Heroes weekend. Featuring historians from Britain, France and Spain it will look in detail at the battle itself – the ships, the people and the tactics.

Organisers: The Royal Naval Museum, Nelson Decade Conference Committee
Contact: Sue Goodger, Royal Naval Museum, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, PO1 3NU Tel: +44 (0)23 9272 7574, E-mail:

Special exhibitions and displays

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
A major special exhibition Nelson and Napoleon, is planned and is expected to be open between May and October 2005.

HMS 'Victory', HM Naval Base, Portsmouth
Nelson's flagship, fully restored to her 1805 condition, will be open to the public throughout the year

The Royal Naval Museum, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth
The Museum's award-winning new galleries on Nelson, the Victory and the Battle of Trafalgar, will be open throughout the year.

The Nelson Museum, Monmouth
The permanent Nelson displays will be open throughout the year.

The Norfolk Nelson Museum, Great Yarmouth
The Museum will be open 1 April to 31 October. A special display of Nelson portraits is planned. 

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