Category Archives: Sailing ships

Suffolk – the uneatable cheese of the Royal Navy

I’d like to introduce you lot to the excellent Foods of England project.

I particularly liked its entry for Suffolk Cheese, a product that is no longer made for reasons that will become obvious. Until the mid-18th Century it was used by the Royal Navy to feed its sailors, but by all accounts it was dry, salty and so hard there were many stories and jokes about the difficulty of eating it.

Naval administrator Samuel Pepys wrote that he was upset when his domestic staff complained about having to eat it. On the 19th December 1825, The Hampshire Chronicle carried a notice that read: ‘As characteristic of Suffolk cheese, it said that a vessel once laden, one half with grindstones and the other half with the above commodity, on arriving at its destination it was found that the rats had consumed all the grindstones, but left the cheeses untouched.’

Historian NAM Rodger reports that the Navy gave up provisioning ships with the stuff in 1758, no doubt to loud cheering from the foc’sl. My crews, of course, are always provided with the finest cheese I can afford…

Other sea related entries are hardtack or ships biscuits (a nuclear bomb test was named after them), grog, bumpo, and  Cheshire cheese (another Naval staple).

My thanks to Sarah Coxson for the tip!

Charles II arrives at Scheveningen, and sails to England to a huge welcome

Following on from my question about whether the beach at Scheveningen might be the most painted stretch of strand in the world, and from Chris Sonnemans helpful reply, here’s a video Chris made from images of the time…

Thanks Chris!

Sad end threatens for 1878-built sailing ship Falls of Clyde

The Falls of Clyde - An early oiltanker - panoramio

‘She is the last remaining ship of her class and a striking reminder of the golden age of sail.

‘But the Falls of Clyde, which was launched at Port Glasgow in 1878, looks set to be consigned to a watery grave somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

‘The ship has been declared unsafe by Hawaii’s transport department.

‘The 137-year-old iron-hulled four-masted vessel was this week declared unsafe by Hawaii transport officials, who ordered she be removed from her permanent mooring in Honolulu harbour. It now looks likely the Falls will be towed into deep water and scuttled to become an attraction for divers – unless a last ditch campaign to save her is successful.’

Read more on The Scotsman website and on the Wikipedia.