Category Archives: Sailing ships

Admiral Michiel de Ruyter gets the movie treatment

Michiel de Ruyter (ADMIRAL) – Trailer from Rebel Film on Vimeo.

Just to explain… This is the Admiral de Ruyter who famously led the Dutch Navy’s Raid on the Medway in June 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

He should be better known to us Brits – and I gather the new film will be available with subtitles. Check the starry cast by the way…

De Ruyter bombarded and then captured the town of Sheerness, then sailed up up the River Medway to Chatham, where the Dutch burned three capital ships and ten smaller naval vessels, and towed away the Unity and the Royal Charles, then the pride of the English fleet.

It was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy’s history, and led to a quick and favourable peace for the Dutch.

De Ruyter, I gather, was later a key figure in Prince William of Orange’s arrival in the UK, leading up to the Glorious Revolution, in which the Dutch Protestant and his wife Mary became king and queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Read about De Ruyter here, and for a more English view of the Raid on the Medway, click here.

Cargo carrying dhows film

This striking video comes from the Facebook page Historic Vessel Vega, which belongs to SailVega, a charity that operates the 120-odd year old Norwegian built vessel, delivering donated educational and medical supplies to isolated island communities in South East Asia. Donate here.

Here’s another from the same source:

East London’s last sailmaker’s loft

Sailmaker's loft East London

Caird & Rayner’s premises at 777 Commercial Rd was built as a sailmakers’ loft and chandlers’ warehouse, and operated for 80-odd years until it closed in 1972 – so its career included the closing days of commercial sailing ships.

It has not substantially altered and remains undeveloped – and apparently largely derelict today.

My thanks to Malcolm Woods for spotting this one.

Read all about it at the wonderful Spitalfields Life website.

PS. Regular reader Nigel of Bexley has written to say there is a sailmaker’s loft at Dagenham, which is within the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. So I guess it could be argued that London has another sailmaker’s loft – or it might be argued that suburban boroughs are something different. Visit the website of Dagenham’s family-run sailmakers: M. Putt (Sailmakers). Thanks Nigel!