Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Rope needed for replica Victory


April 03, 2005

About 26 miles of rope was used in the
original Victory.

A search is on to find 13 miles of old rope to rig a replica of Horatio Nelson's warship HMS Victory which is to be set on fire for charity.

The Torrington Cavaliers are building a half-size replica of the wooden warship in north Devon to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The mock Victory will have 100ft (30m) masts, cross trees and reefed sails, which all need rope.

The charity hopes to raise £57,000 when the ship goes up in flames in August.

Cabin boy
Chris Stacey, chairman of the Torrington Cavaliers, says the group is desperately short of rope.

"We will take any size of rope and can make what we need by splicing it," he said, adding that the original warship was rigged with about 26 miles of rope.

The replica is being built by about 40 volunteers, including a relative of the ship's crew.

Project leader Dick Matthews is the great-great-great-grandson of the Victory's cabin boy, whose surname was Oliver.

Burning reputation
The cabin boy can be seen in a painting which hangs in the House of Commons, depicting the scene of Nelson shot aboard Victory.

The Torrington Cavaliers have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity with spectacular bonfires, including a replica of the Houses of Parliament - for which they invited a descendant of Guy Fawkes to light.

In 2000, the group built a full-size replica of part of London in 1666 and recreated the "Great Fire of London".

This year, the group's replica of HMS Victory, promises to be equally spectacular.

The ship will have open gun ports for fireworks and viewing platforms will be erected so the public can see inside.

The Torrington Victory will go up in flames on 27 August. It is expected the pyrotechnic spectacular will be watched by many thousands of local people and visitors.

The aim is to raise about £57,000 - the cost of Nelson's original Victory - for cancer and local charities.


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