Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - if you haven't been to this place, you're in for a treat!

Hi, I am the first guest blogger for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Well, if you haven't been to this place, you’re in for a treat.

If you’re a fan of ships and the sea, it’s brilliant and even if you’re not enthusiastic about boats, ships or cannons, I can almost guarantee that after a visit, you will be.

To see the tall masts of HMS Victory, even before you have set foot inside of the Dockyard, it’s enough to lift your heart. Then to actually walk into and on, those famous wooden decks, it’s a magic experience.

On board HMS Victory you can read all about the ship, you can maybe today get a ‘virtual tour,’ but nothing, and I mean nothing, can compare to actually being inside this wonderful vessel.

The cramped spaces, the low headroom of the gun decks, the massive, yes massive ropes, or rather ‘cables’, ropes, which are 12 inches diameter, to haul up the Anchor, the Iron Cannons, the capstan, all just massive pieces of history.

But before you even get to that, the ‘Block’ area, the exhibition of steam driven and iron machines which made all these things, on site, is a great experience, full of information and ‘hands on’ exhibits and you can then see why, with all this technology, even in the 18th Century, Britain really did rule the waves.

Outside, on the dockside, the sight of HMS Warrior, again, just too much to see in a few hours and wonderfully preserved, if that is the right word, but, brilliant iron and wood all coming together to make this a most impressive vessel.

I had originally only meant to spend an hour or two looking at the Victory but, I had, in all, over six, yes, six hours in that yard and even then, I hadn't covered everything, I didn’t even glance at the Mary Rose part of the yard, I didn’t have time left, so a day or even a week wouldn’t give you enough time to savour the delights of this wonderful place.

The staff were all helpful, cheery and full of information, all willing to help with any question that I fired at them.

Highly recommended.

Denis P Gibson. 04 July 2009.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard are looking for other guest bloggers - if you are interested, please contact us on 023 928 94550 or email

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Lord Nelson - Hero written all over his face?

Square forehead, set back ears and a Roman nose – the makings of a hero is all in the face, according to a unique new study released by Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum. And, to test the theory, it has analysed the face of one of our best-known military leaders, Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson - whose flagship HMS Victory can be seen in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard!

Personology is deemed to be 92% accurate so Naomi Tickle, a leading international personologist, face reader and author of ‘You Can Read a Face Like a Book’, identified the key facial characteristics that epitomise heroism, and applied these to a portrait of Nelson, to see if he displayed the traits, and whether they were common among people in the public eye today.

In her findings Tickle says: “The relationship between the physical facial structure and personality has been well researched since the 1920's. Whether it’s traditionally heroic traits like a Roman nose or more obscure characteristics such as a square forehead, heroic people do share similar facial features, and Nelson is no exception. These are also present on the faces of powerful figures today, whether it’s world leaders, sportsmen, or simply brave people we know.”

The report: Lord Nelson’s Face
1) Roman nose
Good at managing, delegating and overseeing his people.
Also seen in Prince William, Marco Pierre White
2) Square forehead
A seed planter. Liked to initiate the ideas and pass them along to others to carry through.
Also seen on Barack Obama, Bear Grylls
3) Ears set back, low on head
A visionary leader. Would have demanded extremely high standards of his men.
Also seen on Richard Branson
4) Pointed chin
Very stubborn and tenacious.
Also seen in Quentin Tarantino
5) Head wider at the back
Very competitive. He found it irritating when others were slower than himself. Definitely a ‘take charge’ person. Common among top rugby players and footballers.
Also seen on Martin Johnson, Sir Alan Sugar, Robbie Coltrane
6) Exposed eyelid
He liked the bottom line and was very action-driven: “Come on let's go, what are we waiting for?”
Also seen on Sir Anthony Hopkins, Patrick Dempsey, Vladimir Putin
7) Outer corner of eye lower than inner corner
A perfectionist and noticed every move. He didn't miss much.
Also seen on Daniel Craig
8) Oval eyebrow
Good at bringing ideas or concepts together. His thoughts were well organised and express his ideas clearly.
Also seen on Nicholas Sarkozy, Sir Sean Connery
9) Sloped back/high forehead
Extremely intelligent, quick to think and respond in the moment. Good in emergencies could think on his feet.
Also seen on Andrew Marr

So what do you think? Was Nelson destined to be a hero - was it written all over his face or do these conclusions mean that someone who does not have a Roman nose, a pointed chin, exposed eyelids and oval eyebrows cannot be a hero? Were then any heroes in history that had none of these facial features? How do we define a hero? Was it purely that Horatio Nelson’s successful and surprisingly modern leadership strategy made him a hero?

Would love to hear what you think!