Thursday, 21 October 2010

205th Anniversary of Trafalgar Day


I'm back again with another behind the scenes look at the Historic Dockyard!

This morning myself and Phil George, our IT Controller, attended the annual Trafalgar Day service onboard HMS Victory. This year is the 205th Anniversary of the most decisive naval battle under sail in British history - Admiral Lord Nelson's triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The anniversary also marks the death of the Royal Navy's most revered leader when he was fatally wounded during the action, which ultimately defeated a Franco-Spanish Fleet.

The ceremony was attended by senior naval personnel and invited guests including the Second Sea Lord and Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Cdr M B Paton (RN Retired) who is the Great Grandson of Thomas Goble who during the Battle of Trafalgar filled the post of Nelson's Public Secretary & Secretary of the Fleet.

The service was also attended by local media including ITV Meridian - which is where I fitted in to my day job!

It was incredibly moving as the Last Post was played and the silence commenced as a reminder of all those who died during the battle.

We were lucky enough to film the ceremony to show you:

We also caught up with the Commanding Officer of HMS Victory, Lt Cdr Oscar Whild, yesterday before his important role in the service.

If you are in Portsmouth today then please come and have a look at HMS Victory flying the Colours (Union Jack and White Ensign) and Nelson's signal 'England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty'.

If you can't make it along then have a look at our photos on Facebook:

Until the next time!

Melissa (Press Officer)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Blogs 2 and 3 from behind the scenes at our Victorian Festival of Christmas come from Kelly Haswell and Amy Cosgrave, from marketing to stallholders!

Hi there! My name’s Kelly Haswell and I’m the Marketing Executive for Events at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, so it is my job to make sure that everybody knows about the great events that we hold here!

Work on A Victorian Festival of Christmas is now pretty much ongoing all year round - in fact we have just announced the dates for 2011 (25th – 27th November if you’d like to put the date in your diary!) and we are starting to promote this now to the coach travel and group organisers who plan their itineraries way in advance.

At this year’s Festival of Christmas we will be thinking about the next event and taking photos for next year’s poster, leaflets and adverts. From June we then start to put all this together – it is always a bit strange to be looking at snow pictures in the middle of a heat wave! I work closely on the designs with Terri (our Event Executive) who tells me what she is planning for the event each year and who she thinks this will appeal to and we then try to make the marketing materials reflect these themes and appeal to the right people.

So how do we actually tell people about the event? Well, the marketing plan is now pretty detailed and covers an area up to 2 hours away from Portsmouth. We put together a leaflet which we get out to just about everywhere we can think of, we have the website which we try to promote online and increase visits to, we advertise in loads of magazines, guides and newspapers, we have adverts on air with our radio partner, Wave FM, and in November we’ll have lots of large posters and banners going up throughout the area – you may even see us on the back of a bus!

So look out for A Victorian Festival of Christmas adverts in your area… we always like to know where we’ve been seen! And if you think we’re missing a great magazine to advertise in or a brilliant poster site in your area, please let us know!

Finally don’t forget to sign up to receive our regular e-newsletters where we will keep you informed of what will be happening and we’ll send you the full programme when it is printed in November.

I look forward to seeing you at A Victorian Festival of Christmas!



My name is Amy Cosgrave and I am here to talk about my role within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. I assist Terri Hall our Event’s Executive in all things events and this is my second year working on the Victorian Festival of Christmas which is unbelievably in its 11th consecutive year this year!

I hope you are all as excited as I am about this event taking place at the end of November 2010 and as we are now in the month of October it is growing ever closer!

My job is to organise and arrange the large Victorian Christmas Market which grows year on year with more than 150 traders coming from all over the country to participate in one of the largest Christmas Markets on the South Coast. This year in an exciting new addition we also have Hampshire Fare attending with their large selection of food, drink and crafts all locally sourced from Hampshire Produce.

Arranging and collating all of the different traders, pitch spaces and lots of paperwork is no quick task with exhibitors booking their space way back at the beginning of the year (some even apply during the event itself!) so it is something that comes together over a long period of time. We are always very proud of the traders and exhibitors that come along year after year and support the event to give you guys the opportunity to buy some crackin’ Christmas presents for all your family and friends. Here is a sneaky preview of some the fantastic shopping offer to wet your appetite…

Visit AbiDesigns for some beautiful and unique shoe clips that women would have worn on their shoes in the Victorian times – so jazz up some old heels with these lovely accessories.

Treat Grandma to a little tipple with Celtic Country Wines who will be selling locally sourced wines and liqueurs that make the perfect stocking filler!

Joanne Potter is a local Textile Artist who will be trading in handmade handbags and accessories as well as Christmas Stockings!

Like blueberries? Well visit The Dorset Blueberry Company for a wide selection of all things blueberry! Pies, cookies and jams!

Enjoy a festive mug of mulled wine from the Gluevine cabin or a pint of cider from Olde Joes and pair it with a Traditional Cornish Pasty for a true winter warmer.

Take care of your sister for Christmas with a piece of stunning jewellery from the many varieties of jewellery we have on offer including Natural Stone Jewellery, Joy’s Jems, Jewellery By Mia and add some Tibetan flare to your world by visiting Sacha at her Sunny Days stall!

Finally, don’t forget to decorate the house! Visit Mr and Mrs Santa Claus for a beautiful selection of Christmas decorations that you won’t want to give away as a present!

It is a lot of hard work by many different people to make this event the wonderful success it is and it is so worth it when we see all of you lovely visitors entering through the gate to enjoy your day; So thank you and I look forward to seeing you at A Victorian Festival of Christmas 2010!


Amy. x

Photos above: Kelly Haswell, Marketing Executive, Amy Cosgrave, Events Assistant for A Victorian Festival of Christmas.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Work begins on new Mary Rose Museum

Hello there,

This is my first blog for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, I'm Melissa Gerbaldi, the Press Officer for the site, and I'm looking forward to sharing some of our news with you from behind the scenes...!

On Monday I got kitted out in safety gear and man boots (very attractive!) to go onto the construction site of the new Mary Rose Museum. It was part of a media call to mark the first day of construction on the 28th anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose, to officially sign the £16.3 million contract with Portsmouth based Warings to build the museum, and to highlight that there is still £4million to raise to ensure our national treasure is preserved for future generations. (If you are interested in helping then is the website for you!)

Joining me in the rubble were reporters from BBC South Today, ITV Meridian, The News, Reuters, Wave 105 and a loyal supporter of the fundraising appeal and freelance journalist - Anne-Marie Causer.

We all watched as King Henry VIII (or more commonly known as Andy Owen, Warings Senior Project Manager!) hopped into the digger to pose for photos alongside John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, and Philippe Jouey, Managing Director of Warings.

Not to be outdone by the TV cameras, myself and Alastair Miles (Mary Rose Trust) grabbed our own little video camera and went into journalism mode to interview John Lippiett ourselves and here is the result!

It was perfect weather for such a celebratory announcement, though I was relieved to swap my safety glasses for sunglasses and huge boots for heels as I headed back down the Historic Dockyard and back to my desk to share the great news and photos with everyone else!

The full press release can be read on our website here:

Speak again soon!


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Victorian Festival of Christmas - a sneak preview from the organisers. Blog No. 1 from Terri Hall, Events Executive

Hello there,

Tis I again! Terri Hall - I’m the Events Executive here at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Some of you might remember me from such event blogs as Celebration of Steam and Royal Navy Past & Present here at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard! :o)

I hope you are all fine and dandy and looking forward to our next event which is our ever popular A Victorian Festival of Christmas. Can you believe it’s in its 11th consecutive year this year?!

I’ve been doing lots of research and thinking about how the Victorian theme we have is lovely, but I wanted to enhance it. So this year we’ve got a Victorian literature focus! I’ve been reading lots of Victorian stories (great fun) and we’re putting together a programme of some great classics to entertain you, so get ready to step into the pages of some of your favourite Victorian stories…

Walk through “A Christmas Carol Street” where Charles Dickens creation is brought to life in a beautiful snowy street, all the classic characters from Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will be roaming around taking you through their story.

Beatrix Potter will be giving illustration lessons and depending on your artistic finesse you’ll be able to colour in or draw from scratch some of your favour characters.

“Step in Time” with characters from Mary Poppins. Witness genius pavement chalk art, kite flying, a throng of determined suffragettes and I dare you not to want to join in with our crew of jolly chimney sweeps. Plus take a ride on a stunning Gallopers Merry-Go-Round (low additional fee).

Join Fagin and his gang of pick pockets for a beer (or two!) in our larger than ever Fagin’s Tavern bar. But a warning to you – keep an eye your watch and wallet, this lot are a crafty bunch!

Witness Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland brilliant and bazaar Mad Hatters tea party and take a ride on a giant Tea Cup and Saucer (low additional fee).

You’re sure to bump into J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan, the swash buckling pirates and lost boys on board one half of HMS Warrior. Then visit our regal Victorian green Father Christmas on the other half of HMS Warrior within the Cable Deck and receive a yummy treat from his elves.

Skip along to “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow” within Frances Hodgson’s Secret Garden. Interact with Mary, Mary’s cousin Colin and Dickon’s petting farm.

Plus tons of fantastic Christmas gift stalls to wow your family with wonderful, original presents and treats this festive season.

I have so much more to tell you, but I’ll save it and keep you in suspense until my next blog! In the meantime look out for blogs from my colleagues who are also involved in getting the festival underway as they reveal even more secrets behind the event!

Take care until then.

Buy your tickets before 31st October and receive a 10% discount. Visit:

Father Christmas outside HMS Warrior: Photo courtesy of Courtenay Photographic Ltd