2020 Programme of Activities

 It is with regret that, due to the Coronavirus pandemic and consequent restrictions on gatherings and venues, the remaining 2020 programme of events for the Society is cancelled. 

Thu 30th January



Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Cook’s Second Voyage Society trustee and regular speaker Dr Tony Barrow opens this year’s programme with the story of the ‘Terra Australis’ expedition.  Cook took an accurate chronometer on this trip, enabling the determination of the longitude of many of the Pacific island groups.   He also crossed the Antarctic Circle for the first time.  Plenty of interesting detail can be anticipated, as always.

Tue 10th March


The Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

(The Miller Theatre)


This year’s Annual Collingwood Lecture is entitled The Conservation and Display of Historic Wooden Warships and will be delivered by Clare Hunt, Curator of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool (HMS TRINCOMALEE).  Ranging from Viking ships, through the likes of VASA, MARY ROSE, VICTORY, TRINCOMALEE and CONSTITUTION, to a current restoration project at Hartlepool in the form of the WW2 Motor Launch ML-497, there is much to choose from in what will be a fascinating and wide-ranging talk.

Thu 2nd April


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Society Chairman Capt. Stephen Healy looks at The ‘Trafalgar Medal’ and other naval awards from the Georgian era, examining the politics, benefactors, eligibility, one-upmanship, undoubted bravery and baffling delays in the stories behind them.    

Tue 5th May


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Thomas, Cosway and Ommaney Have you received signals (e-mails or letters) from one or more of these gentlemen?  Do you know why? The Officers of the Society finally come clean and explain the backgrounds of their respective ‘noms-de-plume’.
Sat 13th June
TVLB Watch House, Tynemouth Summer Outing:  A few years ago, we held one of our talks in the Watch House of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade.  Regular attenders of the annual Trafalgar Day ‘Toast the Admiral’ ceremonies at Tynemouth are also used to going in the building for the warming ‘soup and sandwiches’ that follow.  The building and its collections always draw attention and we are pleased this year to be going for a full and private guided tour through which we will learn more of the activities of the Brigade and the history of life-saving at the mouth of the Tyne.
Thu 2nd  July
Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne We welcome to the stage another debutant and Society Member, George Cansino, who will tell us about Saumarez and the Baltic.   Admiral James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez, was the Guernsey born victor of the 2nd Battle of Algeciras in 1801, later commanding the Baltic Fleet, flying his flag in HMS VICTORY and applying both practical and diplomatic skills to the suppression of French interests in the region.

Tue 15th September 



Morpeth Town Hall Capt. Stephen Healy visits the ‘Northumberland’ period in the life of the Admiral and his family with his talk on Morpeth and the Collingwoods, examining how the town took to its illustrious residents, how they viewed the town and surrounding area and how history has subsequently acknowledged the relationship.  Part of Morpeth’s annual Heritage Days event, free entry to all.

Thu 8th October 


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Following a well-received debut last year,  Tim Gittins, another Society member and trustee, now turns his attention to Admiral Sir John Orde, whose well-documented and ongoing spat with Earl St. Vincent and actions when in command of a squadron north of Cadiz in the lead-up to Trafalgar have interested historians ever since.  Scapgoat or disgruntled unfortunate?  Our own judge weighs up the evidence….   

Sun 18th October 


St Mary’s Church (Heritage Centre), Gateshead Annual commemorative event, this one very much centred on John William Trotter, Master of HMS LEVIATHAN at the Battle of Trafalgar, who is buried in the churchyard.  Public event.

Wed 21st October 


The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne Annual short Commemorative Service at the Collingwood bust in the rear of the Church.  Public event.

Wed 21st October


St Paul’s Cathedral, London Annual service in the Nelson Chamber (close to the NW crypt door).  Commemorates the memory of both Nelson and Collingwood.  Public event.

Wed 21st October 


Collingwood Monument,


The annual ‘Toast the Admiral’ event, hosted by North Tyneside Council.  On the midday hour, at which the first shot was fired in the Battle of Trafalgar, raise a glass to our hero.  Public event.  Free grog.

Wed 21st October


Morpeth Town Hall Annual commemoration in the Butter Market (foyer of the Town Hall), around the Collingwood bust.  Public event.

Fri 6th November


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne  Back again by popular demand….Pickle Night’  gives Members and Guests a chance to let our hair down and experience the fun, food, dress and self-made entertainment of the gun deck.  Ticket only, sure to be a sell-out once again, watch for details in due course.

Thu 12th November


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne In the hopes of better attendance and to re-assure people that the AGM is not a wasted journey, this year’s Annual General Meeting will be followed by BOTH a short presentation looking back on the bi-centennial commemorations that gave birth to the Society (yes, it was 10 years ago!) AND our now-traditional ‘pub-style’ quiz, based on Collingwood/ Nelson/ Trafalgar/Georgian Navy.  Last year’s winning score was 72 and it was a first time winner, so come along and try your hand!  You’ll be surprised what you might know!!

Thu 3rd December


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Another popular first-time speaker this past year, Terry Walton returns with Nautical phrases, slang and idioms.  Discover where ‘learning the ropes’ came from, what a ‘square meal’ is and the meaning of ‘show a leg’.  It’ll all be ‘above board’, there’ll be no need to ‘cut and run’ and we’re sure Terry will come through with ‘flying colours’.