2023 Programme of Activities

Wed 1st February 2023



St Mary’s Church (Heritage Centre), Gateshead Local historian Anthea Lang comes to the Society for the first time, speaking about another “son of Gateshead”, ‘Admiral Richard Collinson RN.’  Naval Officer, surveyor, Arctic explorer, disciplinarian and with a stubborn nature, Collinson’s highly successful career did not perhaps end as he would have wished.


Wed 8th February 2023


The Cheviot Centre Padgepool Place


One for our ‘up-county’ members and friends…  Society Member Dr Tony Barrow discusses ‘Admiral Lord Collingwood and his associations with Wooler’ ( including Admiral Roddam).  This event is In association with the Glendale Local History Society.   (The GHLS will apply an entry charge, but the Collingwood Society will cover it for any members attending).


Tue 7th March 2023


The Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School

(The Miller Theatre)


We are pleased to welcome Professor Claire Jowitt, Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Arts & Humanities at the University of East Anglia, to deliver the 2024 Annual Collingwood Lecture, titled  ‘Norfolk’s Mary Rose, the Wreck of the Gloucester 1682’.  This warship foundered on a sandbank off Great Yarmouth and the wreck has recently been discovered.  Amongst those on board was James, Duke of York, the brother of Charles II and future King of England. James survived, but most of the 330 aboard did not.  Rumours abounded about arguments between the Duke, the ship’s officers and the Pilot prior to the sinking and of a chaotic abandonment after the ship had struck.  Professor Jowitt heads up an historical research project, which is exploring not only how and why the Gloucester sank, but also the conspiracy theories about the tragedy’s causes and its political consequences.  The talk also coincides with the opening of a major exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery.  It promises to be an informative and entertaining lecture, full of history, political intrigue and questionable seamanship.  We are grateful once again to the Royal Grammar School for their kind hospitality at the Miller Theatre.
Tue 4th April 2023


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Society Chairman Capt. Stephen Healy looks at The ‘Trafalgar Medal’ and other naval awards, examining the politics, benefactors, eligibility, one-upmanship, undoubted bravery, unfair exclusions and baffling delays in identifying and recognizing recipients, as evidenced in the stories behind them. 
Thu 11th May 2023


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Society member George Cansino presents ‘Matters in the Baltic 1793-1815’, in which he examines the various encounters in Baltic waters during the period and their impact on European politics and naval policies.
Tue 20th  June 2023


TS COLLINGWOOD, Comical Corner

South Shields

Summer Outing: The HMS SATELLITE figurehead at TS COLLINGWOOD.  The screw corvette HMS SATELLITE was launched at Devonport in 1855 and bore an impressive figurehead.  After stalwart service in the Pacific Ocean and the Indian and China Seas, the ship returned to the UK in 1870 and was broken up in 1879.  The figurehead was saved and became a shore exhibit, resting for many years at HMS CALLIOPE.   Regrettably however, its condition deteriorated over time.  With the aid of a Lottery Grant, the Sea Cadets unit at South Shields determined to save it and expert Master Carver Andy Peters undertook what proved to be a major restoration.  The resulting magnificent result of his work is now installed at TS COLLINGWOOD and we are privileged to be granted a private viewing, plus a talk on the original ship, the fate of the figurehead over the intervening years and the restoration project.  This is also an opportunity to develop a relationship with a group that shares a name with our Society and better understand the work of the Sea Cadets in our area.  Refreshments will be available.
Tue 11th July 2023


Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne Another popular Society speaker, Terry Walton, this time takes on a controversial topic in ‘The Royal Navy and Slavery’, a talk that will undoubtedly draw interest. From the strategic allocation of resources by governments, to the personal involvement of individual high profile naval officers, the evidence will once again give us the opportunity to question our past.


Wed 13th  September 2023 19.30St James’ Community Centre, Morpeth Society Chairman Capt. Stephen Healylooks at ‘Collingwood at Trafalgar’ – the days leading up to, on, and following 21st October 1805 and where the Admiral was in terms of his career, family and  the wider  aspects of his life.   
Thu 5th October 2023 19.30Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneAnother Society member returning to the stage isTim Gittins, who tackles another much-argued topic in ‘Admiral Sir John Orde’His 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.  Scapegoat or disgruntled unfortunate?  Our own judge weighs up the evidence….
Sat 21st  October 2023 10.00The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle upon TyneAnnual short Commemorative Service at the Collingwood bust in the rear of the Church.  Public event.
Sat 21st October 2023 10.30St Paul’s Cathedral, LondonAnnual service in the Nelson Chamber (close to the NW crypt door).  Commemorates the memory of both Nelson and Collingwood.  Public event.  Volunteers requested to represent the Society from anyone in London at this time.
Sat 21st October 2023 11.30Collingwood Monument, Tynemouth  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.  A good crowd, stirring speeches, free grog.  
Sat 21st October 2023 11.30Morpeth Town HallAnnual commemoration in the Butter Market (foyer of the Town Hall), around the Collingwood bust.  Public event.
Sun 22nd October 2023 15.00 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.
Thu 9th November 2023 19.30 Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneAnnual General Meeting at 6.45pm (all welcome), followed by…    Nick Johnson BA (Hons) MArborA, amember of the Woodland Trust, will deliver “Veteran Tree Project ( Identifying and protecting our local living legends)”  This may at first appear outside our range, but the speaker is very much aware of the Georgian Fleet’s need for timber and of the association of our Admiral with acorns.  Virtually every Oak tree in Northumberland is attributed to Collingwood, but Nick will ‘thin out the copse’ for us. 
Thu 7th December 2023 19.30  Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneChristmas Social interspersed with a few Forebitters.  If you have not done a full talk to the Society, but have some 5 minute news-bite or piece of Georgian Navy information burning in your mind, this is your chance.  Similarly, if you are a secret shanty-singer (or even not so secret….), the stage is yours for a quick chorus.   If you have the answers to questions that have arisen during the year, or if you want to pose questions anew, now’s the time.  Witty prose of relevance to our theme welcome too.  All with pleasant company and another festive buffet.    Further details to follow.  

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