2024 Programme of Events

Tue 6th February 2024 19.30  Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneCapt Stephen Healy delivers ‘Cumby and Billy Ruffian’.   William Pryce Cumby lived as a child in (and later returned to) Heighington, County Durham and had a long and eventful naval career.  HMS BELLEROPHON, known to many a seaman as the BILLY RUFFIAN, likewise had a varied and eventful life.  The two met shortly before the Battle of Trafalgar and history was about to be written.     
Tue 5th March 2024 19.30  Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneAward-winning author and historian Nicholas Best comes at the Battle of Trafalgar from an unusual angle with his talk ‘Napoleon and Trafalgar’.  Prepare to see history from another viewpoint.
Thu 4th April 2024 19.30Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne‘Black Sailors in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815’ Historian John D Ellis is an expert on men of colour in the British Army throughout history but luckily, early last year, John got interested in their Navy equivalents and a steady stream of individual studies has flown ever since.  Tonight’s talk will feature many of these, plus observations on the authorities’ attitudes towards such men.  
Thu 9th May 2024Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneSociety member Nigel Collingwood climbs back up his family tree – indeed past Cuthbert’s generation – in ‘An Admiral on our Shoulder’.   Both the individuals uncovered and the process of research are interesting.   
Sat 15th June 2024 10.30The Old Low Light / Clifford’s Fort, North ShieldsThis year’s Summer Outing sees us visit the North Shields Fish Quay for a private, guided Heritage Walk around Clifford’s Fort and the immediate area, to hear about the defences at the mouth of the river Tyne over the centuries and the difficulties facing ships when entering the river in centuries past.   There will also be light refreshments in, and a chance to look around, the Old Low Light Heritage Centre.  Details to follow.  
Tue 9th July 2024Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneGeorge Cansinoreturns to the stage to profile another character from the Georgian era –  Admiral of the Fleet and later First Lord of the Admiralty The Right Honourable The Lord ‘Hawke’ KB PC, relating his wide naval experience and influence on both policies and others.
Thu 12th  September 2024 19.30  Corn Exchange, Town Hall, Morpeth‘Collingwood – a biography’  Our usual September meeting in Morpeth.  This time, we are simply looking at the life and times of our Admiral with no other angles or emphasis.  Cuthbert Collingwood, the naval Officer, family man, strategist, friend of Nelson, dog-lover, gardener, one time resident of Morpeth and our hero.  Free admission to all, as part of the Heritage Open Days event.  
Tue 8th October 2024 19.30Trinity House, Newcastle upon TyneLocal historian and speaker Susan Lynn gives us ‘Impressed… you will be!’ – a collection of local tales around the press gang: those who avoided it, those who escaped from it, those who accepted and profited from it and the womenfolk left behind when it happened (we’ve all heard of Dolly Peel… but probably not the others)
Sun 20th October  – Mon 21st October 2024 variousThe usual local annual commemorative events will be happening on and around Trafalgar Day, including those at St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle; the Collingwood Monument at Tynemouth; Morpeth Town Centre; and St. Mary’s Churchyard, Gateshead.  These in addition to the service in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, at which we are always represented.  Details to follow once confirmed.  
Tue 12th November 2024 19.30Trinity House, Newcastle upon Tyne‘The Blacketts’  A family dynasty who had direct links with our Admiral through his wife Sarah, daughter of John Erasmus Blackett, Lord Mayor of Newcastle.  There are also other notable naval connections.  Al Kirtley is a family member, who has conducted considerable research into his ancestors and will tell us more in this talk.    The talk will be preceded by a short Annual General Meeting, commencing at 18.30.
Tue 3rd December 2024 19.30 (To be confirmed, following consultation with the membership).

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