Interesting Facts
Posted on Monday, August 4, 2008 at 1:41 AM

The full-scale replica of John Cabot's ship the "MATTHEW" was built in Bristol to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his discovery of Newfoundland.





Giovanni Caboto (English Name:- John Cabot), was born in Genova, about 1451.  In his early life the family moved to Venice.

Probably on hearing about Columbus's discovery of the "Indies", he decided to find a route to the West for himself, so he went to England with plans of his own.  King Henry 7th gave him a Grant to sail to all parts, Countrys and Seas of the world under his banners and ensigns.

Cabot went to Bristol to prepare for his voyage, Bristol at that point was the second largest seaport of England, and during the years from 1480 onwards, there had been several expeditions sent out to look for an island which according to Celtic legend may lay somewhere in the Atlantic.

Cabot left with only one small ship (50 tonnes), called the MATTHEW, she was fast and able, with a small crew of 18 people.

He departed on May 20th, 1497 and sailed to Dursley Head, in Ireland and he landed on the American Eastcoast on June 24th, 1497.  He went ashore and took pssession of the land and after some considerable exploration, he most probably departed around July 20th, 1497.  He arrived in Bristol on August 6th, 1497.

Back in England, John Cabot was well rewarded with a pension of £20 a year.

The following year in 1498, he once again departed, this time  with 5 ships from Bristol, apart from one ship in distress and so turned for Ireland, nothing more was heard of John Cabot or the expedition since.



She is a 4 masted steel barque and was built in 1920 in Germany, and was subsequently launched & commissioned the following year in 1921.
In 1945 the Soviet Union acquired her as a war reparation.
She was used as a navy training ship.
In 1966 she was transferred to the Ministry of Fisheries & then in 1991 was transferred to the Municipality of Murmansk and it's School of Navy at the Murmansk University.

TONNAGE:-                 3,500 Tonnes
DISPLACEMENT:-     7,300 Tonnes
LENGTH:-                    117.5 Metres (LOA)
BEAM:-                         14.9   Metres
DRAFT:-                         6.5    Metres
PROPULSION:-           Sail & Auxilliary Diesel
SPEED:-                      18 knots speed ( 8 knots under engine)
COMPLEMENT:-         240  (Professional Crew 70, Cadets 120 and Guest Trainees 50)



My painting of the African Queen, came from a photograph I took of this vessel when the american owner brought it to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, UK back in the 1980's. 

I was always armed with several different cameras, as photography was & still is a great love of mine & I rolled off a few reels of film on just the African Queen.

This was used in the film of the same name & for the film they had several rafts where they could get the large movie cameras onto (as they couldn't do this on the actual boat), the end shot of the boat having torpedoes in was a model.

Nowadays the African Queen has been restored to her former glory & does tours of the river system of Florida.


Citroen "H" Van

This is one of our favourite vehicles.

These little beauties were built by Citroen between 1947 & 1981.

They are know to us as piggy vans, for their appearance.




HMS Conway

Name:     HMS Nile
Builder:     Plymouth Dockyard
Laid down: October 1827
Launched:     28 June 1839
Renamed:     HMS Conway, 1876
Fate:     Wrecked whilst under tow through the Menai Straits in 1953 & later a fire destroyed her in 1956.

Class & type:     Rodney-class ship of the line
Tons burthen:     2598 bm
Length:     205 ft 6 in (62.64 m) (gundeck)
Beam:     54 ft 5 in (16.59 m)
Depth of hold:     23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
Propulsion:     Sails (and steam, after 1854)
Sail plan:     Full rigged ship

As second rate, 90 guns:
Gundeck: 30 × 32 pdrs, 2 × 68 pdr carronades
Upper gundeck: 34 × 32 pdrs
Quarterdeck: 26 × 32 pdrs


The “Hampshire Rose”  was Walmer's last all-weather lifeboat.
Hampshire Rose started her service in 1975.
The "Hampshire Rose" was retired from service on 5 May 1990