Saturday, October 21, 2006

TRAFALGAR DAY 21st October 2006.

Yes, it was my 54th birthday today and I would like to thank both of you who sent me a card, but it's still not a national holiday... yet! However today was a day of national historical importance.
Today Birmingham celebrated the 201st anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and mourned the death of Lord Horatio Nelson in the engagement.
I have not finished the details of the whole presentation yet, meanwhile it is quite late and I have nearly finished a bottle of magnificent Nelson's Column Strong Ale from the Tunnel Brewery and I am seriously regretting not laying in a couple more bottles.
I will complete the event details over the next couple of days. Enjoy.

A look of anticipation from the cadets of TS Sherbourne and TS Leopard and the veterans.

The band of the Sea Cadets of TS Sutton Coldfield.

The Cumberland Guard make a grand entrance.

"Right Dress!" You can find out more of the Cumberland Guard at

The various groups assemble by the statue of Nelson.

The band marching in formation..

The Royal Navy Reserves of HMS Forward.

On the left, the veterans, in the centre Melvyn Haig, Vice Chairman, Birmingham St George's Day Association and on the right Tim Parsons from the Young Firefighters Association carrying the Brigade Standard.

Dignitaries wait to lay their wreaths.

Nelson's statue.

Stephen Hartland of the Birmingham Civic Society introduces the proceedings.

Soprano Catherine Cromwell from the Birmingham Conservatoire leads the singing of the National Anthem.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mike Sharpe.

Commodore A J G Miller CBE RN gave a speech highlighting the role of the Royal Navy in an international capacity.

A stirring speech by Carl Chinn, who reminded us that things may have been very different today but for the bravery of Nelson and his men.

A short service was led by the Rev. Ray Price.

Stephen Hartland escorts the Lord Mayor who carries a wreath from the City of Birmingham on behalf of the Citizens of Birmingham...

...lays the wreath...

..and stands in thoughtful respect.

Commodore A J G Miller presents a wreath on behalf of The Royal Navy...

...and salutes in honour of Nelson.

Doc Halliday
, Secretary of Birmingham Nautical Club with their wreath.

Glyn Pitchford, Vice Chairman of The Birmingham Civic Society with their wreath.


Eileen Skidmore with a wreath from The Nelson Society.

Colonel Geoffrey Jones OStJ TD JP DL KSG presents a wreath from
the Birmingham Branch of the Royal Society of St George.


Professor Carl Chinn MBE presents a wreath on behalf of the Birmingham St George's Day Association.

...and bows in respect.

Laura Monk, a Guide of the Vesey Division and Pete Oldham, County Commissioner for the Scouts step forwards with their wreaths.


The Last Post.


The wreaths in front of the Nelson statue.

Part of the parade heading along New Street...

...and more, all marching towards...

... Victoria Square and the Council House, bedecked with the White Ensign and a huge canvas image of Nelson.

The first to arrive are the Royal Navy Reserves of HMS Forward.

Next, the Sea Cadet Band of TS Sutton Coldfield.


The cadets of TS Sherbourne and TS Leopard.



Assembled in front of the Council House.


The Cumberland Guard arrive in Victoria Square...

..and prepare to fire muskets.

A volley is fired, much louder than I thought it would be and I'm ashamed to say I jumped (even though I was expecting it). I hope to get a better photograph soon.

The Mayor and Mayoress inspect the assembled companies.