Naval Heritage Centenary





Welcome to our Centenary


Barbara Dickson (singer/actress)

I have many memories of the Royal Navy. Firstly, I am a girl from Fife and situated there was a huge Naval Dockyard, HMD Rosyth. I was born in Dunfermline and brought up until the age of 7 in Rosyth. We lived in 'Dollytown' a community of houses rather like 'prefabs' in appearance but actually made of brick. They were small ulitity houses for the workers at the Dockyard and my dad was one of those.

Every year, I went to Navy Day with the family, to visit the tugs where my dad worked and to see around all the vessels which came there for the occasion. Civilians were welcomed with open arms on that day and I have abiding memories of the 'smells' of those ships and also being in a submarine.

When I left school I worked for the Admiralty. Yes, I have signed the Official Secrets Act! I worked as a Civil Service Clerk at the Dockyard and eventually lost my connection with the Navy when I had a tranfer offered to me in Edinburgh, which was the place I felt I needed to be, for all sorts of reasons, mostly musical.

When I enter a Dockyard I feel completely at home and I seem to be relaxed with the personnel as I had so many dealings with them when I worked for the Department.'

Tommy Steele (singer/actor)

History expects! And the National Museum of the Royal Navy does its duty in the true tradition of the Senior Service.

As you walk its decks you can taste the salt, smell the gunpowder, and thrill to the adventure of it all.

Robert Lindsey (actor)

On the 2nd June 2011 my son and I were shown around the HMS Victory. It was an incredibly emotional day for me as my father did his basic training at this very dockyard and indeed, sailed from there on the 6th June 1944 for D-Day. We were very impressed at the knowledge of our guides for the day who showed enormous enthusiasm and held us both in thrall for the whole day. It was very exciting to be standing on Nelson's flag ship that sits proudly in a still working dockyard. Now I know why my father joined the Royal Navy.

John McCarthy, (son of Lily Lambert McCarthy, one of the Museum's chief benefactors)

My childhood and teen years were spent at our family home in back country Greenwich, Connecticut.  The gold-framed portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson by Heinrich Friedrich Füger held pride of place over the mantelpiece of our large living room.  Sofas and chairs on either side of the fireplace made him the focal point.  Other walls in the room contained Nelson-related prints.  Low tables were decorated with antique boxes, Staffordshire pottery and wax busts.  The rest of my mother's collection was housed in a small salon off the main entrance affectionately called "The Nelson Room". 

Admiral Lord Nelson - in the form of the Füger portrait - was a presence in our lives throughout the day and evening and in many different kinds of social settings.  On Christmas Eve, stockings were hung from the mantelpiece below him and carrots were put out for Santa's reindeer!

As a family, I suppose we thought of him as a revered uncle who deserved great respect and admiration.  He was part of the family!  This is why returning to the Nelson Gallery at the RNM has a feeling of "coming home" to me and my siblings.

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