Home » Blog » diary » A grand day out, a very public compliment and tribute.

A grand day out, a very public compliment and tribute.

I received a very special email from Peter Goodwin, keeper and curator of HMS Victory.Peter_Goodwin__Victory_curator__IMG_6500_d.jpg

As many of of you have contributed to my work, I’d like to share it with you here along with my reply.

Peter wrote:

Thank you for giving permission  on paint samples etc.
( I produced a series of controled samples using various yellow ochre’s for Peter Goodwin after he found an order written by Horatio Nelson for ‘bright yellow’ for his ship (copied by all his fleet at Trafalgar) and including the recipe for the mix. Knowing a little about the history of paint, I’d first cast doubts on the bright yellow used on Victory some 18 years ago when Victory was painted a bright chrome yellow and looked less war like and more of like a 2000 ton bumble bee. I was also able to help with authenticating the interior colours and proving the old story that all below decks was painted red to conceal blood was a myth. I also researched the work of many artists past and present including painters like Serres and Turner who were eye witnesses and reported to Peter.
One of the consequences thanks to Peter’s research and my experiments my new marine painting of HMS Minerve at Gibraltar, Nelson boarding, (on this blog but not on the web site yet) is the first with the correct bright yellow since the days of Serres and Turner).
Yesterday Saturday 10- July has been another milestone in the world of Goodwin’s and albeit it was the AGM, open day and dinner on board the Victory for the Society for Nautical Research, the Society awarded me with their Victory Medal for my contribution to the Victory and my general published contributions to naval history. Moreover the award was presented to me by the Commodore of the Naval Base Portsmouth. The award is a large bronze medal engraved with a stylised image of Victory at sea and inscribed with the words ‘For outstanding work in the preservation and restoration of HMS Victory. followed by my name title Keeper and Curator and year date Normally given to dockyard shipwrights if they actually do 15 years in the ship this award is unusual inasmuch that not only have I received it on the centenary of the Society, that we no longer employ dockyard shipwrights I may be the last to receive this singular award.
the fact that I will include an acknowledgement goes without saying in fact  I mentioned your contribution to my article to Dr  Harding, chairman of the Society for Nautical research last night at the dinner.
Spliced to that, I replied on behalf of many of us:

Dear Peter,
I am absolutely delighted for you!
Particularly because I know the huge frustrating struggle you have had for some 18 years to achieve the ideas we discussed when we first met and much much more.
Thank you for sharing this moment with me.
I am thrilled that I and ‘my team’ to have been able to contribute to your momentous, special day and on other occasions.
Thank you so much for this email, I look foreword to seeing the photos.
May I blog this with a photo of you?
I am sure the followers of my blog would love to hear of your triumph and share your day.

Has Katie seen the pic I took of you in December?
At the risk of being immodest I thought the photograph was the best portrait of you I have seen, the man the ship.
I hope one day to see this new fabulous souvenir.
This is of course besides official recognition for you, a very public compliment and tribute to you, Katie, your team and the many people on the periphery who have and will help us both with this very special task, our contribution to the unique and historic ship of the line HMS Victory.
I have always been very pleased to have made a contributions with ideas and some time via my calling as a marine painter and all that entails in my case.
I remember very clearly those now far off days when you were starting work on Victory and I on the V 2005 paintings.
The work was fascinating, each of us bringing a special experience and different points of view we made an excellent team.
I’m not sure what was the most fun, maybe our evenings mostly in the Lady Hamilton, over a beer and meal after hours discussing possibilities and research.
Looking into the immediate future I discover I am coincidently once again involved with Nelsonian painting.
I have “Minerve at Gibraltar, Nelson boarding” almost finished and have on my easel a new version, from Bucentaure, of the very successful “Trafalgar Dawn” to which you contributed so much authority via your extensive knowledge.
Having completed some very extensive research and plotted the British fleet as accurately as I could (I even found mistakes in the work of the Admiralty Committee of 1913) I marked out the painting and stood back.
I experienced one of ‘those moments’, awesome to discover I was the first person for over 200 years to see pretty much what the French on Bucentaure saw on that fateful Monday dawn horizon…
I may also time permitting complete my version of “The death of Nelson” from the French marksman’s perspective, as for the next 2 months I have a large suitable studio and the momentum.
I look foreword with enthusiasm to our future project and can start “Alert and Lexington” any time you want having already researched Lexington.
With best wishes and congratulations,
Gordon Frickers.