Pickle Night

Event Date: 
Friday, 3 November 2017 -
6:30pm to 10:00pm

Trafalgar Night is typically celebrated each October 21 by the RN’s Officer Corps. Warrant officers and senior ratings have their own celebration around November 4, Pickle Night, marking the arrival of HMS Pickle in Falmouth with news of the victory and of Nelson’s death.

HMS Pickle was one of the superyachts of her day. Carefully maintained by the Admiralty, her officers and crew were handpicked, and her fore-and-aft rig and her copper-bottom - which was cleaned and repaired at least once a year - gave her a speed advantage over other ships.

Pickle enjoyed her ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ after she raced home from the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805 with Admiral Sir Cuthbert Collingwood’s immortal despatch to their Lordships of the Admiralty, which started with the words that ‘the ever to be lamented death of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, who, in the late conflict with the enemy, fell in the hour of victory, leaves to me the duty of informing my Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty of a victory … I have only to lament in common with the British Navy, and the British Nation, in the fall of the Commander in Chief, the loss of a Hero, whose name will be immortal, and his memory ever dear to his country’.

To bring this news, Pickle’s commanding officer Lieutenant John Lapenotiere, the great-grandson of a Huguenot immigrant, had raced under sail over 1,000 miles of ocean and ridden hard in a post-chaise for nearly 300 miles across a wintery landscape to arrive in a foggy London at one o’clock on the morning of November 6. Bursting into the Admiralty Boardroom, Lapenotiere found William Marsden, the Secretary of the Admiralty, holding a candle aloft and about to retire to bed. Lapenotiere, who had had nearly two weeks to think about what he would say as he handed over Collingwood’s despatch, paraphrased his admiral’s words, crying out:

‘Sir, we have won a great victory, but we have lost Lord Nelson!’ - http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/the-tradition-of-pickle-night/ 

A ‘Pickle Night’ fundraising event in aid of the 200th anniversary of one of Nelson’s last commissioned frigates, HMS Trincomalee takes place on Friday 3rd November at 6pm.

HMS Pickle came to fame following her 1,000-mile dash across the ocean with the news that Nelson had been victorious but had paid the ultimate price. It is one of the most significant dates in the Royal Navy calendar.

The fundraiser will take place in the Quayside Coffee Shop alongside HMS Trincomalee and will include performances by well-known folk bands the ‘Silver Shantymen’ and three-piece female vocal group ‘Storiella’.

Award-winning local butchers and bakery, Blackwell’s of Norton will be offering a pie and mash supper and drinks will be available to buy at the bar.

Join us for a modern celebration of this event with an evening of folk music and good food in our Quayside Coffee Shop!

Tickets cost £22 and include both entry to the event and a pie and mash supper.

Buy tickets here



HMS Hermes returning from the Falklands