Toast to Hero of Trafalgar

A traditional toast to the Hero of Trafalgar will be held in Morpeth next week.

Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood led the British fleet to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, prompting the Morpeth resident to be described as ‘the Northumbrian who saved the nation’.

Now it has become tradition on the anniversary of the battle to give a toast to the Admiral outside his Oldgate home, Collingwood House.

The event takes place on Tuesday, starting with a wreath-laying ceremony beside a bronze bust of Collingwood at Morpeth Town Hall, led by Morpeth Mayor Nic Best and a representative of the Collingwood Society at 11.40am.

The party will then process to Collingwood House at 11.50am, where the Mayor will set out the Admiral’s achievements and dedication to the Navy, describing how he would scatter acorns in Morpeth to grow oak for ships, and Father Lawrence Jones, who is the current occupant of the residence, will read a Prayer for the Navy.

At noon, the time when the first shot was fired at Trafalgar, the toast will take place, with grog made of rum, lime juice and ginger beer distributed to the adults, and a special tipple minus the rum provided for youngsters from St Robert’s RC First School to join in.

After the ceremony, Fr Lawrence will allow visitors to take a peak inside Collingwood’s former home.