Cosgrove Trafalgar Festival 2005

The Revenge leaving Portsmouth in 1808.

Cosgrove's connection to Trafalgar is Admiral Moorsom, who is buried here in this church. As a young man he was the captain of the Revenge at the Battle of Trafalgar and survived to become an Admiral. He retired to The Priory in Cosgrove and his daughter became the wife of Henry Longville Mansel, a rector of Cosgrove. The Mansels lived with their family at the Rectory - now Medlar House, next to the church.

Saturday 21st October

The Trafalgar Festival opened today after a final week of frantic preparations. The church can rarely have looked so magnificent with ropes, nets and sheets draped from the high beams. These were put there by intrepid climbers up long ladders — quite a feat of bravery in itself.

Firework celebration from Portsmouth's
"Festival of the Sea" 2005
The famous signal in flags
"England Expects Every Man Will Do His Duty"

With Elaine’s professional advice and “eye” for design, we had some exquisitely dramatic flower arrangements particularly “Victory and Defeat”, “Nelson and Emma” and a Festival of the Sea inspired “Fireworks”. The altar was transformed into Nelson’s funeral bier — dramatic in black and gold with beautiful white flower arrangements . A magnificent banner was specially painted for us to represent the banner that Captain Robert Moorsom carried at the funeral.

Nelson's motto is on the funeral drape - it means "May he who earned the palm wear it"


The school children of class 3 brought their model "ships the line" to the festival . These sailed in two fleets on the pews in the chancel and were splendid work. There was a chance to try writing with their “other” hand as Nelson had to do after losing his right hand and also a “rat hunt” for the children. If you find the odd grey dough rat lurking in church — that’s why!

Class 3 with the ship they have made
Basil Richards, Gill Phillips and Sue Richards on the door

All day long, the Crafts and Refreshments were busy at Medlar House. The food and drinks were served by “comely” wenches in mob caps. Everything went like the proverbial “hot cakes” with lots of appreciative compliments.

Craft stall at Medlar House
Ruth and Jane

In the evening, we had a concert with a fish and chip supper. This called for some ingenuity in the timing of events — ably handled by “Admiral” Windmill. We had violins and a charming historical children's play about the Mansel children performed on speedily erected staging! The fish and chip supper was followed by excellent young musicians, hand bells from the Cosgrove Belles, two helpings of patriotic seafaring Gilbert and Sullivan songs and a PC (or was it non PC!) sketch about Nelson and Hardy.

Kim, Karen, Sue, Pat & Lynn

There are so many thankyous to say as so much hard work has gone into this weekend, but our heartfelt thanks to ALL of you. We still have Sunday to go at the time of writing and plan to conclude the weekend with a Festival Evensong at 6pm.

Katie Thomas