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 Portsmouth 
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Post Portsmouth
From Chronicles of Portsmouth (1828) by Henry Slight and Julian Slight:

BISCUITS

"In King-street is the Naval Bakehouse, where is manufactured the biscuit for the shipping; there are six ovens, which, if necessary, can afford twenty-four suits per diem, each suit consisting of one hundred pounds, and the whole producing seven hundred and thirty-four bags of biscuit weekly, each bag weighing 112lbs. Several of the ovens are now worked with coal instead of wood."

FLOUR

"At this mill [Tail Mill, built in 1756] the grain used at the Victualling office is ground, and, being within the fortifications, could supply the town in case of siege. The average quantity of wheat manufactured here during the late war was three hundred quarters weekly, and during the peace it not only supplies all the flour and biscuit-meal required for this port, but considerable quantities for the department at Deptford."

WATER

"The fleets are supplied with water from Weovil. In the Dockyard, means have for years been provided for enabling a shp to take in her sea-stock of water, without farther trouble than that of allowing it to run through a hose into the hold while lying at a jetty; but the business of filling water being assigned to the Victualling department, the inconvenience, expense, and delay, are still incurred of sending the water in small craft to the ship after she is removed from the dock. It has been for a long time in contemplation to remove the Victualling department from Portsmouth to Weovil, and give up the immense stores, &c. to the Barrack department, for the accomodation of the military depots."

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Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:38 am
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just once i'd like to experience a ships biscuit (less the weevils, of course!)...

I think I'd try and crack my teeth on a part of it, then try to make Scottish Coffee with the rest.

Reading about history is onething. I wonder what it'd be like to TASTE history!

:lol:

Anyone ever have Pusser's Rum?


Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:57 am
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bubbawny wrote:
just once i'd like to experience a ships biscuit (less the weevils, of course!)...

I think I'd try and crack my teeth on a part of it, then try to make Scottish Coffee with the rest.

Reading about history is onething. I wonder what it'd be like to TASTE history!

:lol:

Anyone ever have Pusser's Rum?


Ah, yes, Pusser's......At the first Hornblower Convention in Portsmouth, our illustrious Captain, who you would know as PTP at Horatians, made ships' biscuits and forgot about them........they were suitibly hard a couple of years later. At the same convention, on of the assistant Managers of the hotel used to be in the Royal Navy (served in submarines). He broke out his bottle of Pussers for a few of us who were the last standing one night.....it was delicious.......

Cheers
(and Welcome bubbawny.......I'm quite colse to where you are, I'm in Toronto.)


Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:22 am
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Ahhh! Toronto!

What a beautiful place! I've been up there quite a few times! Just love the art gallery! And I can never remember the name of that Castle up there...Castle Loma or something like that?

You're probably thinking I might be joking in saying this, but sometimes my wife and I think about getting dual citizenship and moving to Toronto or Montreal!

The United States...does not quite reflect our values any more...at least the republican lead government doesn't. i hate to admit it, but i'm ashamed to be an american as of late. When Georgie-boy gets out of office, maybe things will turn around

Ay?

:wink:


Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:20 am
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Hi Bob,

Just a friendly reminder, please try to avoid discussing current day politics, as stated in the forum rules. I've seen things get pretty ugly in other forums and I'd like to avoid that here.

Thanks!

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Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:26 am
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bubbawny wrote:
Ahhh! Toronto!

What a beautiful place! I've been up there quite a few times! Just love the art gallery! And I can never remember the name of that Castle up there...Castle Loma or something like that?

You're probably thinking I might be joking in saying this, but sometimes my wife and I think about getting dual citizenship and moving to Toronto or Montreal!

The United States...does not quite reflect our values any more...at least the republican lead government doesn't. i hate to admit it, but i'm ashamed to be an american as of late. When Georgie-boy gets out of office, maybe things will turn around

Ay?

:wink:


It is Casa Loma.....

I'm glad you have enjoyed Toronto. I was born and raised here and have family ties back over 200 years. As well, Montreal is one of my favourite cities (have links there too).

We are lucky to be living on bodies of water which have remarkable AoS histories of their own. Hopefully, both sides of the border will fight to preserve it.

Let me know next time you visit.

Cheers


Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:32 am
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I confess that I really don't know where this should be posted, but I'm giving it a try here. Perhaps, Susan, you will advise accordingly if you wish it posted elsewhere.

From The Times, of January 18, 1808:

" .... the Public must have heard of the establishment at Portsmouth, during the Administration of Lord St Vincent, of a machine for cutting blocks, and preparing copper, by which an immense saving has been effected to the country. It is with extreme regret, therefore, we learn, that machinations are now forming for the purpose of breaking up those admirable inventions, in order to throw the same into the hands of Contractors, who have an interest in certain boroughs. We, however, caution the persons alluded to against persevering to their scheme, or we shall be under the necessity of stating the circumstances, with which we have been made acquainted on the subject, to the Public .. .."

It seems to have political connotations; could anyone comment on it or throw more light on it, please?






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Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:40 am
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Mil,

This would be the famous block mill which, together with its machinery, was constructed between at Portsmouth Dockyard between 1802 - 1806 and which was one of the first establishments designed for mass-production. Warships like the Victory needed something in the region of 900 blocks aloft and the dockyards required around 100,000 of them a year. Until the mill was built, all the block manufacturing was contracted out and of course they were all made by hand.

The steam-powered mill was built by Samuel Bentham, whose brother was the writer Jeremy Bentham, and the machinery was designed by Marc Brunel, father of the perhaps better known Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Within a few years the mill was proving its worth, both in the number of blocks being produced which was actually more than needed, and for its efficiency. He later had a mill at Chatham and introduced steam power in other dockyard industries.

The eighteenth century dockyards were often seed beds for discontent and there were often riots over one reform or another. I would imagine that the mill, despite its efficiency, was the target of hatred amongst those who stood to loose from its employment, ie. the old block contractors and their employees, since they believed (probably quite rightly) that it would put them out of work. This is probably what the Times report alludes to. Talk of machine breaking also reminds one of similar action in the country generally against the advance of machines - such as with their use in the woollen trade.

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Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:04 pm
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... thanks, Kester, for the above information which explains the snippet I posted perfectly. I knew of the unrest in the north in the textile industry but not of that at the mills that manufactured the blocks. As you say, people worried about their livelihoods, and as I say frequently, not much changes..... :)


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Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:48 am
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The Times, July 16, 1798:

" ... PORTSMOUTH, JULY 13.... A vast Dock is making in the Yard, which is intended to receive ten sail of the line for equipment, which may be effected in much less time than by sending every article by boats to the vessels in the harbour, as is the case at present, and by which the waste and plunder that attends the present system will be obviated. The Dock will be 22 feet deep, and faced with cut stone. The excavation is removed to a part of the Hard near the Arsenal, for the purpose of making a gun-wharf and battery, which is, like the other, under the direction of General Bentham, and in considerable forwardness. A steam-engine is about to be erected in the yard, for the purpose of pumping the water out of the docks, which is at present effected by horses. ....."


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Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Portsmouth
I thought this article about Portsmouth, then and now, from an online Portsmouth newspaper made interesting reading.

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Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:40 am
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