SCENES AT BLACKPOOL.
NELSON'S SHIP ASHORE
A terrific gale suddenly sprang up at Blackpool shortly after
three o'clock this morning. Shop and house windows along the promenade were blown
in, and the wind did much damage to visitors' belongings. Advertising and other
boards wore blown about. The most serious aspect of the storm is in its action in
relation to the Foudroyant, Nelson's old flagship, which has been anchored off
Blackpool for show about ten days, and which has been largely visited this
During the calm weather pleasure steamers anchor a mile or two
off the shore, and the Foudroyant had joined them. When the storm showed itself so
suddenly this morning the steamers made for Fleetwood, but the warship could not
get away, and she began to drift. During the night Foudroyant's anchors held, but
about seven o'clock this morning she commenced to drag, and amid considerable
excitement among a large crowd assembled on shore she drifted towards the North
Eventually she struck in about 14 feet of water, then being
right the middle the bay, opposite the Hotel Metropole. The heavy seas soon heeled
her over, and as the depth the water increased wave after wave dashed over her. At
the time of wiring, the battleship was further drifting in. It is not unlikely she
will become total wreck.
Nelson's old flagship, The Foudroyant, wrecked at
Blackpool, June 1897.
The Foudroyant is an 80-gun two-decker, and was launched at
Plymouth in 1798 as Nelson's flagship. She took part in the operations at Naples,
and Nelson left her on returning to England in June, 1800. The Foudroyant's active
career terminated in 1812, and in 1892 she was sold out of the service to German
shipbroker, who intended to break her up for firewood. There was such an outbreak
of indignation, however, at the old battleship passing into German hands that the
present owner paid £6,000 to bring her back to England, and considerable sums have
since been spent in refitting her.
She came to Blackpool few weeks ago from Birkenhead, and has
attracted much attention in various districts, and she was shortly to have been
removed to Douglas.
A later message says:—Both boom and first mast have gone
overboard, and she is full of water. The men are still on board, and it is said
that the boys who compose the band were taken off early this morning. The lifeboat
is held in readiness in case of necessity. The promenade is crowded with visitors,
and there are good number on the North Pier. When the tide goes back the vessel
will be stranded.
The wrecked Foudroyant, viewed from the sands,
Blackpool, June 1897.
Blackpool, One o'clock. Viewed from the North Pier the vessel
looks completely waterlogged and embedded in the sand. The men, still on board, can
seen waving their hands, and is evident that they appreciate the gravity of their
position. The wisest course is felt to be to wait until the tide has gone out. Then
they will be got off it is expected about 4.30, and every preparation is being made
at the Blackpool hospital for their reception.
All the masts and rigging have gone, and everything is hanging
over the side of the ship, and the old man-of-war at this moment presents a sad
sight. All the water round the vessel is covered with wreckage. It is said that
Captain Seed offered to take the vessel in tow when the storm was rising early this
morning. Other steamers also offered their services, but the captain of the wrecked
vessel said that knew the Blackpool coast well enough.
The wrecked Foudroyant, viewed from North
Pier, Blackpool, June 1897.
The sea presents a splendid spectacle as seen from the Pier, as
the waves dash the hulking under the promenade. The North Shore works [new sea
defences seen in the photo above] are feeling the full force of the storm, but up
to now no great damage appears to have been done as the lower wall is practically
completed. The people who are walking about the streets have great difficulty in
getting along, the wind being so strong.
There is also schooner ashore Norbreck, three miles from Blackpool.
RESCUE OF THE CREW. The lifeboat was launched quarter to two,
amidst the cheers the crowd, and after some difficulty reached the vessel and
rescued the crew of twenty-eight men and boys, landing them on the north shore. The
crew had some difficulty in making their way through the crowd which had assembled
the promenade. They were taken away in cabs as soon as possible to the Wellington
Hotel. Most of them looked fatigued after their severe experience, but none were in
any way injured, although two or three were so much exhausted that they had be
carried to the vehicles. This is the third time the new lifeboat has been used for
saving life. She has behaved herself admirably throughout.
EXCITING LIFEBOAT RESCUE AT FLEETWOOD.
At Fleetwood two barques and the steam flat Elizabeth and Alice
were driven ashore on Pilling Sands. A tug I boat saved three of the crew of the
flat, and the lifeboat and tugboat proceeded to the rescue of the crews of the
Norwegian barques. At ten o'clock this morning the storm was increasing, with
rising tide, and it would be some hours before the lifeboat could return, as the
vessels were several miles from Fleetwood towards Glasson Dock.
Later. The lifeboat rescued and landed the crews of two
Norwegian barques, the Svallin and the Louisa, and the steamflat, Zillah, at
half-past one. The total lives saved number 18, including the pilot Gerrard, of
Fleetwood. The boat was out over five hours. The rescue work from the Zillah was
within mile of Fleetwood Promenade, and was watched by thousands of spectators, the
taking off of five men from the rigging and funnel causing great excitement. The
sea broke clean over the steamer and the lifeboat.
Manchester Evening News - Wednesday 16 June 1897 p.3