HMS Victory put on their annual black tie evening on board on Saturday 3rd November. A welcoming tot of Pusser’s Gunpowder was served to all 109 in attendance while Royal Marines Band Service played in front of HMS Victory.
The season of formal Trafalgar Night dinners, celebrated by navies throughout the Commonwealth, starts on Trafalgar Day, October 21, and ends in early November with Pickle Night, which celebrates the arrival in London of Lieutenant John Lapenotiere on HMS Pickle, carrying news of victory over the French and Spanish fleet at Trafalgar and the death of Lord Nelson.
HMS Pickle was one of the super yachts 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.
The main highlights of the evening was one of the first batch of bottles in Europe went up for auction. A sample bottle was the first of 30 bottles (five six pack cases) which were entirely hand filled, labelled and sealed. The batch number for this run was 18/148 and it will approximately produce 3,000 cases for worldwide distribution. The unique taste of this vintage will never be produced again. There for this bottle went for £430 to a gentleman in the name of CPO Jon Ayling.