“The subject of the cover this week is rather unusual. It shows the Wolf Lighthouse, off Land’s End, Cornwall. The lighthouse stands on a rock and its 70 candle-power light is 110 feet high. The light shows alternate red and white flashes, lasting two seconds, and is visible for a distance of sixteen miles. The work of Trinity House is an amazing example of efficiency. Trinity House is responsible for the safety of shipping round the often dangerous coasts of Great Britain, and this great task is shouldered with remarkable success. The wonders of the modern lighthouse are not, perhaps, revealed as much as they should be, but readers will remember that the chapter called Signposts of the Sea gives an insight into the story of these important aids to navigation.”
Miniature representations of ships attract their enthusiasts all over the world. Ship models may be ornamental (“glass-case”) or working models, and their purpose may be to give pleasure to the amateur, to advertise a shipping line, or to further research in naval architecture. This chapter complements the article on “Ships in Miniature” which appeared in an earlier part.
In a remarkably short time the Soviet Union has built up a considerable mercantile marine with the object of handling all Russia’s overseas trade in Soviet ships. Unparalleled measures have been taken to achieve this end with efficiency.
Next to the Victory, perhaps the most famous of the “wooden walls of England” was the Sovereign of the Seas, later the Sovereign and finally the Royal Sovereign. It was King Charles I who conceived the idea of building the mightiest ship that had yet been seen, and he drew up the first plans for her. This chapter describes the eventful history of this famous ship, with details of her dimensions and armament.
A description of the Bornholm, a vessel of the long bridge type, with a short forecastle, long central bridge structure and short poop. The Bornholm is owned by the Dansk-Franske Company and was completed in Copenhagen in June 1930.
The Royal Navy may be on active service in peace-time. That is a fair description of the duties of the China Gunboats, about which this chapter is devoted. The Yangtse Gunboat Patrol is a section of the Royal Navy which is always on active service. Over a stretch of 1,300 miles of river these interesting units protect civilians of every nationality from the attentions of numerous bands of pirates.
The Motor Launch Patrol included 550 MLs manned by officers and men of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. In the successful raids on Ostend and Zeebrugge the dramatic exploits of the MLs gained for these small craft a permanent place in naval history. This chapter is concluded in part 36.
The Sovereign of the Seas
THE FINEST MAN-OF-WAR OF HER TIME, the Sovereign of the Seas marked an important stage in the development of naval architecture. She was designed by Phineas Pett. On September 25, 1637, King Charles I was present at the launching ceremony at Woolwich. She stuck on the slipway, however, and was not launched until some weeks later. The total cost of the ship was £40,833 8s 1½d, of which £6,691 were spent on her extravagant decoration. Her stern towered to a tremendous height and made her unsuitable for service at sea until 1652 when Cromwell had her reduced to a two-decker. Cromwell had her renamed Sovereign. Popular demand refused to allow the Puritans to deface her gilded decorations. Her yellow hull and gilded ornament therefore made her conspicuous in naval engagements with the Dutch, who gave her the nickname of the “Golden Devil”. At the Restoration in 1660 she was renamed the Royal Sovereign and in subsequent actions set a noble example to the successors to her name. On January 29, 1696, through a watchman’s negligence, the famous ship caught fire in what is still called the Sovereign reach of the River Medway, at Chatham. She was completely destroyed.