The Cruise of The Flying Squadron
1869 - 1870
The sub-caption reads: The Recorder saluting with his 900-pounder
"Arrived off Sydney heads after five days pleasant sail from Melbourne. It must have been a fine sight for the crowd of people assembled on the heads to see the squadron beating up under all plain sail with a number of yachts sailing around them. Commodore Rowley Lambert also came out in a steamer to escort the Admiral in. At half past four anchored in the sound or outer anchorage the tide not being high enough to admit of our going up that evening."
Monday December 12th
"Squadron weighed under steam and proceeded up the harbour for farm cove. We took the Endymion in tow. The moving of the squadron was a signal for every boat in the harbour that could boast of a sail to get under weigh and follow the fleet which steamed slowly in two lines for the anchorage. Farm cove is a little land locked cove just large enough to hold about ten ships. Found here HMS Challenger and HMS Virago. The harbour is very pretty and you can hear the band in the Botanical gardens playing of an evening from any of the ships."
"I went onshore the first evening we anchored to make arrangements for procuring the Theatre for our acting, after that to procure the Governor’s patronage which we did."
"The town is very different to Melbourne it being much older and the people not such a go-ahead lot but, however, we were very well received. The public picnic was rather a failure as it rained nearly all the time (this picnic was to Clontarf the place where the Prince was shot at)"
"Our theatricals went off very well and we had two nights of it. I met here a young fellow named Kennedy and went out to dine with him and his little daughter. We had a very nice bachelor dinner. There were some rare old Irish gentlemen and we passed a very pleasant evening after which I drove in to the town in a coach about 10 o’clock I found to my astonishment a fellow named Massy who had been a midshipman in the Cadmus. The place abounds with men who have been officers in the army and navy."
"Christmas day came at last not such a day as you might expect in England it being very hot. I drove out in a four in hand to Sans Souci with Gallaway a cotton planter in the ‘Fee Jees’, (all the people seemed to be leaving Queensland and going to New Caledonia and the ‘Fee Jees’)."
"The inhabitants of Sydney sent a large steamer full of Beef, vegetables fruit etc for the blue jacket Xmas dinner."
The Caption reads: THE FLYING SQUADRON
VICTORIA: Heartily glad to see you, Admiral; but I was just thinking of my dear little brother here, who would be glad of assistance from some of your stout fellows.
ADM-RAL H-RNBY: Nothing would give them greater pleasure I'm sure, my dear Victoria, but you see we are only on a flying visit.
HUMBUG, DECEMBER 1st 1869
From the Melbourne Punch
© Copyright Charles Fountain May 2002
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