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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Victory replica set for torching
Replica of Nelson's flagship warship HMS Victory
The Victory replica takes shape
A replica of Horatio Nelson's flagship HMS Victory has been completed after two years and is now ready to be sent up in flames for charity.

The 100ft-long half-size mock-up of the wooden warship has been built to mark this year's 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Over the weekend, the vessel's three 100ft masts were erected, complete with spars, 13 miles of rigging and sails.

The craft has been built by the north Devon Torrington Cavaliers charity.

The group has a long history of building spectacular charity bonfires.
People have said it is awesome and so realistic
Dick Matthews, project leader

The huge yellow and black three-deck hull comes complete with figurehead, 48 gunports, anchor, cabins and lifeboats.

Project leader Dick Matthews said: "We have had plenty of comments about the Victory - people have said it is awesome and so realistic."

The Torrington Victory will go up in flames on the night of 27 August in front of thousands of people complete with a 24-gun volley from the vessel's gunports and a narration of the Trafalgar conflict.

Great Fire of London

The aim is to raise 57,000 - the cost of the original Victory - for cancer charities and local good causes. Mr Matthews' great-great-great grandfather was cabin boy aboard the Victory.

The boy, whose surname was Oliver, can be seen in a painting, depicting the scene of Nelson shot aboard Victory, which hangs in the House of Commons.

Over the years, the Cavaliers have forged a reputation for building and firing some of the country's most spectacular bonfires, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

In 2000 they built a full-size replica of part of the London of 1666 and recreated the Great Fire of London by burning it down in front of 20,000 people.

A few years before that the Cavaliers, who celebrate their 35th anniversary this year, constructed a huge replica of the Houses of Parliament and invited a descendant of Guy Fawkes to put the torch to it.

New Navy HQ open on Trafalgar Day
21 Oct 04 |  Hampshire


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