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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 April, 2004, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Part of Nelson's Victory back home
Bryan Hope with one of the copper plates from HMS Victory
Bryan Hope with one of the copper sheath plates from HMS Victory
Part of the flagship of one of Britain's most famous heroes which gave him the edge in battle has come home to Anglesey.

The wooden hull of Lord Nelson's HMS Victory was protected from shipworm by copper sheaths from metal produced in Amlwch's Parys mine.

Five copper plates have been bought for 500 by the Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust.

The plates were recently removed to lighten the weight on the ship's hull to protect the vessel.

Preparations are under way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in which Nelson led the famous victory in October 1805 against French and Spanish fleets.

Nelson's victories were brought about by copper sheathing in that his ships were faster and more manoeuvrable giving him an advantage
Bryan Hope

Nelson died in the battle after he was shot in the back by a French marksman as he stood on the quarterdeck of HMS Victory.

Bryan Hope, 72, secretary of the Amlwch Industrial Heritage Trust, said: "Nelson's victories were brought about by copper sheathing in that his ships were faster because they were cleaner and more manoeuvrable which gave him an advantage.

'The Copper King'

"They left Amlwch either as ore or refined copper and went to Holywell or Swansea where they would have been made into plates."

HMS Victory
HMS Victory can be seen at Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard

"The Parys mine was owned by Thomas Williams, an Anglesey lawyer who came to work for one of two mine owners who were forever at each other's throats and ended up in control of the business."

Known to the Welsh workers as 'Twm Chwarae Teg' (Fair Play Twm) or as the Copper King to the rest of the world, Williams was one of the driving forces of the industrial revolution.

Mr Hope said many of the big industrialists of the time "held Williams in awe" and claimed it was he who, "created the market for copper sheathing."

One of the plates costing 100 was bought by one of the friend's of the trust Jack Chapman from Menai Bridge.

The trust hopes to create a replica of part of HMS Victory's hull to show how the plates would have been positioned.




SEE ALSO:
Nelson artefacts make 2m
22 Oct 02  |  England
Battle of Trafalgar remembered
21 Oct 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset


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