The picture above c1920, comes from The State Library of Victoria, and shows sailors ‘high up in the rigging’ of The Garthsnaid. That’s all we know I’m afraid, but I thought it would serve as my contribution for this week’s Sepia Saturday, where the photo prompt shows some men enjoying a rather lofty vantage point and we are encouraged to think of the concept of danger.
By chance two other items led me to the Garthsnaid picture. The wonderful Europeana blog reminded us that this week was the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower, and pointed us in the direction of these quite hair-raising pictures of men working on its painting. I’m away next week so I’ve made a quartet of photographs as suggested by the prompt for Sepia Saturday number 223 to cover both weeks.
Then, in today’s newspaper I read that the SS Great Britain at Bristol Docks, was inviting visitors to experience life as a Victorian seaman and take a walk up the rigging. I can’t show the picture of course but follow the link to Climb the Yardarm and you will see a scary enough photograph of a brave soul dressed as Isamabard Kingdom Brunel, the designer of the ship, doing just that. You can find out all about it on the Bristol Culture web page and read about a poor sailor named Ramsay Grey who fell from the one of the ‘yards' in 1852. The captain decided that the boat was going too fast and the sea conditions meant that a boat could not be sent to rescue him putting other lives at risk. Now that is scary.
Well the sun is over the yardarm so it must be time for the first alcoholic drink of the day. If you don’t mind I’ll skip the issue of rum the common sailor was doled out (watered down) and go for a gin and tonic instead. Cheers!