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Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 144

Ship Figureheads

 

Hello Everyone

 

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lnside the Rusty Anchor lnn on the Rocky Bay Harbour wall there is, helping to prop up the bar, an old ship’s figure head.

 

lt is a statue of a mermaid and was rescued from a very old ship that sailed these waters hundreds of years ago. Reg the landlord decided that it would add a ‘certain something’ to his establishment.

 

A figurehead was a decoration attached to the bow of a galleon. The Vikings had them and so did the Romans, but they were mostly popular from the 16th to 19th centuries. (1500s-1800s)

 

The first ones that adorned the Viking ships were probably there to give protection against evil spirits and bad luck. (The word Viking literally means ‘pirate’.) Vikings liked exploring and sometimes even raiding.

 

ln those days, travelling by ship could be very hazardous and anything that could help the sailors out was a good thing. Sailors are very often superstitious people and like to believe in things that can bring them good luck. The sea can change its mood very quickly and become really dangerous at times.

 

Later on in history, figureheads might have indicated the name of the ship to a population who mostly couldn’t read – the same way that pubs signs would do.

 

These ornate statues would also reflect the wealth and power of the ship’s owner. Some of them were so big they weighed several tonnes.

 

Although these figureheads looked magnificent, they were expensive and did affect the way the ship sailed and so by the 1800s people had decided to start making them much smaller.

 

The military ships gave up using them altogether and today they use a ship’s badge in the form of a large plaque instead. Each one is different.

 

The figureheads were varied and could be women, mermaids, sea kings, angels, pirates or mythical creatures. They were supposed to embody the spirit of a ship and bring good luck.

 

ln the Orient, figure heads on ships are very often dragons and are still found on new ships today.

 

Reg, the landlord at the Rusty Anchor, thinks his mermaid brings him good luck because he won some money on the lottery last week after rubbing his ticket on her!

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob: What is the difference between a unicorn and a lettuce?

 

Bill: l don’t know. What is the difference between a unicorn and a lettuce?

 

Bob: One is a funny beast and the other is a bunny feast!

 

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Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

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A model of a Roman merchant ship with a swan figurehead

 

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Viking figureheads

 

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A woman figurehead

 

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A man figurehead

 

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A mermaid

 

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HMS Warrior

 

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A lion

 

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A ram’s head

 

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A Chinese dragon figurehead

 

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The Golden Hinde was Francis Drake’s ship

 

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The figurehead of the Cutty Sark at Greenwich

 

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HMS Unicorn has a unicorn on the head mast

 

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A unicorn is a mythical horse with a central horn on its head 

 

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Large wooden figures were sometimes used outside shops as well

They indicated what goods were sold inside –

this tobacconist’s shop sign from about 1800 signified that snuff was sold in the shop

Snuff was especially popular with Scotsmen and in particular Highlanders

Snuff was a finely-ground tobacco that was sniffed up into the nose

 

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A magnificent collection of figure heads

(National Maritime Museum)

 

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Ships’ badges

 

 

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   desk  THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

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The regulars at the Rusty Anchor have christened Reg’s mermaid Mandy.

Nobody can remember who first thought of the name but very often when people come into the pub they say “Hello Mandy” before they say “Hello Reg”.

Mandy gets special treatment at certain times of the year because Reg is so convinced by now that Mandy brings luck to the pub.

In May, she has a garland of spring flowers put around her neck, and in December, she has a crown of tinsel put on her head.

At harvest time she wears a corn dolly necklace, and during the summer she is often seen wearing a daisy chain.

Reg’s wife organizes Mandy’s wardrobe, but it is Reg that makes sure she is regularly dusted and polished.

The latest edition to her wardrobe is a pair of black pussy-cat ears to wear during October whilst the pub is festooned with Halloween decorations.

But Reg won’t have a Guy Fawkes mask put on her in November. He says he daren’t risk upsetting hersmile1 (2)

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

There was a time when sailors used the stars to navigate.

 

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Can you answer these questions about stars?

 

  1. Which star constellation is a sea goat?
  2. Which star constellation is a water carrier?
  3. Which star constellation is a crab?
  4. Which star constellation is a fish?
  5. What does ursa mean?
  6. Who was Perseus?
  7. What does borealis mean?
  8. Who was Hercules?

 

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BLOW MY FOGHORN!!! 

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weekend

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

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HOW TO TURN YOUR TWELVE lNCH DOLL lNTO A MERMAlD

 

This knitted fish tail will turn your 12” doll into a mermaid. Some women wear these kinds of outfits and pretend to be mermaids.

 

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This tail is bright green, but you could choose a green sparkly or mottled coloured yarn for good effect.

 

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*Slip the first stitch of every row instead of knitting it for a smoother edge, unless it is on an increasing or decreasing row.

 

FISH TAIL (KNIT 2)

Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 2 rows in garter stitch

Continue knitting in garter stitch as follows:-

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 12 rows (8 sts)

Knit 8 rows

Increase 1 stitch at each end of the next row

Knit 5 rows

In the next 26 rows –

Increase 1 stitch at each end of every 6th row (18 sts)

 

Knit 26 rows

 

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows (14 sts)

 

Change to 3½mm knitting needles

Knit 4 rows of 1 x 1 rib

Cast off rib-wise

 

TO MAKE UP

Over-sew the sides of the ribbing around the waist and the bottom edge of the tail and back stitch up the sides.

Turn the tail right sides out and poke the points of the tail out with the top end of a pen of pencil.

 

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TOP (KNIT 1)

Using 3½mm knitting needles and pink or peach or white dk yarn cast on 30 stitches

Knit 10 rows in 1 x 1 rib

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP

Sew up back seam using over-sew stitches and neaten loose ends of yarn.

 

NECKLACE

  1. String some small beads onto a length of very thin elastic – you may need to use a beading needle (which is a very thin needle) to thread the beads on.
  2. Make sure that the necklace will go over the doll’s head.
  3. Cut the elastic and knot the ends together securely – the knot might disappear inside one of the beads.

 

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Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S WORDSEARCH

                   

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A pelican

 

 

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Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. Capricorn is a sea goat.
  2. Aquarius is a water carrier.
  3. Cancer is a crab.
  4. Pisces is a fish.
  5. Ursa means bear.
  6. Perseus was a monster fighting hero in Greek mythology.
  7. Borealis means something in the north.
  8. Hercules was the son of Zeus. Zeus was the king of the gods in Greek mythology.

 

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Hercules

 

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