Had Trafalgar Happened Today Script Updated


Lord Nelson script is in blue

Nigel K  “Shiver me timbers – its Admiral Lord Nelson!”

Tony H  “Welcome to HMS Club Aquarius, my Lord – Commodore Tony Hopkins in command”  “That is; Her Majesty's Sailing, Club Aquarius”

“Commodore Hopkins, I am preparing for England's greatest sea battle in history, against the frogs”.

Tony H  “Mustn't speak like that of the French, Sir, – sounds nationalistic”

“But you must hate a Frenchman, and a Spaniard as you hate the devil.”

Nigel K  “Sir, as your Executive Officer I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity co-co-ordinator hear you saying that sir.  You’ll be on a disciplinary”  “Besides, we're in the 21st century and the French and Spanish are our European partners now.  According to the Common Fisheries Policy, you shouldn’t even be here off Trafalgar.  You could get hit with a claim for compensation.”  (Stage whisper:'Trafalgar, it's off the coast of Spain, therefore, it's not our fish”)

“Very well Captain Knowles, if you know everything, send a signal to the fleet”

Tony H “But Sir, actually it is our Honorary Secretary who deals with communications”

Joan B  “But I'm passing it on as well, I’ll ask our webmaster to send an email my lord, what's the signal”

“England expects every man to do their duty.....”

Nigel K  “I don’t think that signal is necessary Sir.  Our very, Able Seaman sailing Secretary Richard Cannon allocates duties at the start of the season and publishes them with the programme so that people know well in advance when their duty is.  In addition he sends an email reminder a few days before the duty is scheduled”


“Very good, I see you’ve made some sort of attempt with flags...”. “Hold on, that’s not what I dictated to the signal officer. What’s the meaning of this?”

Nigel K  “Sorry sir?”

“England expects every person to do their duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.  What gobbledegook is this?”

Nigel K  “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now.  Eric Bridgewater, who deals with external relations, had the devil’s own job getting ‘England’ past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

“Gadzooks, Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

Nigel K  “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free environments, as has this Club”

“In that case, order the Victualling Officer to break open the rum ration.  Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle.”

Peter Carpenter  “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral.  It's part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking, so we don’t have much call for rum these days.  Fullers London Pride does well, and the Commodore is sometimes able to get a supply buckshea”

“Then let us at least give the men a square meal before action, pass the command to the ship cook”

Rodger Wheeler  “We’ll have to do that in shifts Sir –I suggest no more than 25 at a time. Any more than that and we’d need more slow cookers, and anyway, the electricity supply can't cope.  We tried to cook for 50 the other week and put the Club in darkness when the fuses failed”.

What?  The fuses failed?  Then how shall the powder in our cannons be ignited?

Rodger W  “Sorry Sir, the cannon's joke has been played already”

 “Oh, has it?  I was forgetting, never mind, I suppose we’d better get on with it.  Full speed ahead.”

Rodger W  “Sorry Sir, I think you’ll find that there’s a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water. Besides our neighbours are likely to complain too”

“Damn it man!”

Tony H  “Mind your language Sir.  Foul language contravenes our child protection policy and according to our sailing rules it can result in disqualification”

“Very well, I shall consider myself admonished, and do my penalty turns.  (Do them!)  Now we must advance with all dispatch.  Report from the crow’s nest, please.”

Nigel K  “That won’t be possible, sir.”


Nigel K  “Our Health & Safety Officer tells me that the crows nest is unsafe, Sir.  No harness. And apparently the rope ladder doesn’t meet regulations.  No one can go up there until proper scaffolding has been erected.”

“Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay.”  

Nigel K  (“No, not you,” Peter [Carpenter], “him!” Mike [Baker].

Mike Baker  “Bodgit and Co are busy completing the patio enclosure, and then have to knock up a wheelchair access to the patrol boat, Admiral.”

“Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.”

Pat Irving  “Health and Safety again, Sir.  We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled.”


“Differently abled?  I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word.  I didn’t rise to the rank of Admiral by playing the disability card.”

Nigel K  “Actually Sir, you did.  The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency, Health and Safety says that you've got to be harmless”

“Whatever next?  Give me full sail.  The salt spray beckons.”

Pat Irving  “A couple of problems there too, Sir.  Health and safety won’t let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets.  And they don’t want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven’t you seen the restrictions?  Maximum adult Guideline Daily Amount is 6 grams”


“What's a gram?  Is it my mother's mother?”  Never mind, we've not time to lose, break out the cannons and tell the men to stand by for some gunnery practice”

Joan Walkden  “Have you budgeted for the cost of the shot?  All Club expenditure needs approval of the Management Committee, in advance.  You submit a receipt to me, and provided it's in order, I’ll send you a cheque by return – but no receipt – no payment”.

Nigel K  “Also, the men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.”.

“What?  This is mutiny.”

Nigel K  “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone.  There are prosecution lawyers on board watching everyone like hawks.”

“Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?”

Nigel K  “Actually,sir, we’re not.”

“We’re not?”

Nigel K  “As the Commodore explained, the French and Spanish are our European partners now”


“But You must consider every Frenchman and Spaniard an enemy of your King.”

Nigel K  “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules.”

“Don’t tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?”


Nigel K  “As the Victualling Officer explained, Sir, rum is off the menu. And there’s a ban on corporal punishment.”


“What about sodomy?”

Nigel K  “I believe it’s to be encouraged, sir.”

“In that case, make a start, and history, Kiss me, Hardy.

Nigel K  ...erm.....ah.......erm......., yes, actually, erm,... it's a good offer, but ......erm,..........Thanks-Frank-but-no-Thanks!  (an aside to the audience; “Well, he managed to get a play on words on my name, I thought I'd get him back!”

“Aha!  Well clever-clogs Knowles, I've got something to tell you and the assembled group here tonight.  'Kiss me, Hardy' no, that wasn't right.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I can exclusively reveal to you tonight, that there has been a long-standing travesty about what I said, well no, actually, not about what I said, the travesty is about how I said it.”

“Let me explain.  At that point in the battle, I was lying wounded on the quarterdeck of my flagship HMS Victory, and I was thinking about my beloved and fragrant Lady Emma, and I was dreaming how much I wanted to kiss her, and had I had the time, I would have said so, but in my last few breaths, all I was able to say was:

Kiss Me? ......hardly!!!!”

Commodore, Flag Officers, Committee Members, and Ladies and Gentlemen of Her Majesty's Sailing Club Aquarius, that's what I said, and I am honoured that I have been able to, at last, after 204 years, to tell you how I said it.  And to conclude, please would you now show your appreciation in the usual way, to the contributors who have so ably defended their corners against me, this evening.  I refer to:  (point to each, in turn)


Commodore Tony Hopkins    

Executive Officer Nigel Knowles   

Communication Officer Joan Bray

Very Able Seaman Richard Cannon

External Relations Officer Lieutenant Eric Bridgewater   

Victualling Officer Peter Carpenter

Ships Cook Rodger Wheeler  

Ships Carpenter Mike Baker

Safety Officer Pat Irving

Accounts Officer Joan Walkden


Lord Nelson with Nigel Knowles Peter Carpenter

Members taking part

Peter Carpenter wasn’t in the group photo

Pictures from Frank Rainsborough’s camera,  taken by Mick Rogers.

Members taking part Lord Nelson

        Tony   Rodger   Richard   Frank   Pat   Nigel   Joan  Joan   Mike