Published: 00:01, 27 March 2017
A landlord has converted part of his pub into a replica of the HMS Victory in honour of the Island’s links to Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson.
And one of the first events at the new-look Flying Dutchman will be a murder mystery evening, where Dining Room Detectives will try to unravel the mystery of who drank Nelson’s blood.
Landlord Kevin Burgess has spent the past four months changing the Queenborough pub’s front bar into the nautical tribute along with builder Lee Rough.
The preserved body of the Battle of Trafalgar hero was brought to Sheerness in a barrel of brandy. But according to legend both the barrel and the brandy then went missing.
Chris Reed, who will play Nelson’s mistress, the dishevelled Lady Hamilton in the murder mystery, said: “There is an old sea shanty called A Drop of Nelson’s Blood Wouldn’t Do You Any Harm.
"That might not be strictly true.”
Mr Burgess, 57, said: “For years the pub had looked a little tired and with other carveries opening we needed to up our game.
"Queenborough is steeped in history with strong ties to Lord Nelson and the Dutch invasion so we have given the pub a nautical flavour and a bit of character to reflect its setting.
“The front bar is now based on a 19th century man o’ war.
"It’s somewhere different to splice the mainbrace or have a sup of grog.”
Most of the work was carried out by Mr Rough, one half of a Blues Brothers tribute act, who also sails his own replica pirate ship.
He has built tables from scratch, inserted old oak beams and pulley blocks, added huge hand-sewn sail cloths and decorated the bar with hemp rope made at Chatham Dockyard.
Mr Burgess said: “Lee has done an amazing job. He started with a blank canvas. The result is uncanny.”
Tickets for the opening night on Friday March 31 cost £20 and include a meal.
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté KB, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy who was born in Norfolk on September 29, 1758.
He died after being shot during the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805. He was 47.
After a two-month voyage his body, pickled in a cask of brandy mixed with camphor and myrrh and lashed to the Victory’s mainmast, was unloaded at The Nore off Sheerness and taken to Greenwich where it was placed in a lead coffin.
During the Battle of Trafalgar Nelson famously flew the flag signal “England expects that every man will do his duty.” Although married to Frances “Fanny” Nisbet, his mistress was Lady Emma Hamilton.
On his deathbed he asked the Victory’s captain Thomas Hardy to “take care of poor Lady Hamilton” and then asked: “Kiss me, Hardy.”
Nelson was noted for inspirational leadership, superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics particularly during the Napoleonic Wars.
He was wounded several times, losing his right arm at Santa Cruz de Tenerife and an eye in Corsica.