Welcome to the National Museum of the Royal Navy blog. A great way to keep up to date with the latest news and developments from around the museum.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

National Museum goes International

Graham Dobbin, Chief Operating Officer (RNM) and Finance Director (NMRN), is in New York this week to meet with the trustees of the American Friends of the Royal Naval Museum, and attend their annual Pickle Night Dinner. Pickle Night commemorates the arrival of HMS Pickle in Falmouth Bay in November 1805, bringing home news of Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, and also of his death.

Through the wonders of modern technology, Graham will be able to keep us updated on his trip daily through this blog.

Thursday 11th  November

I survived the first hurdle – my transatlantic flight! Amazingly, I arrived at immigration control in New York to find it totally empty and therefore walked straight up to the passport guy – last time I was here it took 3 hours!  This meant I got to my hotel within 90 minutes.

Had supper last night at a fabulous Jewish Deli called Sarge’s -  instead of the complimentary bread you get in the UK, here you have a selection of dill pickles, coleslaw and chicken liver with bread – all very delicious but it did mean I was full up before the meal – a Hot Corned Beef Sandwich.

I woke ridiculously early this morning so tried to hit my work emails but the internet connection is pretty dire in the hotel (in fact, it’s a pretty dire hotel all round – last night no lifts were working and I’m on the 19th floor!!!) so I have had to walk to one of their sister hotels.

My hectic round of meetings starts today - breakfast with the Trustees, lunch with a potential supporter, and in the evening I’m hoping to get a bit of free time to go to watch the TV show 30 Rock being recorded.

Friday 12th November

Three meetings and three meals later……….

I love New York - the weather here is very mild and sunny at the moment. Yesterday was Veterans Day so there was a big parade and lots of servicemen in the city.

I started my day meeting with the Trustees in a typical diner, ended the day in a “pub” which dates back to 1885 where the “great and the good” used to gather to smoke clay pipes. They have many on display, including those used by Babe Ruth and Roosevelt.

Two more meetings today, culminating in the Black Tie Pickle Night Dinner in the New York yacht Club this evening. Somewhere in between all this I need to find some time to make some final tweaks to my speech!

Saturday 13th November

Last Night’s Pickle Night Dinner was a stunning occasion – some 114 people gathered in the truly special surroundings of the New York Yacht Club.

The guest speaker, Admiral Sir Alan Massey, was inspiring and I know he had the audience totally enthralled – in some respects I was his warm up act (with 5 minutes to talk about the Museum and its aspirations) but I wouldn’t dare to pretend that I am anywhere close to his style of after dinner speaking!

In my opinion, you can always judge an evening by the volume of the guests talking – it was VERY loud last night!

Prior to this lunch was had at the Yale Club – they serve Yorkshire Puddings with butter instead of bread rolls!

It was a late night last night which ended with a couple of attendees at the Vanderbilt Bar in Grand Central Station – talk about sublime to the ridiculous.

Today there’s a Trustees meeting of the American Society of Friends of the Museum and then dinner tonight at a Turkish Restaurant – a cuisine I have never experienced before.

After all of this it’s on to Florida for a short holiday - it will be salads all the way when I get there!!!

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