31/07/2017
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Portsmouth Historic Dockyard launches Taste of Rum campaign

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Today marked Black Tot Day, the date when British Navy sailors were given their last daily rum ration – the daily tot – on 31 July 1970. To celebrate, Captain Hardy of HMS Victory [pictured] has enjoyed a shot of rum in the ship’s stores.

To mark the occasion and honour the special relationship between the Royal Navy and its favourite liquor, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard has launched a ‘Taste of Rum’ campaign to run throughout August. Every Monday - #MondayRumDay – and Thursday - #RumTotThursday – 50 visitors (of drinking age) to the Historic Dockyard will be able to take part in a special ceremony and receive their very own daily rum ration from the Captain and the Ship’s Purser on-board HMS Victory. All visitors have to do to take part on these days is be one of the first 50 to visit the ticket office between 15.00 and 16.00 to collect a special token to be redeemed for a tot during daily the ceremony at 16.30.

History of the daily rum ration

1655 – The Royal Navy introduced rum rations shortly after the Invasion of Jamaica
1810 – The exact rum blend was codified by the admiralty
1823 – To the dismay of many sailors, the rum ration was cut in half, and in 1850 it was cut in half again
1970 – Sailors ‘mourned’ this naval tradition when it was announced the rum ration would be abolished completely due to the automation of equipment on board Royal Navy ships

This new campaign is part of a season of rum celebration at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, culminating in the Rum Festival taking place on the 1 and 2 September 2017. For more details and to buy tickets visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The July issue of The Armourer contained a feature on The Battle of Trafalgar and the weapons used, as well as the story of a British Sea Pistol. Order your back issue here.

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