Monumental Maritimers

We are always keen to hear about new works produced by our members around the world and promote their efforts, but here is an unusual new one created by YJA member Cathy Shelbourne, of Sea Shell Communications marketing consultancy.

Q. Where is the first column to commemorate Nelson located?
Q. Who was the first woman to circumnavigate the world?
Q. Which fearsome pirate was killed on the deck of his own ship in 1718?

If you’re a regular viewer of the television series Who wants to be a millionaire, you might have responded correctly to the last question. (It was Blackbeard!).

But for the rest of us, all these, and many more fascinating answers, lie in the cards! The cards in question are the Monumental Maritime Heroes pack
In normal times, she travels the world as an enrichment speaker on board cruise ships, giving talks on maritime heroes and brazen buccaneers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she has put her knowledge, and monumental collection of photos of maritime characters, to good use. Her newly-launched pack of cards is illustrated by major players in the Age of Sail (1400s – mid 1800s), with maritime heroes as hearts, explorers and navigators as clubs, pirates and privateers as spades, and ships as diamonds.

“On board ship, passengers would ask how they could find out more, and where these characters fitted into the greater scheme of things,” says Cathy. “So as well as giving facts and figures and their exploits on each card, I’ve included an information leaflet and time chart in the presentation box.

“During the compilation, I felt like I was on a colossal treasure hunt, tracking down these monuments to past adventurers, still all around us if we just keep our eyes open. They range from statues and columns, to plaques and pub signs, and even weathervanes and village signs.

“And one discovery would lead to another. Visiting Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast to photograph the mosaic of Columbus’ ships on an office building, I noticed a colossal statue of Triton, the son of Neptune, on the promenade. Perfect for the Joker!

“While at Bucklers Hard to look round a modern HMS Pickle, I chatted to a couple in the car park. It turned out her father had made a model of HMS Pickle, which her son had presented to the museum there the day before. Her married name was Trim, the same name as Captain Matthew Flinders’ cat who accompanied him on his voyages charting Australia (and was included by sculptor Mark Richards in his monument to Flinders at Euston station)!”

The packs are now available for sale, but for those who prefer to have all their cards in a row, upon the wall, there’s a limited edition poster too. The presentation box, containing a pack of cards and information leaflet with timeline, is available for £10 plus p+p; the poster is £15 plus p+p; both from

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