Thursday, 5 September 2013

381 Card Sculpture Woodpecker (...and a bit of history)


As a brief aside, I picked this lovely model Lesser Spotted Woodpecker model up for 20p from a charity shop, and have made it up for my daughter over the last couple of evenings:
- It's life-sized and absolutley lovingly designed: I plan to hang it up in her room as we can often hear woodpeckers in the spring. What makes this even better though, is that this also represents one the most evocative memories I have of my childhood: my dad - who was in the Royal Navy - would pass time whilst at sea by making these birds, and I have a vivid recollection of seeing HMS Glamorgan come in from the Round Tower then meeting him later with a bloody-great 4-foot osprey under his arm.

Everything old is new again, eh? Makes a chap misty-eyed, I tell you.
Here's what made the exercise even more fun: the instructions, whilst aesthetically pleasant, are...something of an acquired taste! Let' just say I enjoyed the challenge of trying to work it out!
Keep well,

- D.

PS: The Glamorgan is the ship I mostly remember my dad serving of at least 17 ships in 35 years!


  1. Wonder if your Dad and my Grandfather (A royal naval chaplain.) served on board the same vessels during those 35 years?

    Very nice woodpecker. Don't think we get them over here in Cali. I remember there'd be a small green woodpecker near my house in Norfolk that would annoy the heck out of me with it's incessant pecking...

  2. Nice woodpecker. Strange instructions! Very few woodpeckers here in Ireland, but when you do see them they're not really annoying because of how rare they are. At least, not at first!

  3. They look a whole lot better than FW instructions. Does your wife you've been playing around with another bird ?

    Incase anyone is interested.

  4. Now the County Class were imposing ships let down only by the name of the missile system...Sea Slug! Not up there with Cat, Dart, Wolf or Viper for suggesting sleek deadly efficiency.

    Now my much missed Old Man loved building Airfix models on Deployment. There are still some 30+ year old Spitfires, FAA Phantoms and Buccaneers hanging in his loft space. Nowadays everyone has iPads! I do remember trying out a Winnie the Pooh trainset I'd bought my daughter in Singapore in the Mess square. I had to change the batteries after everyone had had a go!

  5. Buccaneer. F4's with the long nose wheel leg. I can still hear Rod Stewart and whole ship's company singing as they fire the piano off the catapult.

    I think you're right Ady, they looked better with two turrets anyway.

  6. My elder brother was actually christened on the Fife. That's a cool thing. For my part, I was christened in Portsmouth Dockyard. I think that means they loved me less.

    Come to think of it, in some weird version of 'take your child to work', my brother once sailed with my dad from Portsmouth to Plymouth. On a bloomin' destroyer (must've been Glamorgan). Lucky git. He must only have been about 11...

    Thanks for the nice comments, chaps.

    Dai: Chaplains are usually pretty memorable. What was his name? - I'll be sure to ask. Mind you, the Navy used actually to be quite big. Mind you, we used also to have useful things like aircraft carriers too...

    1. My Grandfather was the Reverend David Harries. He was a Church of Scotland minister (Though he was a Welshman - strange eh?)and Chaplain in the Royal Navy from some time in the late 50's (I believe) through to the mid-to-late-70's and served all over the place, even aboard HMS Hermes and had a personal friendship with Prince Charles whilst the prince was training to fly helicopters (Apparently he was an abysmal pilot!). After retiring from Naval life, he then went on to work with the British Sailors Society, a worldwide charity set up to make sure sailors would have a place to lay their head no matter what port they pulled into.

  7. Sounds like a true gent!

    I asked my dad, but sadly it appears they never crossed paths...


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