Photography has always played an important role on Britannia. While she was in service, there was always a Yottie appointed, nicknamed 'Snaps', to take photographs of life on board the Royal Yacht.
In keeping with this tradition, we now have our own Photographer in Residence, Ruth Armstrong, who has been capturing our very own Weekly 'Snaps' - a collection of snapshots of life around the ship today.
15 - 21 April: Wardroom Collection!
With the Easter holidays, Britannia has been very busy this week with visitors touring Britannia's five decks, from the Verandah Deck to the NAAFI. We feature items from the Wardroom Collection, including a silver table lighter and Pegasus bowl with flying horse handles. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, and Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, were hard at work in the Galley preparing the lemon zest for the lemon drizzle cakes. The Gift Shop show their range of nautical t-shirts, as well as a Morris & Co. design inspired mug.
This week Tony, Nigel and Head of Maintenance, Derek, moved a ladder back to the main deck. Chris painted the stanchions outside the Royal Deck Tea Room. Sean, Jay and Martin fitted the back to the Upper Deck Port Waist ladder as Chris painted the Port Aft Accommodation ladder. Dean S. bolted down a hatch lid and removed a redundant pipe flange. Ian continued to work on the new decking on the Pontoon.
8 - 14 April: Bring your favourite cuddly toy to Britannia this Easter!
As we continue into the Easter holidays, our 'bring your cuddly toy' promotion has been a huge hit with lots of children bringing their favourite cuddly on board for a tour of Britannia. Ever busy in the Galley, rolls were being freshly baked to accompany our variety of hearty soups in the Royal Deck Tea Room, as well as exquisite chocolate petit fours created by Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen. Ruth, Human Resource and Training Manager, welcomed new employees to the 'Britannia way' at the Company Awareness Day and The Gift Shop show their new black and white Britannia print, as well as their brilliant new ‘Message in a Bottle’ gift. Great fun and the perfect way to write home!
The Maintenance team has had a busy week with lots of jobs needing done around the Royal Yacht. Ian fixed the lashings to the Quarter Awning on the Verandah Deck, whilst Jay reaffixed the seat backing in the Chief Petty Officers' Mess. Jay and Sean then prepared the Royal Deck Tea Room handrails, ready for stripping back and varnishing. Ewan and Dean M. painted an undercoat to the Starboard Shelter Deck. Jay fitted an infill at the entrance to the Main Deck passageway. Stuart changed the filter on the water tank, as Chris dried out the scupper trough on the Royal Deck, prior to painting.
1- 7 April: COWESLIP arrives at Britannia!
This week we held a photoshoot for our new Groups Marketing photography with lovely sunny weather across Britannia's five decks. We go behind the scenes and show our resident confectioner, Poppy, creating the mouth-watering chocolate and mint flavoured fudge available in the NAAFI. Stepping into Spring, the dress ship flags can be seen flying in the wind. The Galley team has been busy preparing our delicious home-made soups for the Easter holidays in the Royal Deck Tea Room. The Gift Shop show their brand new range of Sheila Fleet jewellery.
We were excited about the arrival this week of COWESLIP, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Flying Fifteen keelboat, designed and built by the legendary raconteur Uffa Fox, as a wedding present to HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip. On loan for the next two years, everyone watched on as it was unpackaged by the Maintenance team in the aft Compound alongside Britannia. It was a busy week for the team. Ian adjusted the plinth prior to tiling while Paul A. continued work on the ladder to the Port Upper Deck Waist. Sean sanded a handrail from the Tea Room and Nigel worked on the Tea Room Scupper. Paul A. painted a coat of varnish on a door and prior to its annual test Ian removed the life raft. Ewan scraped loose paint from inside the davit.
25 - 31 March: Easter Bunnies and loose leaf tea!
Spring has arrived at the Royal Yacht and we have seen some beautiful weather in the Port of Leith. Our Housekeeping Team have been ensuring that Britannia is gleaming and visitors have been enjoying the views from our Royal Deck Tea Room. New to the Tea Room, we are thrilled to now offer Pekoe loose leaf tea. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, has been hard at work, preparing the cute chicks and bunnies to top our special Easter cupcakes.
Human Resource and Training Manager, Ruth, lead the Retail and Visitor Assistants in an Accessible Tourism course. Meanwhile, Marketing Manager, Casey, and Head of Marketing, Lynda, launched our exciting 'Spot Clarence the Corgi' campaign with Lothian Buses. Inspired by the panel in The Queen's bedroom, our beautiful embroidery range of China teapots and cups, returns to the Gift Shop.
Chris and Ewan cleaned the jaluousies on the Starboard Shelter Deck. Dean M. worked on the areas of rust on the Starboard Shelter Deck scupper trough. Martin sanded the backboard of the ladder from the Port Upper Deck Waist. Jay then created wooden dowels which were fitted into the ladder. Mark made stanchions for the Pontoon. Ian fixed a door lock whilst Jos sanded the base of a Britannia model and Stuart put together a pipe connector.
18 - 24 March: The first week of spring aboard Britannia!
Visitors are always encouraged to photograph the many highlights whilst they explore Britannia's five decks. Seating is available in the Wardroom Anteroom to relax before proceeding to the Royal half of the Yacht. Despite the cold weather, including snow this week, we entered the first week of spring. In the onboard Pastry Galley, Stephen and Mariusz made a delicious selection of desserts for an evening drinks reception. Linda and her housekeeping team were busy cleaning and polishing the newly replaced handrails on the visitor route including the ceremonial dolphin placed at the top of the Royal Brow and, bringing glamour to any occasion is our latest jewellery collection available in the Gift Shop.
At the beginning of the week our Maintenance team completed work on the Upper Deck Port Side. Sean, Martin and Jay secured the chafing plates over the handrails. Chris touched up the paintwork, while Dean M. treated a patch of rust appearing on the Starboard side. Ian carried out a number of workshop tasks to improve the pontoon. Britannia's dress flags were raised ready for the spring and summer season. Mark L. carried out routine checks on the air handling unit, while Nigel did some spring cleaning. Paul worked on sanding hardwood and varnishing a handrail, as part of the Upper Deck Port Side maintenance.
11 - 17 March: Easter bunnies and chicks!
Our visitors toured Britannia's decks this week, finding great photo opportunities on each deck, from the Wardroom to the Chief Petty Officers’ Mess. In the Galley, Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, created the first test batch of bunny and chick cupcake toppers for our Easter cupcakes which will be served in the Tea Room over the Easter holidays and Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen was making bread on board.
Marketing Manager, Emma, tried out a new desk which aims to improve posture, by alternating between standing and sitting positions. We were delighted to welcome on board Julie Etchingham with ITV Tonight, filming on Britannia. The Gift Shop introduced an exciting new addition in to the shop, our Britannia 16 year old Highland Single Malt Whisky, along with a new range of leather luggage tags, travel card holders and keyrings.
Work continued on the Upper Deck Port Waist as Nigel painted around the windows, Dean painted the top of the bulwark whilst Ewan and Chris painted the jalousie. Gary created a wooden template which will allow a metal framework to be made and attached, protecting the wall. Stuart fixed a ballcock for a cistern. Mark S. and Gary worked on the base for a Britannia model display case. They also repaired and replaced an access door. Ian repaired a metal door in the Tea Room Galley. Jay and Sean worked on the handrails and cap ends.
4 - 10 March: Swans and the onboard Rolls Royce!
Chef de Parties, Bob and Mariusz, were busy this week in the Galleys preparing for an evening event whilst Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, baked mouth-watering cakes to be served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Former Britannia waitress Yasmin entertained the visitors in the Tea Room as she played delightful tunes on the piano. Two swans were spotted swimming alongside the bow of the Royal Yacht. We show a closer look inside the on board Rolls Royce. New to the Gift Shop this week, an intricate model of Britannia as well as ‘Floss and Rock’ games to sharpen logic reasoning and memory retention skills.
Stuart, Jay, Nigel and Martin continued to paint the Port Upper Waist Deck. Mark S. built a new display case for the The Royal Yacht Britannia model. Mark made a bracket which will be used on the pontoon. Ian pumped up the tyres on the Rolls Royce while Jay and Sean removed a handrail from the Port Upper Deck Waist. Dean S. and Stuart removed and re-fitted mirrors in the Ladies Corporate toilets as they checked the hot water boilers behind. Jos taped along the side of the iconic gold leaf line and was followed by Nigel, who applied a base coat for the gold leaf.
25 February - 3 March: Pancake Day!
This week our visitors enjoyed the beautiful sunshine as they toured Britannia's five decks. The Galley team have been busy preparing hearty soups for our guests in the Tea Room. To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, Junior Sous Chef Michal made delicious pancakes with a range of sweet toppings. We were delighted to feature in the Scotsman Newspaper as our little pancake makers practised their flips on board!
Janitor and Housekeeper, Ricky and Susan, polished the High Constabulary Silver Batons. At the highest point of the yacht, a dress ship flag line was repaired. In our onboard photoshoot, we feature a variety of beautiful gifts for Mother’s Day.
This week Tony, Rab and Ewan powerwashed the awning on the Verandah Deck. Nigel treated the rust patches on the Port Upper Deck Waist. Martin and Jay removed the handrail and and worked on the area underneath. Ewan painted the top of the bulwark, whilst Jos vacuum cleaned the chippings on Port Upper Deck. Ian drilled out old bolts on the pontoon and Dean checked the hot water heater in the Ladies toilets. Mark S. and Gary made a lift machinery room access framework to fit in the lift tower. Sean removed one of the chaffing pieces on the wooden Upstand.
18 - 24 February: Carrot Cake and Miniature Souvenirs!
We photograph visitors in the Visitor Centre this week, where our stunning LEGO Britannia model can be seen. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria, bakes delicious cakes, to be served in the Royal Deck Tea Room. We take a behind-the-scenes look into the Admiral's Cabin where the Admiral would work, entertain and eat when the Royal Family were not on board. Our Gift Shop shows a range of miniature British souvenirs, as well as our exclusive Britannia gin which is distilled and bottled in Edinburgh in partnership with Pickering's Gin.
The team continue their work as Nigel and Ewan painted the Port Upper Deck white. Mark S. and Garry completed woodwork in the Workshop whilst Jos and Nigel washed down the windows in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Paul D. worked on the lights in the Port Junior Rates Mess and Ian completed his ladder safety checks. At Fingal, Jay and Sean emptied the rope locker and moved deck boards.
11 - 17 February: Half-Term holidays and Valentine's Day!
We have had a busy week on board as Scottish schools begin their February half-term break. We were thrilled to welcome on board the VisitBritain Press and Marketing team. In the Galley, Brendan, Sous Chef, prepared confit tomato whilst our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, baked a Victoria sandwich cake, named after Queen Victoria who favoured a slice. Our HR & Training Manager and talented pianist, Ruth, created a romantic atmosphere in the Tea Room for those celebrating Valentine's Day with soft background music. Our Gift Shop show a colouring book and reward chart, perfect for those on school holiday with luxury House of Dorchester fine chocolates for the adults!
This week we welcomed on board Ewan, our new Maintenance Assistant. Work continued on the Port Upper Deck Waist, as Ewan applied rust neutraliser, Nigel completed a fibre glass repair and Dean applied an undercoat to the scupper trough. Jos power washed the starboard Waist whilst Sean progressed to the next stage as he sanded the dolphin board. Gary, Mark S. and Derek, Head of Maintenance, removed the displays from the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Ian welded a bracket for the new pontoon as Mark L. lifted the old boards off the existing pontoon. Paul A. sanded a handrail.
4 - 10 February: Preparing for Valentine's Day!
We're looking forward to Valentine's Day on board with a delicious limited edition raspberry, meringue and chocolate fudge, home-made in the NAAFI. On the 14th itself, the Royal Deck Tea Room will serve macarons and chocolates made by our Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, accompanied by a special cocktail created by our Food and Beverage Manager, Bruce. The Galley team have also been busy baking lemon drizzle cakes and carrot cakes for our visitors to enjoy in the Tea Room. The shop also show their great selection of china cups and tea, the perfect way to keep warm on a chilly day.
Nigel and Jos worked on the Upper Deck Waist, whilst Jay re-secured the sill plate to the Starboard Sun Lounge door. Continuing the preparations from last week, Ian made progress with the new decking on the pontoon. Ian and Mark L. then both worked on components for the Pontoon. Sean cleaned a deck scupper board whilst Martin sanded a rope locker. Jay cut moulds to be used by the Galley team. Paul A. made preparations to sand a decorative handrail piece. Dean was in the workshop checking the quayside water connections.
28 January - 3 February: Chocolate macarons and crested cufflinks!
Our visitors tour the five decks from the Bridge to the Royal Apartments. Executive Pastry Chef, Stephen, baked delicious chocolate macarons. The Tea Room galley team served carrot and coriander soup, while the baristas made a special Bonnie Prince Charlie coffee infused with Drambuie. This week we highlight the Glass and Silver Pantries where the silverware dates back to the Edwardian period. Our Gift Shop features our brand new cufflinks with colourful crest detail. Looking ahead to February 14th, our team have identified beautiful Valentine jewellery gifts.
Mark S. and Gary made a shelving unit for the clothing store whilst Nigel, Rab and Jos painted the deckhead on the Port Upper Deck Waist. Continuing last week's work on the pontoon Mark L. laid out the new deck boards. Mark L. then used the grinder on an old bracket on the quayside. Paul A. varnished the Sun Lounge Starboard standards; a wooden door as well as handrails. Sean polished the brass caps from the handrails.
21 - 27 January: Sea air and Burns Night preparations!
This week we feature our visitors taking in the fresh sea air on the Verandah Deck as they tour the five decks. Our Galley team are busy in preparations for our exclusive ticketed evening Burns Night events on Friday and Saturday. The Housekeeping team continues their hard work in maintaining Britannia to the same standards as when in Royal service. In the week of Robert Burns celebrations our shop shows a range of souvenirs with colourful Scottish map designs. We also welcome on board Chitambo as our new Senior Sales Assistant.
Ian started the week by removing a redundant bracket that held an old spotlight and then grinding the space for the perfect finish. Dean M. cleared out the scupper trough on the Upper Deck Starboard Waist. Following the work completed last week, Jos made the finishing touches to the paint work on the Upper Deck Starboard Waist. Paul D. fitted AC power for the new light.
The old deckboards were removed from the pontoon. Paul A. painted a new display for the Gift Shop and also prepared the Upper Deck Cross passage Starboard door for its layer of varnish. Jay varnished the Starboard Sun Lounge door standards and repaired a rope locker box. Dean S. removed and drained a boiler whilst Jay prised off a handrail for repair work.
14 - 20 January: Visitors along the tour route!
Our visitors explore the tour route from the Laundry Room to the onboard Rolls Royce.The Galley prepared the delicious Cullen Skink soup served in the Tea Room. Brendan and Mariusz make preparations for the evening event from the garnishes to the stunning seared duck. We show the finale to our tour in the Sailing Exhibition, where visitors can learn about the Royal Family's love of sailing. We also feature our onboard Operating Theatre and our Gift Shop is all prepared for Burns night next week with our 12 year old whisky, hip flask and books on Robert Burns himself and Scottish traditions.
The Maintenance team carried out the realignment of the pontoon and attached it to Britannia. Tony, Sean and Martin helped to remove the Forward Cross Passage Starboard Door for re-varnishing. Nigel and Tony removed marks from the Upper Deck Starboard side. Tony and Mark L. removed the oversized door covering from the newly varnished Verandah Deck door.
Mark S. fitted a new sign in our Visitor Centre whilst Stuart patched up a part of the ceiling ahead of painting. Paul A. sanded down a handrail from the Starboard side and Ian carried out routine checks of the Admiral’s Fast Motor Launch. The team removed flotsam from the Activity Boat propeller as Paul D. attended to a number of electrical jobs. Dean S. painted the SCOs cabin.
7 - 13 January: Carot cake, shortbread and cocoa stencils!
We feature visitors along the tour route as they enjoy listening to our complimentary audio guides. Whilst touring the five decks, any questions can be answered by our knowledgeable Visitor Assistants. Commis Pastry Chef, Victoria puts the finishing touches to a cake stand full of miniature carrot cake slices and home-made buttery shortbread rounds. The Baristas in the Royal Deck Tea Room tried out their fun new stencils to top hot drinks. We show Ricky, Janitor, part of our dedicated Housekeeping team, ensuring that Britannia is kept 'ship-shape'. The Gift Shop show their brand new Indulgence jewellery display stand.
Jay started to manufacture a containment which will be fitted whilst the door standards to the Sun Lounge are varnished. Gary continued his production of a shelf for the Tea Room bar. Rab, Jos, Nigel and Dean M painted the Upper Deck Starboard whilst Mark fitted a bracket in A Fan Space. Stuart painted the Senior Commanding Officer's cabin and Ian repaired a fishing net.
1 January – 6 January: Happy New Year!
We start the first week of January with pictures of our visitors along the tour route, from the Royal Apartments to the Verandah Deck. The Galley team have been busy preparing the delicious soups, cakes and sandwiches to be served in the Royal Galley. Our Gift Shop show their 2017 calendars, featuring stunning pictures of Scottish landscapes. The fudge, made on board, continues to be popular with visitors in the NAAFI.
The Maintenance team have had a busy start to the year as they help to take down the Christmas decorations both onboard and in the Visitor Centre. Ian has conducted his routine safety inspections whilst Gary started to manufacture a new cupboard for the Tea Room Bar. Nigel fitted the plates on the Starboard Waist. Stuart and Dean completed checks on the new UV filter for the water tank.
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