Wednesday, 20 October 2010


It was with a heavy heart but with not much surprise that I read the results from a survey on British nautical history conducted on the UK's schoolchildren. It was a small sample of school kids granted, but the research seems to show that our nation's bright young things are pretty clueless when it comes to our great nautical history. Brace yourself for some of the statistics found from the survey...

Most children thought the Spanish Armada was a tapas dish. 
..most thought Walter Raleigh invented the bicycle.
...14% thought that 18th century explorer Captain Cook was at the helm of the Starship Enterprise.  
...some thought Horatio Nelson captained the French football team 
...and that the Battle of Waterloo was held at a London railway station. 
...75% though that Trafalgar Square was in EastEnders.
...1 in 10 thought that a picture of Bluebeard was Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Perhaps rather amusingly, 1 in 6 thought that Nelson's Column commemorates Mandela's release from captivity. I love that.

The research was carried out to mark Trafalgar Day which commemorates Nelson's defeat of the French and Spanish 205 years ago. Perhaps the worrying thing from the survey is how blissfully ignorant British schoolchildren are of our nation's rich maritime history and heritage. Sadly, many of the children questioned hadn't been on a boat, many couldn't remember the last time they had been to the seaside or seen a lake, and 5% had never taken a step in the sea.  

Do children not read books any more? Is our nation's history getting taught in schools these days? Should this worry you? It does me. 

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