Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Navy Week Chad Valley Bulldog
This rare toy is part of my collection, it was a promotional toy for the Navy Week. He is made of velvet, he has orange and black glass eyes, his sailor's hat is original and has `Navy Week' written on it. He also has his original collar, a celluloid covered metal makers button and red and white woven label on leg. --8in (21cm.) long.
The Navy Week
Navy Week had been established in 1926 as a way of bringing the reality of the fleet home to the British people. In 1931, a period often identified as the height of British pacifism, Portsmouth alone had 25,000 visitors on one day. As the day in question was an ordinary working day (Monday), the figure seems all the more remarkable. Three years later, 155,098 people attended the Navy Week at its centres of Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. By 1937 the figures stood at 400,000. Revealing the importance of battleships to these displays, The Times reminded its readers that a visit to the Chatham Week always required a bit more planning as the battleships couldn’t get close in. This meant spectators interested in seeing them had to travel to Sheerness. ‘The world’s biggest battleship [HMS Rodney] which cost £7,500,000 to build’, was always a big attraction: ‘As last year, the battleship Rodney, her big guns pointing skyward, was the most popular vessel on view. Hosts of visitors – who would have benefited by experience in steeplejacking – climbed the steel ladders and explored the electrically lit corridors in the heart of the ship.’