Now what links the three you may well ask, and the answer would be the coaly waters of the river Tyne.
According to the Matriarch of the family the waters of the Tyne are now so clean that it is the finest river for rod caught salmon in the UK. So much so that the Western Mail recently reported that the Tyne had the highest catch of any British river, 4,122 in 2004. Now this should come as no surprise to those of us who, at a friend's 50th birthday a few years ago, spied a seal near the new Millennium pedestrian bridge which links Newcastle to Gateshead, no doubt drawn by the mouthwatering prospect of some fresh Tyne salmon.
And Trafalgar and Great Grandfather George?
Well, one Cuthbert Collingwood was born on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle in 1748 and went to sea at the age of twelve; by the time of the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 he was not only vice-admiral of the British fleet but it was his ship, the Royal Sovereign, which was the first to engage the French & Spanish fleet and it was Collingwood who took command of the fleet and led it to victory whilst Nelson lay mortally wounded .
The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805: Beginning of the Action' Artist Nicholas Pocock circa 1808
As for great grandfather George, he was a keelman on the Tyne, and from an old Tyneside poem of 1820:
"Our keelmen brave, with laden keels,
Go sailing down in line,
And with them load the fleet at Shields,
that sails from coaly Tyne.
When Bonaparte the world did sway,
Dutch, Spanish did combine;
By sea and land proud bent their way,
The sons of coaly Tyne.
The sons of Tyne, in seas of blood;
Trafalgar's fight did join,
When led by dauntless Collingwood,
The hero of the Tyne.