On 16 June 1897 HMS Foudroyant is forced on to Blackpool beach by a storm. At nearly 100 years she had launched straight into the French Revolutionary Wars in 1798. The 80 gun warship soon saw action at the Battle of Tory Island, which marked the final attempt by the French to invade the British Isles.
But her greatest distinction would come the following year when she would serve for a time as Nelson's flagship. After extensive service through the following Napoleonic wars she would eventually retire into less glamorous roles; guard ship, training vessel and then for storage. She was deemed of no further use in 1891 and sold to be broken up, but it was her connection to Nelson that would save her.
She was restored and sent to tour Britain as a travelling attraction, helping to fund her maintenance. This would continue for 6 ears until the fateful day in Blackpool would see her driven into the North Pier and driven onto the beach. The Blackpool lifeboat crew would brave the storm to save all of the crew, but the ship was wrecked.
Timbers from the ship would be fashioned into keepsakes, trinkets, and furniture. The boardroom of Blackpool Football Club would be panelled with wood from the ship, and the ship's bell resides at Blackpool Town Hall.