The Grand Naval Review, at Spithead: Getting under Way, and Manning the Yards, 1856. Ships of the Royal Navy taking part in a display off the coast of Hampshire - sailors 'manning the yards' (standing on the spars attached to the masts). This manoeuvre was originally used to display the whole crew to the harbour authorities and the other ships present, to show that the ship's guns were not manned and hence her intentions were peaceful. 'The ships lay still as they had remained for a few previous days: the largest men-of-war forming that imposing double column...The whole dressed out in lines of flags, forming polygons of colour, gave a gaudy appearance to the surrounding water, already so variegated by moving craft of every sort'. From "Illustrated London News", 1856.
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