As well as creating a national hero of Lord Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar also gave rise to one of the navy’s most colourful yarns. Legend has it that rather than be buried at sea as was the tradition for sailors, Nelson requested that he be taken back to Blighty for internment. To get him there in good shape for a state funeral, his crew preserved his body in a barrel of rum. The thirsty old sea dogs were then said to have spent the entire journey home sucking shots of rum from a hole in the barrel, draining it completely – save for Nelson’s remains. Stuff and nonsense, of course, but it paints an entertaining picture.
Over in Melbourne beachy suburb St Kilda, a rum bar bearing the Admiral’s name celebrates the apocryphal link between the man and the drink, designed by Technē Architects. The Nelson is located down by the water, and Technē has raided the area’s Docklands for salvage materials to reflect the neighbourhood’s heritage at the bar; recycled timbers are used throughout, notably on the imposing central bar. The wood contributes to a generally timeworn look, also aided by the distressed plaster work. The creature from the deep spreading its tentacles across the walls, aka The Kraken, is by artist Dexter Rosengrave.