By Humphrey Carter PALMA

THIS weekend, the Collingwood 2010 Festival, which began in his home town of Newcastle Upon Tyne in January, moves to Minorca where the famous Vice-Admiral died on March 7, 1810 of cancer on board the Ville de Paris, in the Port of Mahon.

Admiral Collingwood was born in 1748 and is famous for his career at sea which spanned more than four decades.
He is perhaps best known for taking control of the British fleet during the Battle of Trafalgar, after Admiral Lord Nelson was killed.
Following the Battle of Trafalgar Collingwood expected to retire after a lifetime at sea.

However, the Admiralty was short of senior commander, refused his letter of resignation and ordered him to Port Mahon to take charge of the British Mediterranean Fleet. Britain and Spain had an agreement to jointly use the port facilities of the world's second largest, deep water natural harbour.

During the last five years of his life Collingwood dutifully carried out his orders, his fleet blockaded the French south coast ports, patrolled the Gulf of Leon and assisted the Spanish in defending their mainland coastline and the Balearics.

As his shore base, Collingwood took residence in a splendid colonial style house “Fonduco” overlooking the harbour where his flag ship was anchored.
It was in the year prior to his death and during the Napoleonic War that Collingwood ordered an escort of frigates to a merchant ship bringing to Minorca one of the world's largest organs ever manufactured. This was installed in the parish church of Sta. Maria in Mahon. With over 3'000 pipes and four keyboards the organ is played every day and is just part of the heritage left by Lord Collingwood on the island. This world famous organ is also celebrating its 200th. Anniversary this year and will feature in the commemorative events.

The highlight of the celebrations is going to be the arrival of the Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth which has been on duty patrolling the Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Telic. Her crew will be hosting and taking part in a number of activities and events over the weekend.