Quills – RN, For the Use Of

From The Bulletin of the Maritime Command, Vol.1, no. 7, January 1967

About a year ago, H.M.S. Victory, Admiral Lord Nelson’s Flagship, used up all her stock of quill pens, which are used by visitors invited to sign VICTORY’s Book in the Great Cabin.

The Commanding Officer of the Victory put in a demand to H.M. Stationery Office for a fresh supply of quill pens and in due course back came the reply "Sorry-no longer stock quill pens-- why can’t you use ball points?"

But “Pusser’s issue” ball-pens were definitely not on, in the Commanding Officer’s opinion, being something of a perfectionist, and after much beavering the famous pen firm of Parkers gave him a clue. They said they no longer supplied quill pens either, but they knew of a source.

Sure enough, a trip came up, and recently twelve goose quills, and twelve turkey quills, traditionally cut and very elegant, arrived at H.M.S. Victory for use in the Great Cabin, at the same table used by Lord Nelson himself. Everything was now "ship shape."