Over the last couple of months at least two people have contacted me via the contact button asking for details of how to send photographs to this site. I have responded to both but my message is bouncing back undeliverable. PLEASE PLEASE when contacting me ensure that the email address you are sending me is totally correct otherwise I cannot respond. To those who may be fuming as they have not had a reply I would say many thanks for your interest but please try again giving me your correct contact details.







I have been informed that Captain DOUG HARDY passed away recently following a long illness.
I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Doug at one of the re-unions some years ago. He was a regular contributor to this site from its earliest days and i will miss his contact and input greatly. R.I.P skipper.




Over the next few days will be adding some photos from the collection of Dennis McCarthy. These have very kindly been sent by his daughter Sharon who advises that 'Mac' began his career on the first diesel tug at Wapping [Sun XVIII], and came down to Gravesend in 1959. He finished on the Sun XXVII, before teaching the younger generation in Hull. Dennis had been retired 26 years.
L-R Pat Mahoney, Brian Biggs [r], Dennis McCarthy. Rest unknown. As ever other identities welcomed. Photo courtesy Sharon Freebody.
20-11-2020 Front row right could be Lou Hadler -- Bill Cheeseman
DENNIS McCARTHY with his son Terry at Wapping in 1953. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
DENNIS McCARTHY [front left] with crew. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
I am sure the other crew members will soon be named!!
photo c331 top row first left possibly Stan Benge later captain  - William Cheeseman
Hi Sharon was with your dad for several years on SUN XXII.  C331 Front row Dennis and Capt Stanley Smith. Extreme right Tom Scott.. - Keith Toms.
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
C335. Eric Musgrove Weatherly. -- Keith Toms.
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
Is this Reg Merchant? William Cheeseman
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
Unknown. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.
C339. 2nd left Stanley Smith. 3rd left Tom Scott. Rear Ted Stevens???-- Keith Toms.
SUN XVIII with Cutty Sark in Millwall Dock. Courtesy Sharon Freebody.

WATER LANE. Photog unknown K Watson colln


Hello Pete,

I’ve managed to track down George Lowe’s last surviving daughter , Patricia Swanson, now in her 90s, lives in Poole Dorset, showed her the mystery photo, with no clues, and straightaway the said that’s her uncle Arthur Edwin Lowe, born 1902, died 1954 , elder brother of George Lowe, skipper of the Muria, died as you know on the brige, favourite pastime on board, lower the lifeboat, row out into the middle of the river, and read a book!

Regards mike




 I was very interested in the extract from the log of the Empire John....the last section would have been from when dad was on board  and great to see a message posted on 13-3-2013 by Ronald S Osborne who served on Empire John.

Please find attached.  Images taken by dad ...Peter Clifton between 21.11.1944 - 20.1.1946 while on Empire John

Unfortunately dad died back in 2013......but we did get his Arctic Star...for his time on the Russian Convoys...just too late for dad to see.
I wish we had found your site earlier so i could have got a more detailed explanation of the photos.

Kind Regards
Nick Clifton 
Crew of Empire John 1944/45. Photo courtesy Nick Clifton
If anybody can identify any of the crew please contact this site. Thanks.
Empire John. Photo courtesy Nick Clifton
Empire John. Photo courtesy Nick Clifton
Empire John towing submarine. Photo courtesy Nick Clifton
Peter Clifton's discharge book. Courtesy Nick Clifton.
Painting of Atlantic Cock kindly sent by Doug Hardy. I dont know if this another Ian Boyd painting??
A series of photos made available by Tony Atkinson regarding the transfer of the lighterage tug George Salt into Brazilian Ownership and renaming Sao Cristovao.
At Liverpool prior to going to Brazil. Note addition of lifeboat.
Newspaper coverage.
As Sao Cristovao in Brazil
Transfer of registration papers. All pics courtesy Tony Atkinson.
BADIA [2] in July 1952. Photo Tom Rayner/Tony Atkinson colln.
HAM August 1975  photo Tony Atkinson
MERIT August 1976 photo Tony Atkinson
TOUCHSTONE August 1976 photo Tony Atkinson
VESPA photog unknown Tony Atkinson colln

SUN XXVI under tow from Sheerness to Thames Haven, Photo Doug Hardy.
SUN XXVI supplying water  at Thames Haven. Photo Doug Hardy.
Sorry about the condition of this , it is over 100 years old and very very fragile but I have done my best with it. A letter from the Admiralty regarding the Rescue Tug Service 1917-1918. Very kindly given to me by Harold Russell.

Photos kindly sent in by Tony Atkinson showing the career of TC&D's DANUBE II.
DANUBE II underway on the Thames. Photog unknown courtesy Tony Atkinson.
As NORGROVE in dry-dock at Falmouth. Photo K Hancock courtesy Tony Atkinson.
NORGROVE at Falmouth. Photo P A Vicary courtesy Tony Atkinson.
DANUBE II as ST EVAL at Falmouth. Photo A Duncan courtesy Tony Atkinson.
TOM JAY ex Thames Steam Tug and Lighterage Co at Falmouth in 1983 working on the Penryn Marina. Photo Tony Atkinson.

SUN XXIV  at North Woolwich Pier. Photo Chris French

I used to work on the 24,from about 1964 to 1967. They were the most enjoyable years. You can see Woolwich ferry in the rear of the photograph.

Chris French 


Nolly Harvey & Alan Pearson on Richard Bransons yacht, at the Royal Terrace pier. Photo Nolly Harvey


Three amazing old photo's kindly sent to the site by Steve Baxter. Steve's great grandfather was Captain Frank Baxter, skipper of the paddle tug Nelson when she unfortunately caught fire off Canal Basin, Gravesend in 1863. Frank Baxter was also to become skipper of Haslip's paddle tug Middlesex and during his career carried out several valuable salvages.
Paddle tug NELSON. Photo © courtesy Steve Baxter.
Captain Frank Baxter, Master of the paddle tugs NELSON and MIDDLESEX. Photo © courtesy Steve Baxter.
Captain Frank Baxter and his crew, probably taken aboard PT NELSON. Photo © courtesy Steve Baxter.
Amazingly some more items concerning Empire Wold have been sent to me. These have very kindly been provided by Peter Draper, his great uncle was Henry 'Harry' William Draper, acting Master of Empire Wold when he and the rest of the crew were lost in 1944. RIP.
Henry 'Harry' William Draper, acting Master, Empire Wold. Photo courtesy Peter Draper.
Courtesy Peter Draper
Courtesy Peter Draper
Courtesy Peter Draper.
A cutting from Kent Messenger April 19th 1941 kindly provided by Kevin Haydon. Wartime regulations have meant that the vessels name and the location of the incident have had to be omitted. It does of course refer to the horrific 'Lunula Incident' and the fate that befell the crew of the tug Persia  [ex Dongara] at Thames Haven on 9th April 1941.
A water colour painting of the Dongara in happier times, carried out by one of her crew. Photo courtesy K Haydon
Another page GALLERY has been added. This will contain photos of general interest that do not appear elsewhere on the site.
Photos that were on this page for a long while have NOT been deleted, but now appear elsewhere on the site. Most will have gone to either CREW GALLERY, TOWS GALLERY or GALLERY. It became necessary for me to carry out one of my periodic tidy ups of the site to ensure its future operation. Many thanks for the continued support of all visitors.