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.



Another biographical gem from Kevin Haydon concerning Robert Andrews, the first skipper of the Conqueror [1897]
Robert Andrews Born Gravesend c 1859 Died Gravesend c 1945
Robert Andrews was the son of Suffolk sea captain George Andrews who was master of the vessel
Greek Slave.  When the ship called at Gravesend during the 1861 Census young Bob, his older sister
Caroline and his mother were among those on board, so his life on the Thames went back to his
earliest days.
His first experience of tugs seems to have been on the Undaunted, a Barker tug.  He moved on to
tugs run by J F Gibb and later to the Gamecock firm, all of which had connections with the Holland
family. Andrews had recently married when Gamecock tugs started in 1880 and he joined the tug
that gave the firm its name in that year as mate under his friend and skipper Edward Martin. When
Captain Martin transferred to the second Gamecock in 1883 Andrews went with him and was soon
given his own chance as skipper in the Bantam Cock. He moved to the Gamecock and in 1886 he
took over from William Mastin as master of the Woodcock of 1884, a tug partly designed by Richard
Holland, one of the owners and an early subscriber to the Gamecock concern.  It was in the
Woodcock that “Peppermint Bob” cemented his reputation as a tug man and made a good deal of
money for the firm and for himself, joining Richard Holland and other river men as an investor. Much
of the towage and salvage work involved sailing ships, but a nice fee was earned from the Harrison
steamer Dictator. Andrews decided to move on when he obtained his master’s certificate in 1893,
fortune favouring him as he sold his share in the Woodcock shortly before the tug sank carrying no
insurance.  The Woodcock was at Gravesend when the 1891 Census was taken and those on board
were: - Robert Andrews (captain), Edward Gale, (mate), George Giles, (seaman), Frank Black,
(engineer), Walter Tolhurstand John Thompson, (firemen) and William Livett (boy).
Andrews joined tugs owned by the family of the pilot William Sandford that were used as tugs and
excursion vessels (the excursion business being run with Dick & Page) taking over first the Conqueror
of 1890 and then, after a brief stint in the Mitchell tug Cleveland of 1894, the replacement
Conqueror of 1897, this being the last paddle tug ordered by Thames owners.  In her first season the
1897 Conqueror attended the fleet review at Spithead that also celebrated Queen Victoria’s Diamond
Jubilee, carrying 22,000 passengers around Spithead and Southampton Water.  Captain Andrews
continued carrying passengers in the ensuing summers and also contrived to get a lot of salvage work
in the winter months before moving to the “Belle” coastal passenger steamers.  During his time with
them he obtained a licence for pilotage, a similar career path to Captain Charles Haill.  The
Conqueror of 1897, known as the” Dungeness Ghost” because of her light grey paintwork and the
frequency with which she worked the area, proved lucky for a number of other masters before she
was sold away from the Thames.
Captain Andrews worked as a pilot during the First World War and on into the 1920’s before retiring.
His son also became a pilot, this time after an apprentice-ship at sea in full-rigged ships, and I believe
one of his daughters married a pilot, a member of the Holland family.  Captain Andrews and his wife
lived for many years at “The Reculvers” in Kent Road where they celebrated their Diamond Wedding
anniversary shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.    

19-7-2018 New message in MESS ROOM 2018 Please help if you can.
All the crew pictures have now been transferred from the Flickr Gallery to this site. The other albums will remain on Flickr until they too are transferred. If a crew photo or comment you submitted have disappeared during the transition my apologies and please feel free to re-submit. Many Thanks.
Hi I have come across some photos of the Cemenco and crew. One of the crew is Malcolm Fish and we grew up together although going in differant directions. He ended up skipper and i think thats his position in the photos. -  Steve Kelley.
These photos will find a permanent home in CREW PHOTOS in the LIGHTERAGE SECTION.

Photo Steve Kelley colln
The Kawara which at the time was the tower bridge tug, the two on deck are Lenny Hart (skipper) and Horry Kidd  (engineer) I was the  boy. I think around 1967.  Horrys daughter is the first message in around the stove in 2010. -  Steve Kelley

All pics courtesy of Steve Kelley
A couple of pics and a comment kindly supplied by Kevin Haydon
CONTEST 1931 Photo K Haydon colln.
 Contest 1931 - Not quite identical to Challenge. There were operational difficulties when Challenge came under management of Ship Towage as engine-room telegraph repeater moved in opposite direction to all other tugs. Remedied by fitting mirror relief engineer for the use of. I don't know if it is still in place. - Kevin Haydon

Contest [1931] in later life as Italian owned Vesuvius. Photo K Haydon colln.
C299 Bill Cheeseman colln
C300 Bill Cheeseman colln
C301 Bill Cheeseman colln
The old photo with people on stern I think is the isle of aran my great grand father is there and his son  both named james Cheeseman the son went on to be chief engineer for alexadras sun tugs .
back left James Cheeseman Jnr. Back right James Cheeseman Snr. - Bill Cheeseman
C302 Bill Cheeseman colln
C303 Photo W Cheeseman colln
C304 Photo W Cheeseman
SUN XXVI Bill Cheeseman - Cook.
C305 Photo W Cheeseman
Possibly Sun V or Sun X. 
Front L-R Jack Arnold; unknown; Jim Cheeseman; unknown;
Back L-R Derek Money; rest unknown


Originally HIBERNIA and still at work in Greece May 2018. Photo Doug Hardy.
Svitzer Celia

Svitzer Helena
Svitzer Vale
15-4-2018 New message in Mess Room.
A couple of interesting Pics kindly sent by Mike Houckham. This first one shows Cervia towing The Bounty out of Ramsgate Harbour.
Pic courtesy Mike Houckham. Photog unknown.
Another view of Ramsgate from Mike H. Simla is against the wall with another Watkins tug astern of her. However the Watkins tug centre right is the intriguing one. I think this is in fact Rumania [1] ex Dreadful. If so this dates the pic 1920-1923. Probably 1923 when she was laid up at Ramsgate pending sale, eventually returning to the West Coast of Canada from whence she came originally. Other opinions gratefully received.
26-2-2018 Two new messages in 2018 Mess Room.

Anyone know anything about these two  piccies.  Ship is Stricks Tangistan, looks to be aground as does tug alongside. Photos from Patsy Davis colln
27-3-2018;  Re: TANGISTAN. Ship grounded off Canvey Island 14th March 1951. Refloated by CONTEST, SUN V. SUN XI and SUN XVI.
Cheers, John Grainger.

30-4-2018 the last photos from patsy davis after ship runs aground of canvey is a man standing aft cabin with cap on and sweat rag round neck is my dad jim cheeseman or chas as they called him fireman very good pic - William Cheeseman

Another photo from the collection of the late Patrick 'Patsy' Davis.
12-02-2018 David Brown advises -  This was a trial single point mooring for BP in the Nore anchorage similar to the SPM on the Humber at Tetney. It wasn’t a success and ended its days at North Woolwich just above the KG entrance. The photo is probably taken from SUN XIX or SUN XX.

Photos K Haydon coll
7--2016 Thorunn Green in Iceland is asking if anyone out there can name any of these guys or even hazard a guess as to which vessel the pic was taken on. She thinks there may be a possibility that the guy second left in the white shirt may be her father, Harry Green. Any thoughts, however vague you may think, would be appreciated.
18-02-2017 - re c247 The man second left is my uncle Fred. No notation on photo, but from his age and the fact that all personnel look roughly same age it was probably taken at end of war or late 40's. Kevin Haydon.

More 1950'ish crew photo's from Kevin Haydon. C246 and C247 possibly taken on Muria or Racia. Any Identities appreciated.


 This is believed to be Captain George Lowe of the Simla. Photo K Haydon colln.

[I know of at least one person out there who should be able to confirm or deny this!]
3-10-2013 hi pete, sadly but most definitely, its not my grandfather george lowe, but a great picture nonetheless , so the question now is, who is it. maybe its georges brother arthur !, but i have never seen a photo of arthur, who died on the bridge of the muria. -  mike houckham
Come on old hands ----I need your help again!!!!!
8-10-2013 C245 2nd left = Fred Morgan i think. - Nolly Harvey
13-10-2013 - Pete, hi looks like the skipper in picture C245 and C244 are the same person??
Cheers, John Grainger.