Home            MESS ROOM 2007 [1]

THE MESS ROOM

2007

DECEMBER - JULY

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IF YOU WISH TO VIEW IN CORRECT ORDER SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF PAGE AND WORK UPWARDS!!
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Message received 31st December 2007.
 
The Reader’s
Extracts from the journal of William Watkins
Edwin Elfick Reader
Edwin joined the “Lord Warden” as 2nd Mate (date un-recorded) he was promoted to the “Paul Pry” Edwin was promoted to Master of the “Don” on the 3rd May 1859
Edwin was Master of the “Anglia” from July 1870 until April 1872
The last entry is for October 1874 when he was serving as Master of the “Hibernia”
 
Richard Thomas Reader
Thomas joined the “Victor” 6th March 1859 as boy and before being promoted to 2nd Mate and then Mate. Thomas was promoted to Master of the “Britannia” on the 27th June 1868
The last entry shown for Thomas is as Master of the “India” on the 1st September 1876 on 35 shillings a week
 
Thomas Reader
Thomas joined the “Britannia” as boy in September 1868. the last entry is for November 5th 1869 as boy in the “Victor”
 
Samuel Reader
Samuel joined the “Victor” on 27th May 1867 as 2nd Mate. He was promoted to Master of the “Britannia” 3rd July 1874 but sailed on the “Anglia” to St Helena St Petersburg to St Vincent during 1875 before returning to the “Uncle Sam” as Master
The last entry in the ledger shows Samuel as Master of the “Victoria” in January 1876
 
Jesse Reader
Jesse joined Watkins “John Bull in 1864 serving on a number of tugs including the “Monarch” as 2nd Mate and 1st Mate. The last entry for Jesse is 1st Mate of the “Cambria”
He was discharged on the 23rd April 1875
 
David Valentine Glue
David joined the “Toby” as 1st Mate on the 12th April 1860 and was promoted to Master of the “Antagonist” on the 23rd April 1864
David served on various tugs and the last entry shows him as Master of the “Anglia” on the 7th January 1876
 
Note 1: A Capt E Reader served from 1848 until 1894
Note 2: Arthur Page sailed as 1st Mate on the same voyage to St Helena
David Brown

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Message received 31st December 2007.

 
Hi have just found your site, makes interesting reading,
 
I was interested to see the names of Tom and Terry Morgan, both of who I worked with,
 
I joined the Danube V11 in January 1953, as  brass boy, my first night afloat, the night of the big storm down the east coast, with the flooding of Canvey, a night I shall never forget, I was determined it was going to be my last as well,  Tom Morgan was one who talked me out of it,
Please pass my e-mail address on to Terry Morgan or Alan Creagh
 
Regards
Brian Avis
 
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Message received 31st December 2007.
Hello
 
I wonder if you can help me. I am trying to trace my grandfather William Miller born Greenwich in 1879. On his marriage certificate in 1906 his occupation is a marine engineer but I don't think he was a qualified engineer. He worked on Sun tugs at Greenwich. He died near Boulogne France in June 1922 whilst dismantaling  gas shells for a company Maison Pickett.
Would he have had to get a passport to work on a sea going tug and in France or is there some other similar document issued to tug personell. If so, (1) who holds the records. (2) are tug crews classified as merchant seaman.
Any advise would be appreciated
Jim Miller

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Message received 30th December 2007

 
 I found your excellent web site recently and thought the undernoted may be of interest ........
 
Re The Mess Room notes on Cleopatra's Needle, The 'Anglia' and her crew
 
S. R. Reader was a member of the crew of the William Watkins, London tug 'Anglia' that was contracted in 1877 to tow the 'Cleopatra' containing  Cleopatra's Needle back from Ferrol in Spain to where she had been taken after being salvaged from drifting in the Bay of Biscay.   My  mother was Margaret R L Reader the daughter of Samuel George Reader of the  Parish of All Saints Poplar who was a Freeman of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames and had signed his Indentures on 11th November, 1890 to serve seven years apprenticeship under his father the above named Samuel Rowe Reader.   I also have the Indentures of Samuel Rowe Reader dated 12th February 1861 of the same professional body binding him for seven years to his father William Samuel Reader of the Parish of Milton next Gravesend.   Also I have just one half of the Indentures of William James Reader another son of Samuel Rowe Reader again signed for a seven year apprenticeship under his father and dated 12 January 1893.   As the other half of that Indenture is missing I know not if William J Reader ever served all his time.
The family always said their relative  S R Reader, was the master of the Anglia although via the That Darn Needle page I see that Capt. David Glue is noted as Master, and Reader as possible Mate (although he probably had his Masters Ticket by then).   It makes no difference to the history but I wonder if on such a valuable contract Watkins might have crewed Anglia with two Master qualified persons, the junior one as Mate for that specific voyage.   Any thoughts on this point please?
 
Richard McAllister

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Message received 16th December 2007

 
have just read the pat Flynn junior message ?? Pat Flynn seniors brother Terry Flynn was my friend right through our school days and we also joined and was  employed by the tugs ! Pat Flynn's grand mother lived in a little house opposite the terrace public house which I have made many visits to !!  sad to say  terry Flynn also has passed away but his wife who we keep in contact with still lives in Cumberland road Gravesend Kent  ?? the only time sad to say that I met Pat Flynn senior was when he served in the orient lines and came home on leave  this was in 1951 ?  sending just some little information for Pat Flynn junior to say that the family have not been forgotten  and at the same time wish one and all the very best for the festive season  keep your good work going love to have a look often at news you have found  ?? bye for now all the best .
.peter Carter western Australia
 
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Message received 14th December 2007

 
G`Day Tug,
                 You have made my day by doing some of my family connections which I have been trying to sort out before I fall off the prop shaft.
                  It appears that I as a very small boy misunderstood  what Mother said in regards to the Captain of the Anglia, it now appears that my Great Grandfather was S.R.Reader the Mate on the Anglia at the time, many thanks for that one Tug.
                   In the roll call you have my Grandfather Edward  Martin`s death in the 1930`s, he died in the 40`s whilst bringing coal up from the cellar where he was livingin the Clothworkers Cottages at Islington, it was his ambition to get me onto the river but he passed away as I was about to leave school in 1942, and like many  other boys at that time their lives were changed in other directions of which they had no control of. I know this has nothing to do with Watkins, but it  still has a very strong conection with the rivers and ports of the U.K and I `m sure you will find this of interest Tug.
                 My Father`s youngest brother John. L.Luck who served  his time under Mr Tom Grayson a well known Sailing Barge owner on the Thames, later  with Anglo Irainian Oil afterwards known as Esso, applied in the early part of the war to join the R.A.F as crew on the air sea rescue, guess what, yes he was rejected stating he was not qualified enough, so he joined up in the Royal Engineers as a Sapper, served in Bassra where he was in charge of the Port Squadron as a Sergeant,afterwards
gaining a field commission. after service in India and other places he was brought back to the U.K. and became involved in the construction of Mulberry, he was eventualy  O.C Tugs in the lead up and during the erection of Mulberry and Gooseberry, his
skill as a seaman helped save Mulberry during the storm , not bad for a chap who was not qualified enough!!!!! To cap it all off he was sent out to Singapore to get the harbour into working order after V.E.day.
                   If there are any Readers Martins Mastins or Lucks   would like to pass on where our conections come in feel free to contact me.
                Once again Tug how can we all say thank you? For a  fantastic effort in your setting up this site, of course we must not miss your assistants,
                  Cheers from downunder, take care, 
Martin Luck.

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Message received 10th December 2007
 
 
Hi, do you have any pictures of or information regarding my father (pat flynn) who worked for many years with sun tugs on the sun xv1, sun xv11, sun xx,  sun xxv and at the time of his death in 1986 was the captain of the sun london ?
thankyou......hope to hear from u soon
pat flynn junior .
 
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 Message received 6th December 2007
 
Dear Tug,
I enjoyed John Graingers tale of the incindent at Surrey Docks; and it reminded me of my time as an apprentice with Harland and Wolff, at Surrey Docks. I was also pleased to see the photograph of "Harty"; when I knew her she was fitted out with a wood and glass wheelhouse similar to that fitted to "Beverley": during the early 1950's " Harty", spent much of her time laid up in the Norway Dock opposite Harland and Wolff's yard; she was held in reserve to the Crossley engined tug in service around Surrey Docks and the Surrey Canal.
Does any one know what happened to the "Gallions Reach" she was laid up in the Norway dock after the war untill she sailed north for conversion to a grab dredger, returning several months later fitted out with the latest type of Priestman steam dredging cranes. I lost track of her after the completion of my apprenticeship, and it seems the she may have been sold out of PLA service becoming a part of the Tilbury Dredging and Contracting Company.
Your photograph of "Kassel" after she sustained damage amidships due to a collision is very interesting, I am allmost certain that the vessel lying alongside is one of the Port of London Authority wreck lighters either No 11 or 12, she is most probably using her salvage pump to help to keep "Kassel" afloat. These vessels were dumb, blunt ended craft, fitted with a rams horn over their bows, a large salvage winch aft powered through gearing by a duplex diagonal engine located below in the engine room: steam was generated in a single furnace coal fired scotch boiler located athwartships forward of the winch engine. Other machinery comprised a salvage pump driven by a single cylinder horizontal steam engine of American manufacture, these engines and pumps were later replaced by single cylinder high speed engines driving centrifugal pumps. Apart from a general service pump and a boiler feed pump there was no other machinery; lighting was by parafin oil lamps. Crew aminaties were also very basic the crew having to relieve themselves behind the boiler, in a galvanised bucket to which a wooden lavatory seat wood be placed, at a later stage a lavatory cubicle was erected in the crews quarters. These craft were fitted with a plate type unbalanced rudder over the stern to assist in steering when under tow, this rudder was actuated by a large wooden steering wheel through wire ropes and pulleys to the tiller.
Finished With Engines,
Tom Sheriff.

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Message received 3rd December 2007
 
Hi Tug
Thanks for this. I've discovered the boat was the Napia, sunk on 20 Dec 1939. The name of the Captain was Charles Frederick Blake who was my wife's (Sally) maternal Grandfather. (we think it's Charles first, but could be other way round). It's an interesting story inasmuch as the Mate on the Napia was a guy with the surname Rumley, who it turns out was the grandfather of Sally's brother's wife (nee Rumley). We are trying to get more info on the crew and where we could find a report of the accident.
Thanks for all your help.
Kind regards
Alan Bright
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Message received 3rd December 2007
 
I am looking for info on a tug sunk by a mine in the Thames estuary circa1939-1940 Captain Charles Frederick Blake was killed. He was my wife's grandfather. Any info much appreciated.
Kind regards
Alan Bright
 
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Message received 3rd December 2007
 
Hi Tug,
Thanks for your reply and for passing on my e-mail address to Alan Creagh, he probably didn't know it but I held him in my arms when he was a baby. He has obviously passed my address on to his Uncle Terry who I have been trying to trace for some years because I had an e-mail from Terry Morgan today, we have a lot of catching up to do as we lost touch when I left Danube V111 and TCDC 1960.
Regards,
Bill Callahan
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Message received 25th November 2007
 
Have stumbled on your website by accident and was amazed to see a photo of an old friend who I have been trying to trace for some years. I am an ex."tuggie" from Danube V111 having worked with Tom Morgan and Terry Morgan.
I would be pleased if you could pass on my e.mail address to Alan Creagh and hope that he will contact me.
Meanwhile I will dig out some old photos of crew members and perhaps you will put some on your site.
I will now be a regular visitor to the website.
Yours sincerely,
Bill Callahan
 
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Message received 20th November 2007
 
Good to see a photograph of the tugs towing Talamba. I was 3rd hand on the Tanga and would like to tell you an interesting story about when we were arriving at the Talamba that was aground. My Skipper ‘Doony’ (uncertain if this is the correct spelling) Hoiles told me to put all the deck and boat lights on to enable us to look larger in case the ship turned us away! The ship failed to come off on the first tide so we layed alongside that night. Around midnight time I went over to the other tugs and was talking to Tom Bardoe on the Hibernia when our whistle started sounding off! I ran back to the Tanga to find our Skipper looking puzzled, with his trousers around his ankles, and found the junior fireman ‘Bongo’ Baines had been trying to get the tugs ladder up to the ship to buy some ‘duty frees’ and in doing so, had caught the tug’s whistle-line thus sounding the whistle! Fortunately the Customs boat that had been hanging around had not taken any notice!!
Regards Barry Sutherland.

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Message received 18th November 2007
 
 
Hi very good site,The cover picture,am I right in thinking this is a picture of the EVA PERON being towed from .K G to Tilbury Dry Dk. no steam, all Tugs made fast forward to try and save the tide for the new entrance as then it was only flood tide docking.
I read with good memories,about the Frenchman and the Furness vessels colliding in the Greenland Dock when both vessels at opposite berths left together to enter the lock,I can confirm this did happen,would you believe,both Pilots George Hebden(Furness boat) and Alf Bowen the last people you would think it could happen to.
However I had similar incident,When I was Dock Pilot on a Greek Vessel Agious Nicoloas with two River Tugs, Forward one I think was the Contest,We were outbound from Spillers Mill Vic.Dk to the K.G.Lock.As we moved down the Albert Dk I noticed a Shaw Savill vessel underway in the K.G.(no radios)as we approached the Cutting Bridge (RA to KG) to my amazement the bridge opened for us,so I continued as we entered the K.G. I saw the S.Savill quite close, my forward tug went alongside the S.Savill aft tug which in turn pulled the shaw Savill alongside a P&O ship on No4 KG,We proceeded to the Lock,when I got ashore The Shaw Savill super was not very Happy.But thats how it was in those days,we all had another ship to get to. I worked with some great Tuggies in those days. Best Regards John Bridgland.

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Message received 29th October 2007
 
I found the site by accident and it brought back many happy memories as i use to work at Bruces Wharf Grays next to the ships graveyard T W Wards scrapyard. I remember the Magdaberg off of Stoneness, it looked like a whale as it appeared thruogh the fog from our berth. I'll certainly visit this site again.
Many Thanks to all involved
Mike Collins

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Message received 27th October 2007
Hello tug with reference to this weeks pictures , the picture of the models on the lorry bring back memories of many years ago in the late 50s,early 60s when I was an apprentice at Drysdale's in bath street Gravesend, we used to do a lot of work for the Gravesend tugs and I remember in the Watkins store in West street Gravesend those two models were at the back of the store they had been used in a May day procession in Gravesend and also in the Lord mayors procession in London,
Unfortunately when the store was moved at the time of London tugs taking the dry-docks in Sheerness they were demolished, I think they were made by Clifton Slipways and were only Timber and hardboard.
All the best George Boyd.
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Message received 27th October 2007.
 
To the best of my memory. UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE.
The year 1962, Greenland Dock, in the Surreys, around 20.00 hrs, summer evening, high tide, ebbing.I was cook/boy on the SUN VIII, captain J Webb. We were towing a Furness boat of the "ROWANMORE" class (the exact name escapes me), stern first from 17 shed into the lock. At the same time a "Cock" tug was towing a French Messagaries Maritimes vessel of the "Maori" class, also stern first from 12 shed, opposite into the lock. In these days there was no radio communication between pilots, tugs and lockmasters, all orders given by whistle.A situation arose whereby the SUN VIII and the "Cock" tug were both in the lock entrance at the same time.Mouthwhistles and tug steamwhistles all awhistling. The poor lockmaster red in the face and out of puff!The Furness vessels stern was hard against the lock knuckle with our towing wire bar tight. We could not go astern, to slacken the wire, for fear of colliding with the "Cock" tug. It took Eric Cawsey about four attempts to release the hook which sent the wire "whiplashing" back with luckily no injuries. I remember the mate, Jim Skinsley, nipping below and appearing on deck with his holdall and personal belongings!The outcome was the Frenchman being ordered back up the dock, us reconnecting our tow and taking our rightful place to be first to lock out.This was the first time i heard the expression "You`ll never see this again in a hundred years", uttered by the lockmaster. (little did we know the upper dock system woud be closed by the `80s anyway)I would think to-day the only tugmen to bear witness to this account, would be Eric Cawsey and any of the "Cock" tug lads who are still around. Unbelievable but true.
Cheers John Grainger.
 
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Message received 14th October 2007.
 
Hi,
fossa was renamed kilda and i know this as my father used to be the skipper and here is a picture in the late 1970s/early 80s and also after she was renamed mamba. it's sad to see the neglect building up but i have seen a picture of her now as a live aboard boat and it is shameful to see her gutted and stripped down and to all intents and purpose dead.will try to find the last pic to show you what i mean.
Jason Fisher.
 
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Message received 2nd October 2007
 
Hi,
I am trying to get in touch with Bill Fifield he used to be a senior deck hand on the sun tugs the last i heard of him he was a union rep in harwich ? i was on the sun tugs as a cook in 1966
Dave Ivers.

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Message received 28th September 2007.
 
hi all, i have just seen the picture of rumania with the quote regarding funnel colour, when i first joined the tugs the watkins tugs did not have funnel red paint, they had to mix it up themselves with i think red lead powder and boiled oil, hence when the tugs were on the bouy together there were various shades of red to orange, that may explain the funnel colour of rumania, i also remember some of the tugs used to try and bum a can of red off the red funnel ships when they were alongside them at the cargo jetty or at anchor off the kg dock, so they could outdo the rest of the fleet, best regards nolly harvey
 
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Message received 4th September 2007.
 
Hi Just like to say what a great site this is. Joined Sun tugs in start of 1955, like most other people started in the loft at Wapping. Only spent a few days then joined SUN ll which was in dry dock at the time. First job from dry dock, coaling at Charlton; what a shock! Skipper was Mr Cawsey, he had been skipper of the Sun Vll when it hit a mine during the war. Mate Len, never did remembered his other name. He did make skipper of the Sun Xll later on. After that I joined the Sun lll under Les Jury, mate Reg Merchant and senior hand Dennis Wise. Who had been junior hand on the Sun XVl. Sailed Sun lll up to Grimsby after being sold to Piggots. Then took over Sun X after conversion to oil. Left Sun tugs end 1957, NS calling. Keep up the good work.
Peter Ginn.

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Message received 30th August 2007
Hi Tug,

Thought you may like to see a model of my SUN X1 built by maestro George Boyd, I must thank you for putting me in touch with George in the first place. He has already built me a SUN XV1 and will be building me a scale model of the Watkins Tug “IONIA” in the not to distant future. I can recommend George to anyone who wants a lifelike scale model of a tug they worked on or like me just like tugs, I was cook on the Sun X1 and deckhand on the SUN X11 so SUN TUGS have a special meaning for me.

Keep up the great work on this special site
Ray Wood.
 
Picture of this fine model on model tugs page in photo gallery - Tug.
 
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Message received 27th August 2007
 
Hi Iam Interested to see a photo of the ST Fabia as my father Alfred Smith
was a cook on her + any other info that you could let me have.
My Family roots: Grand father Fred (died on the Simla)most of the Smith
family worked for Watkins / London tugs including myself ( Java, Racia,
Muria, Ionia, Dhulia-Moorcock Sea towage, Hibernia, Avenger.
Regards
Barry Smith.
 
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Message received 19th August 2007
 
Hello tuggies, have just found this great website. I joined Alexanders in1960, after a spell in the "loft" at Wapping joined the SUN VIII as cook. Crew was Jackie Webb, skipper. Skinsley? mate, "jock", chief, Pat Malone ,leading hand, David Cox and Eric Causey deckhands. I remember Joey Hoare, and some of the names mentioned in earlier messages. Did a spell on the SUN XVIII ,could have stayed on the 24 hour boat but went back to the VIII.
Sid Lockyer was a controller in the K.G.V. office. Billy Shepheard was another tuggie with me, he went to P.L.A and became crane driver on the London Leviathan. A good schoolmate of mine,Freddie Jones, from Charlton joined Watkins the same time and joined IONIA as cook. He went deckhand on the RACIA and then we lost touch. I sadly heard he died about five years ago. I left the tugs to go deep sea and then a rigger working on the ships in the docks,the London River and sometimes Sheerness and other ports. Now retired and spend much time on Shipsnostalgia, Tugtalk and was pleased to see some of my pictures used on this site.
Well done tug,hope the site continues to grow with pctures, and stories of times gone by,
Cheers, John Grainger.
 
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 Message received 12th August 2007.

I have a copy of a letter written in 1930 by my great grandfather Edgar Savell. Going back to at least 1800, the Savells were Thames watermen and lightermen, then pilots. Edgar decided not to be a pilot and became master of a Gamecock Steam Towing company tug. Later he became the London agent for the company, based in Millwall. Obviously the ships towed up the Thames from Gravesend to the docks also had to engage a tug to take them back to sea and Edgar met that need. The letter I have is written on a Gamecock (Gravesend) letterhead.
My grandfather Alexander Savell was, according to the letter, sometime master of a Gamecock tug. The letter says he was made master of the Woodcock when it was launched, but according to your site Woodcock was launched in Alexander’s birth year 1884 so maybe it was a different tug! My great uncles were mostly pilots.

I’ve been looking for information on the Gamecock company, your fleet list is the most comprehensive resource I’ve found. I know the company was swallowed up sometime after the thirties. The real prize would be details of the company’s tug crews with some Savell names but I expect such information has been discarded over the years.

Best wishes

Ian Savell.
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Message received 6th August 2007.
 
We are doing some family history research.Family rumour says grandpa named a tug after his eldest grandchild AUDREY J. Does that ring any bells with anyone? thanks
Christine Dyer.
 
 
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Message received 5th August 2007.
Hello Tug.
I was wondering whether any of your members have any information or pictures of Watkins first Racia Ex OCEAAN.
I have the information from the web site but would like to obtain enough to enable me to make a model of her, its a long shot but you never know.
your Aye George Boyd
 

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Message received 4th August 2007
 
HI Tug,
Been looking through the crew photos today and saw a picture of the SUNRISE 1962/63 and saw my old mate Joe Hoarey we served together on the SUN X1 do you have any contact details for him or is it possible to get any from any other SUN TUG ex crew or current crew members?
Keep up the good work re the site just love looking at all the old stuff.
Kind regards
Ray Wood
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Message received 2nd August 2007.
 
Tug have read with great interest the story on ( Paddy More )have one more little story to add to his collection in the 1957-8 ?? year. Paddy was in London crew and had been paid off at the woolwhich pier London tug berth , that's just a word to mean you are off pay go home !! going to Gravesend by train he just happened to be on the train going south when the train heading north to London struck the carriage that Paddy sat in . The other crew member that paddy More was traveling to Gravesend with sustained
a broken ankle in the train accident . Please if the name of that crew member is not correct (Buster) unable to remember the surname, other tug crew members might recall the name, if they do could they please inform one and all . sorry after all its such along time back now but after reading the story on Paddy More do remember him well and thank you for all the
information. great site .
Peter Carter Western Australia
 
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Message received 26th July 2007.
 
Hello Tug

I found your site while looking for Thames tugs that my Grandfather & Uncle were on. I passed on the website to Uncle Terry & he tells me he spent hours on it. After reading some of the other letters I would like to share with you a little about them & hopefully assist in the expansion of the site.
Both my Grandfather Thomas Morgan & Uncle Terrence Morgan were Tugmen on the Thames most of their working life.
Grandad Tom was on tugs through the war years. He was on the William Watkins tug “GONDIA” & went on the Icelandic runs.
During the Dunkirk evacuations he was on the steam hopper barge “GALLIONS REACH” owned by Tilbury Dredging & Contracting which brought back 123 people from the beaches.
The company awarded them all with a certificate, I have included a copy of his certificates & a picture of a model of The “Lady Southborough” (she also took part in the evacuations) a steam hopper along the same lines as “Gallions Reach”. If you or any of your visitors has a picture of “Gallions Reach” I would appreciate a copy?
Towards wars end he was on the "Empire Susan", he was third engineer. This was the Tug that my Grandmother, Mother & Uncle Terry stayed on for a couple of weeks when it was undergoing repairs in the Albert dock Basin. Nan and Granddad nipped over to the Gallions Hotel one day for a drink, that's when Uncle Terry and my Mother decided to climb up the funnel. The copper on the dock gate spied them and got my grandparents back double quick; they had a bit of a telling off for that.
After the war I believe he was on the “Gondia” for a while, then he went over to one of Dick & Page tugs called "Contest" she was a coal burner, & supposedly a cow to fire. After that Granddad rejoined the Tilbury Dredging Co. & the “DANUBE V”
In 1949 my Uncle Terry joined him with the company on the “DANUBE IV” as brass boy & later “DANUBE VII ”. National service intervened & a spell on the locks. Then in 1963 he joined the PLA on the “PLACARD” & was promoted to mate on the “PLANGENT” .The day he joined her he was told the skipper was away for a month & he went from mate to skipper in a day?? I have included some pics & memorabilia, including a picture of Tom on his retirement & Terry on “PLANGENT”,
Regards Alan Creagh.
 
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Message received 21st July 2007.

Re unknown sun tug crew WW2 in crew photos gallery;-
I'd like to tell you that the figure on the far right of the pic is my father George Edward Boyd, who was in the Java at Dunkirk, then in Sun tugs during the duration. I believe he started in Watkins as cook of the Fabia, but went into the MN and back into the tugs at the outbreak of war. His elder brother John (Jack) was well known in Gravesend as Tanga Jack, as he spent most of his time with Watkins in her. My father was firman and left sometime in the late 50's to work for the PLA in the St Katherine. He died in 1986 at the age of 75. I have saved this picture for my album, and as i now live permanently in South Africa I have lost touch with the Thames as I also worked in the PLA, so the picture is a nice reminder for me of my father, Thank you - Ian Boyd.

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Message received 12th July 2007.
 
Hi Tug,
This is a fantastic site. I would like to add a few pictures of the Sunrise. She was formerly the William Ryan and belonged to Cunis`s. I worked in her as a cook in 1962-3. Her skipper was Bill Riley, Mate was Roy Stevens, Chief Engineer was Johnny Thain, Fireman was George ?, Deckhand was Joey Hoarey and me, Alan Cobb the cook. The photos were taken on route from the Barge at Woolwich up to the coaling hulk just above the South Dock and then on to the Greenland Dock. Are any of you guys still around? Hope all you tuggies get some pleasure from the pics....best wishes to you all,
Alan Cobb.
 
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Message received 9th July 2007.
 
Thanks to nolly for putting me on to this site, its great to see all the great tug pictures ,and my favorite tug to have worked on the Sun Mercia . Regards to Colin Gardener my skipper for 6 years. I worked at Gravesend tugs for 21 years, and am now working out of the Medway for the same company, but still have a soft spot for the good old Sun Mercia.
 Ricki Pedler
 
 
 
 
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