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MESS ROOM 2009

 

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MESSAGES 2009

 
 
 
Message posted 14-12-2009
 
I worked on the sun tugs 1957-1960 on the Sun, under Berti Mee as boy cook then on various tugs as junior hand and finishing at gravesend on the Sun XVII.
does anyone know of whereabouts of Ted Lynch,Jimmy Lakey or Tom...... senior hand on the (sun).
love to hear from them or anyone who remembers me.
regards John Henry.
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Message posted 2nd December 2009
 
 This request is on behalf of my neighbour, John Dunstal.
His father was an Engineer on the Sun V and Sun X during WW2 and related to John the incident on 29-5-1940 when the Sun V collided with a Destroyer. Would you have any information such as crew lists etc.
Kind regards,
Brian Hawkins
 
Can anyone help Brian with this please???
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Message posted 16th November 2009
 Hello there.
My Grandad Thomas (Tom) Money was in the Merchant Navy during the second world war. I don't know much about his time in the Navy but all I do know is that he was on the Russian Convoys and he helped to tow part of Mulberry Harbour. I know he signed up in London. anyone knows of anyone on his ship then I will add that he was a very broad "Geordie"! I know he mentioned one of his ships was called "Watercock" so I think this might help. I have a very old and tatty photo of his boat but sadly no name can be made out.
Unfortunately, he died last year so I cannot get any more info from him. If you could get me some info or tell me how to get it myself I would be most grateful!
Thanks
Ryan Money
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Message posted 31st October 2009
 
hi peeps, desperately trying to find any photos or cuttings that feature my dear old dad, Ted Wotton. my eldest brother has a big birthday coming up, and I know he'd love anything connected with our dad or the watercock. lots of names that I recognise on the site, that bring back happy memories of the many 'tuggy do's' we went to as kids!!! can anyone help with any info? love to all x
Maria Wotton.
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Message posted 31st October 2009
 
I have a very good photo of Watercock & Burma in Medway Drydock a few days before they went for breaking up, Can you let me have your email address I am sure it would be a good addition to the site. I was a cook on Watercock, Sun 2,3 23 & 24 from 1974 to 1979.
Kind Regards Tony Matthews
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Message posted 22nd August 2009
 
Hello,
My name is Frank Wilder and my Father, Frank Snr, worked on Watkins Tugs during the war years as a boy.
I thought the photos of the Cervia may be of interest. They were taken in Methil Docks, Scotland in 1941.
 If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Frank Wilder
(Former Westminster Dredging & PLA)
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Message posted 1st August 2009
 
Hi Tug.
                       I came across these pics a while ago and have finally got around to contacting you. My name is Ray Randall and I joined The SUN XIX in Sept 1959, the crew was Harry Webb skipper;Reggie Steele Mate;JimHawkins Chief Eng;Danny Lynch2nd Eng;"Lofty" Busby? Senior D/Hand;Colin SimmondsD/Hand and Myself Cook.  I left the River in 1964 after serving on several Sun tugs with a Variety of crews my last tug was the SUN XXV skipered at that time by George Pridmore I managed to experience life on a coal burner (never forget bunkering! ) oilburner and diesel and a few coastal trips mostly in bad weather and still enjoy the rough stuff now.
                       The three pics attached were taken on May 6th 1960 while we were waiting to enter the upper pool Tower Bridge to escort the Royal Yatch Britannia down river when Princes Margaret and Anthony Armstrong Jones ( later Lord Snowdon ) were leaving on their honeymoon, hence the deckhands nice white shirts.
regards Ray Randall
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Message posted 28th July 2009.
Hello,
Just seen the comment from Eric Cawsey re Sun v11.
My uncle , George Hogg was the second engineer on the Sun V11 when she was blown up.
He was the eldest son of Walter Hogg who was the chief engineer on the Sunlit, formerly the Stockwell and then renamed to the Silverlit. He was also minesweeping in 1942..
George lived in Gravesend as far as I know, but was based in Southend. Walter lived in Rainham Essex and was based in Gravesend !!
Walters sisters boy, Bill Waters was engineer on the Java as far as I was told. That also went to Dunkirk.
I have a copy of the bill of sale of the Sunlit  and a few pictures of Walter Hogg and the crew of the Sunlit if they would be of interest.
Regards to all
Dave Hogg, grandson of Walter Hogg
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Message posted 28th July 2009
 
 
Hello,
First of all thank you for maintaining this wonderful site that I have been "lurking" on for a while now.
According the the 1901 census my Great Grandfather James (David) Ambrose was an engineer on the S. Tug Hibernia. Her master was George Wood.
What I particularly love about this Census of the Hibernia is that it is obvious the census taker allowed each crew member to sign his own name. It makes me so happy to see James Ambrose's signature there! I'm wondering this: is there any possibility of finding a Record of Employment or some such thing for my Great Grandfather? Do you know if there are any records kept for the Watkins company and if there is anyway to access these? I would be interested in finding a bit more about my GG's service with the company. Many thanks for any help/advice you can offer.
Best regards,
Chris
Toronto Canada
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Message posted 27th June 2009
 
HI YOUNG FRED,THERE'S NOT ANY MORE FREDS IS THERE?....ANYWAY I WAS DECKHAND WITH ALBERT SHELTON ON THE SUN 25 WHEN THE SUN 22 GOT ORDERS TO PROCEED TO THE DUTCH COAST TO ASSIST A COASTER IN TROUBLE YOUR DAD WAS  SKIPPER , JIM JEWISS MATE ,TREVOR HARRIS DECKHAND,TERRY JAMES COOK ,THE REST OF THE CREW I CAN'T REMEMBER.ANYWAY THE TUG NEVER ARRIVED AT THE RENDEVOUS POINT ,EVERYONE BECAME CONCERNED AS HER COURSE LED HER THROUGH AN UNCHARTED WORLD WAR TWO MINE FIELD, EVERYONE BECAME WORRIED ABOUT HER SAFETY,THE WEATHER IN THE WHOLE NORTH SEA WAS HORRENDOUS ,EVENTUALLY THE TUG ARRIVED IN I BELIEVE NEWCASTLE , SHE HAD BATTLED HER WAY THROUGH GALES TO GET TO THE COASTER BUT THE SEA'S WERE TO BIG SO SHE TURNED BACK ,IN ALL THIS BAD WEATHER SHE LOST ALL HER NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT ,NO RADIO,S NO RADAR ,AS I BELIEVE NO COMPASS,THE SUN 26 WITH CAPT BEN WEBB ONBOARD ATTEMPTED TO GET TO HER LAST KNOWN POSITION  THE WEATHER WAS THAT BAD HE HAD TO PUT INTO FELIXSTOWE.WE ALL THOUGHT THE SUN 22 WAS LOST FOR SURE .SHE WAS OUT OF TOUCH FOR SEVERAL DAYS,TREVOR HARRIS WAS MY NEIGHBOUR AT THE TIME AND HE TOLD ME HE THOUGHT THE TUG WAS GOING TO SINK,IT WAS SUCH A BIG THING AT THE TIME ,WHEN SHE ARRIVED IN NEWCASTLE THE CREW WERE INTERVIEWED BY THE LOCAL PRESS ABOUT THERE EXPERIENCE. THEY WERE REALLY LUCKY,IT WAS A BRILLIANT PIECE OF SEAMANSHIP THAT BROUGHT THEM THROUGH, GOOD LUCK,P.S I'M NOT SURE IF THIS IS YOUR DAD OR GRANDAD ,WHICH "FRED"ARE YOU,YOU MONEYS BREED LIKE RABBITS DON'T YOU?    GOOD LUCK ERIC CAWSEY.
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Message posted 9th June 2009
 
HI PETER GINN . MY GRANDFATHER WAS GEORGE S CAWSEY,YES HE WAS BLOWN UP IN THE SUN VII AND THE SUN IX. INCIDENTLY WHEN HE WENT ON THE CONVOY TO THE DARDANELLES IN 1914 HE WAS CAPTURED ,TAKEN PRISONER AND INTERNED AT SMYRINA IN TURKEY TILL THE END OF THE WAR , HE HAD BEEN ON A SHIP CALLED THE "ASSIOUT" WHAT HAPPENED TO HER I DONT KNOW .HE ARRIVED BACK HOME IN 1918 AND JOINED SUN TUGS .HE WAS MATE ON THE SUN VII IN 1919 UNDER CAPT EDWIN McNEALE GOING ON TO BE MASTER TILL SHE WAS MINED IN THE ESTUARY AFTER CROSSING TO DUNKIRK TWICE,HE RETIRED IN 1955 ON £3-12-0 A WEEK.TOUGH OLD NUTS IN THOSE DAYS    
                                                                                       REGARDS  ERIC CAWSEY
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Message posted 8th June 2009
 
HI TUG IV'E JUST BEEN READING ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLANS FOR THE IONIA, I WAS ONBOARD HER EARLIER THIS YEAR ,[MY MUM LIVES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER],..SHE DOES LOOK SAD, HER AFTER ENGINEROOM CASING HAS GONE AND THE DECK PLATED OVER,READY FOR TABLES AND CHAIRS,I SUPPOSE DEVONSHIRE CREAM TEAS THE ORDER OF THE DAY! I DOUBT MANY CUSTOMERS WILL REALISE WHAT AN EXCITING LIFE SHE HAD,CHASING SHIPS,SALVAGE WORK,SHE WAS HOME TO SCORES OF MEN,SOME GONE [LOVELY LEN SMITH FOR ONE]SOME STILL KNOCKING ABOUT,ITS NOT MANY JOBS WHERE YOU CAN HAVE AFFECTION FOR YOUR WORK PLACE,BUT THINGS MOVE ON ,AT LEAST SHE STILL FLOATS ,GOTTA BE BETTER THAN THE BREAKERS YARD.LONG LIVE TUGGING AND TUGHANDS
                                               REGARDS ERIC CAWSEY
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Message posted 5th June 2009
 
Further my message dated 26th October 2006 spotted the following in the North Devon Gazette last week regarding the Ionia.
Nick and Rachel Swain want to convert the Ionia into a cafe moored on the River Torridge.
Tea on the Tug has already been granted consent for one year for partial use as a cafe and the couple have asked permission to be extended for a period of five years so they can secure funding for the business.The Ionia cafe will remain moored near the Riverbank Car Park where she is now but the vessel will remain in a seaworthy condition.
 Understand this venture will start next year
 
Regards
Norman Hardaker
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Message posted 4th June 2009
 
MY DAD WORKED FOR SUN TUGS FOR JUST OVER 50 YEARS.HE RETIRED IN 1970.HIS NAME
WAS ARTHUR LOCKYER. MY BROTHER ALSO ARTHUR LOCKYER WORKED FOR THE TUG COMPANYS
FOR APPROX 48 YEARS. IF ANYONE KNEW EITHER OR BOTH OF THEM I WOULD LOVE TO
HEAR YOUR MEMORIES OF THEM. MY BROTHER RON LOCKYER ALSO WORKED ON THE SUN TUGS
FOR A FEW YEARS, I THINK IT WAS IN THE 1950s     I HOPE TO HEAR SOMETHING SOON.
               CHAS LOCKYER
 
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Message posted 3rd June 2009
 
Sir
 
My family (CUNIS or 'WIILLIAM RYAN' CUNIS on your website I think) owned a series of barges that conducted dredging and waste removal work amongst other things.
 
I am searching for a video of a CUNIS barge going under Tower Bridge as it opens.  The video used to be shown to visitors at the Tower Bridge museum (I remember seeing it about 15-20 years ago) but the current staff have no knowledge/recollection of the video.
 I wondered if you might be able to help?
 Regards
 Emma
 
Can anyone help Emma with this please???
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Message posted 18th April 2009.
 
Hi tug, what a great site.
 With reference to the photo of the gentleman with the phone in his hand and wearing the trilby hat.
Could this be George Beattie or Charles Baxter? They were in charge of the Gravesend office working out the tugs orders.
 Enclosed are two photos of crews. One the first crew I joined as boy s/t SUN 11 then the last crew I was with the SUN ANGLIA.
 
Regards Edward Bridgland
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Message posted 12th April 2009
 
Hi John
I remember Bill Page in the TANGA in about 1964, Bill was fireman ,I was third hand,Others in the crew were skipper A V HOILES, chief BILL YOUNG, mate MAJOR WAGHORN, 2nd eng JACKO BOYD, fireman ALBERT JAMES, deckhand IVAN SCHOFIELD,and cook ROGER ?
                    Regards,
                    BARRY SUTHERLAND.
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Message posted 7th April 2009.
 
Hello Tug
I got in touch with you last year to inform those who new him of the passing of my elder brother Ted Shelton ex Sun XI Dunkirk and the clyde.  Of late quit a lot as been mentioned in the messroom about Thames tugs and tugmen and some of the tugs based in Iceland during the war including Tanga and Empire Wold. I am fortunate in having the the honour in having another elder brother who had the distinction of serving in both the fore mentioned tugs.
                                      Kindly bear with me while I tell his story
Fredrick Ronald Shelton ( Ron) had worked for Watkins since leaving school and when Watkins were appointed managers of Empire Wold he joined her and sailed in her,Convoy UR36 TO Iceland. He returned to the the U K in her a year later, and after taking some leave sailed back to Iceland in convoy UR94, arriving Reykjavik 18 10 43  On arrival a young lad from Tanga came on board to seek a change of tug, Tanga was to return to the U K in two days time and there was a strong possibility she would not be returning to Iceland, which in fact was the case. According to Ron the lad was a orphan brought up by the kind people of Kempthorne Steet,Gravesend, there being no social services as such in those days, he had met a girl ashore and had no wish to return home  After the lad had virtually pleaded with some of the Empire Wolds hands to change Ron who had met a girl while on leave, who eventually became his wife, agreed to change with him.
               So Ron packed his bag, and after saying a sad farewell to ship mates of nearly two years, who most he would never see again, joined Tanga. Convoy RU94S.
The very informative Arnold Haigh convoy site states there were no ships in convoy RU94S but 5 T D S ????
I do not understand this, Ron claimed there were ships in the convoy
              Not long after sailing for Loch Ewe Ron began to regret his decision to change tugs   A deep depression had materialised in the North Atlantic which calminated into severe storm conditions As we know trawlers are built for those conditions,tugs are not. It was not long before Tanga found herself alone owing to not being able to keep up with the other ships in the convoy, all they could do was battle into the seas the best they could
       Merchant ships in convoy usually carried a naval as a liaison officer, in most cases a volunteer retired naval officer, with the ,M N coming under the naval  "umbrella " their task was to advise on convoy procedure and signaling etc. In my estimation for what it is worth they where unsung hero's, many of them didn't return.
                  The gentleman who was allocated to Tanga had the misfortune of during the storm being blown down the companionway , boat deck to main deck and sustaining a fractured leg
                        On the abatement of the of the storm they set a course for the UK, arriving off the coast of Ireland with only few shovels of coal left. Ron stayed in Tanga for three or four years after the war before joining the P L A and finishing up on St Katherine. Ron did several jobs on leaving the river, which inluded " Man  from the Pru, milkman, and finally buying a grocery shop in Perry Street,Northfleet, He had a wonderful sence of humour. and in later life worked tirelessly for charity ie driving for Age Concern etc
                                                    It was as if he wished to pay something back for his deliverance from the waters off Iceland , which was never far from his mind   .Ron passed away in Darrent Valley Hospital two years ago My sister and I spent time at his bedside prior to his death. Some of his last coherant words whispered to us" he did ask to change tugs didn't he" Yes Ron he did.
       My own memory of Tanga, I was still at school at the time when Ron took me onboard for one of the big post war events on the river Dominion Monarch which had spent the war as a troopship was embarking on its first voyage as a passenger ship,to N Z, as she locked out from the Royals it was a sight to remember. All was well with the world.
           I vowed I would sail in her one day. My dream was realised, I crewed her for four trips
                                                             Thankyou  Alan Shelton.
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Message posted 30th March 2009.
 
Hi
I am trying to find out more about my father in law's time as a tugman,his name is Bill ( Billy ) Page and i believe he started his time on the tugs aboard the Contest at Gravesend,this would have been around 1954,if anyone knew bill during this time i would love to be able to pass on any messages to him,he is not in the best of health now and would love to relive some of his time on the tugs
Many thanks for your time
John

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Message posted 22nd March 2009.
 
Hi Tug
 
With reference to the picture of Captain Ben Webb and crew, I would like to thank all who identified the rest of the crew, it has been a great help. I was with Harry Webb crew on the SUN XIX when I joined Alexandra Towing 16th March 1961  as 2nd Eng at £ 24 7s 6d a week  (the good old day's).
 
Once again thank you for all your help
 
Mick Holloway

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Messages posted 14th March 2009.
 
This picture taken early 1955 is Len, Mate Sun 11 and myself Peter Ginn in the back ground. Or skipper was George Cawsey. I believe he is the person in the middle of the photo of the Sun V11. He tolled me how when the tug was mined he was blown through the wheel house into the water. All he sustained was two black eyes where he had put his clench fist's  over each eye. He had also been in the convoy to the Dardanelles during the first word war. Hope this is of some interest?
Regards Peter Ginn
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Dear Sir,
In reseaching our family tree I was discussing my Uncle's wartime
experiences.
Amongst other things he has a direct link with the Empire Betsy. He was the
Naval rating aboard it from D Day +1 when it was used to position blockships
in the early stages of building the Mulberry Harbour. Once done, they then
patrolled the coastline mainly fishing people out of the water from all the
collisions that were taking place. This continued until they had a collision
themselves and returned to the UK.
It was great to be able to tell him of the Empire Betsy's subsequent history
but ideally I would like some photographs. Do you or your members have any
pics of her of boats of the same model?
Cheers
Steve Holland MIExpE
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Message Posted 27th February 2009
 
I joined Sun Tug V1 in May 1958 as a cook, I was just 15. The skippers name was Len, I can't remember his surname or that of the first mate Fred. Len was the youngest skipper on the fleet and Fred was the oldest first mate. I have good and bad memories of my time on the Sun V1, I remember towing a battleship, a submarine and a whaling ship that stunk to high heaven
         I had a coal fire range to cook on, a devil to light, one morning I thought I would give it a helping hand with some paraffin, the flame went up the chimney at such a pace it set light to the lifeboat!!
          I was the youngest crew member, does anyone remember Sun V1 or related to someone that worked on her too
                                                                           Yours
                                                                          David Tidd
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Message received 20th February 2009.
 
I see you have a page for GUS.  I have written a potted history of the concern.  This was not written with the website in mind, but if you are interested or wish to put extracts on the site I will send them to you.
My father was a friend of Ted Burt and John Fryer and was with them on the firsttour of duty to Iceland of the Empire Wold, so I look forward to seeing Ray Fothergill's photographs, space permitting.
Regards,
Kevin Haydon
 
Yes Please!!!!
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Message received 12th February 2009
 
Can anyone help me please.
 
My grandfather William Horridge was a Thames Lighterman working in the docks and I believe he was a tug skipper (or worked on tugs) during WW2.  I'd like to find out if he was specifically involved in the war effort.
 
I know that some tugs were involved in Dunkirk (I've seen all the information on the website) but I'm more interested if my grandfather was involved in the D-Day landings.  I'm sure, as a dock worker, he would have been in a reserved occupation but I know things like the Mulberry Harbour were built in the docks and along the Thames and I wonder if the Navy would have called on civilian tugs to assist in getting the harbours etc across to Normandy as they may not have had enough Navy tugs to meet all the jobs involved.
 
Does anyone know if anything has been written about the war-time life / experiences of the Lightermen / tugmen and specifically D-Day landings.
 
Brian Horridge
 This is a subject I have been researching myself lately with a view to publishing a page on site regarding the Mulberry operation. Information regarding the British mulberry operation is very sparse, yet it is believed some 400 tugs took part in the operation either directly or indirectly including RN. MoWT, US Navy, US Army and Dutch tugs. . If anyone has any information at all I would be very grateful to receive it. - Tug.

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Message received 4th February 2009.
 
WIth reference to the picture of the Sun XV11, I have met with Jack Roots and Alf Eyers and can confirm that the crew are L to R Jack Roots, Chris Moncrieff, Alf Eyers, Tommy Dunn, Ben Webb, Ted Wall, Spike Cartledge and Albert Shelton.
Jack and Alf are keeping well.
 
Barry Sutherland
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Message received 29th January 2009.
 
Hi Tug
 
         What a great site, its brought back some fond memories of the five years that I spent working on the sun tugs from 1958 until 1963, With  regards to Mick Holloways photo of Capt Ben Webb and crew, the person standing next to Jackie Roots looks very much like a younger Chris Moncrieff,who was the chief engineer of the Sun XVII when I joined her as cook in sept 1958 ,and Tommy Dunn was one of the firemen, Doug Wilder being the other,and Bill Webb,was the 2nd engineer,the skipper was Sid Nerney, the mate Alan Frickey,and the deckhands were Jimmy Cartledge and Kenny Bennett. As both Chris and Tommy look much younger than when I first met them in 1958, it would seem that the photo was taken some years before, I believe that Ben Webb was the skipper of the SunXVII before he moved to the SunXIX, so it could be a photo from that period
  I have some tug photos that I will have to find and forward to you, keep up the good work.
 
  Regards
 John Tiley
    
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Message received 29th January 2009.
Hi Tug. it's been a while since I last contacted you.
After my dad and  my mother died I was talking to my dads sister Grace who found this  photo for me. My dad Fred Fothergill is the boy in the background not the gunner.  I'm not sure whether it was taken on the empire wold or the cervia but probably of of those two as I am sure he was on the cervia at dunkirk. His acount of that trip was similar to the one on your web site talking about the machine gun fire from a plane though he failed to mention the bombing bit. I'm also not sure how many Empire wold crew pictures I originely sent you as you said you didn't have much web space for all the photographs people sent you so I'm not sure if I bothered or not.
In all I have another ten crew pictures other than the two you have used on your site so if you want coppies just ask.
Anyway I can re-scan this picture and try to enhance it in photoshop if you wish. Let me know if the quality is good enough for you.
On another note I'm happy to at last see a picture of the Denton and can well believe she was the last boat built by that yard as she was particularly bow heavy and I never liked traveling in her especially in the dark.
Also I haven't come across any pictures of the Royal Terrace Pier where nearly all employees would have gone to pick up their wages or moor up to. Have I missed it?
 
Just while I think of it I have my dads seamans book if you are interested I can scan that cover to cover.
Please keep up the good work.
Regards.
Ray Fothergill
Rays pic will appear soon.
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Message received 18th January 2009
 
Hi, In 1901 My grandfather James Aldis born 1867 and living at 96  Grosvenor buildings Poplar was a fireman on a Thames tug. I really  would like to identify what boat he served on. Could you possibly  check your records to see if you have any details about his service. i  imagine that you get lots of requests like this so I thank you in  anticipation of any help you can offer. Great website and its good to  see that there are dedicated people keeping our history alive.   Regards.... 
Ted Martin
Can anyone help Ted with this??
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Message Received 18th January 2009
 
Hi Tug just managed to get hold of two photo's of my grandfather, Albert Jarvis, also his discharge book.
I had belived he had only been on the tug's but have now discovered he started out in 1927 on the Australian mail run serving as Fireman / Trimmer on the Orvieto, Beltana, Osterley, Orsova, Orontes. he was also on a few tankers. He was Issued with a passport in 1944 for departure before 18th May that year for Iceland, I belive this was to join the Empire Wold, the story that I have been told was that that he was the odd man for taking his leave & oppted to take it with Freddie Fothergill. During that leave the Wold was lost. how true this story is I do not know. I also note sombody asking about the tow of the Cambridge ferry by Sun London, the skipper was Ken Bryant.
 
Best Regards
Ian Jarvis
Ian's pictures will appear soon - Tug.
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Message received 15th January 2009
 
Hi Tug,
I would lke to get in touch with Bill Crammer who I think was part of "Young Joe Lukes" relief crew. If he is the same person he will remember me I hope, he was part of the relief crew aboard the SUN X1 while we were on our day off when fate took a hand and claimed the life of the relief crews cook "Percy" as I knew him. A very sad day for SUN TUGS. "Percy" was hit by a breaking towing spring and was knocked over board and sadly drowned.
 
I would love to meet up with any of the SUN TUGS guys from that period, I am in East Ham east London so if anyone would like to meet up for a drink please get in touch.
 
Kind regards
Ray Wood
.
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Message received 6th January 2009:
 
 On my Grandfather's arrival in his nursing home - he handed me his "Dunkirk trip" notebook for safekeeping.  To my utter amazement I found out that he was attached to the Tug Sun IV in one of the lifeboats that the Tug towed across to Dunkirk.  He had been in the Merchant Navy and was allowed the weekend off to go and help evacuate Dunkirk and was the only lifeboat out of the 12 attached to Sun IV that made it back home.
 
I have attached a copy of the log in case anyone is interested in reading it.  There is a lot more history attached to my Grandpa, out of the Merchant Navy (he worked for General Steam Navigation) as they were downscaling and got into the RAF's Air Sea Rescue in the Mediterranean but as he says, that's another story!
 
Yours sincerely
 
Camilla Disley
Granddaughter of Desmond Hill
Many thanks to Camilla for sending a copy of Desmond's log, which is published as an appendix to Sun IV log on Dunkirk Logs [1] page.
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 Message received !st January 2009:
 
Hi
My name is Bob Fleming and my father, Norman Fleming, was Superintendent of Ship Towage and London Tugs from the early 50’s through to retirement in the mid 70’s.  He saw the conversion of the coal fired tugs to oil, and the introduction of the diesels, first slow speed Polars,  and then to the medium speed Rustons and later the cort nozzles.  I spent many days around, under, over and in the tugs when a child in various slipways and dry-docks and had several trips from Gravesend and Woolwich.
The mention of Tanga prompts me to send the attached picture.  She was dad’s favourite and as you see part of her still exists, the bell now being in my possession. I also attach a photo of me, ( the little one in the middle distance) but taken just a few years ago, when we were on board an unknown tug of Gravesend awaiting the return of the Queen from the Coronation tour!  ( Only included as the pic is on file after finding it and scanning it in a few weeks ago!!!) I have a fair size collection of his photos of tugs and various other memorabilia. The photos would make a nice publishable album and if there was a properly constituted museum on London tugs I would be quite happy to donate some of the other bits and pieces.   Best wishes for an excellent site and hope to hear from you
Bob
The pics Bob mentions will appear during the next couple of weeks but who is going to set up this museum. Any offers??
 
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