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WILLIAM WATKINS LIMITED

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RENOWN - SIMLA

Page last updated 27-3-2013
 
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RENOWN
 
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Photo RGR colln.
 
Built 1863 by Charles Lungley, Deptford. Iron Paddle Tug. L118'. B19.2' D9.9'. 165grt. 91nrt. 400ihp 100nhp 2cyl 33"x48" side lever steam engine by John Stewart and Son, London. Acquired 1876. Disposed 1903. Scrapped 1903. Official No. 47351. Call sign VNGQ.
 
1863 Delivered to Mr Mark Martin and others at Gravesend. 23-9-1867 £60 award for towing  collision damaged brigantine Quickstep from Nore to Gillingham. 1871 Sold to Thomas Seed,  Fleetwood. 24-3-1872 Sank after collision with screw of SS Adriatic whilst towing at Belfast.  . 25-3-1872 Salved and repaired at Belfast. 1873 Sold to  W and T Joliffe, Liverpool. 1874 Acquired by William Watkins, London. 1876 Reconditioned boiler ex Napoleon fitted. 29-8-1877 Damaged in collision with SS Cologne near Gravesend. 1882 Reboilered, engines modernised, hull repairs. 28-11-1887 22.30 Rescued crew of SS Thetford from River Thames after steamer sank following collision with another vessel in Gallions Reach. 19-9-1894 Grounded on Blackwall Point.  4-6-1896 Arrived Gravesend ex Borkum. 11-5-1898 Collided with and sank barge Royal Charlotte in Yarmouth habrour. 1900 Transferred to William Jr. & John S. Watkins.1903 Scrapped in Holland.
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ROBERT BRUCE
 
Photo RGR Colln.
 
Built 1865 by Westwood Baillie and Co.,  Poplar. Iron Paddle Tug. L121.3'. B20'. D10.6'. 192grt. 500ihp 120nhp 2cyl side lever steam engine by J Stewart, London. Acquired 1872. Disposed 1892. Scrapped 1910. ON52660. Callsign KWVH.
 
1865 Completed  for Thomas Jones et al, T/as Caledonian Steam Towing Co., Poplar. 1872 Acquired by William Watkins, London. 9-3-1878 Towed damaged barque Yuba from the Downs to Hull.  28-6-1879 Arrived Gravesend from Havre. 1879 General overhaul and hull strengthening. 16-8-1880 Body of drowned lighterman John Mathews found wedged in one of the paddle boxes. 8-2-1884 Passing Deal for London towing sailing vessel Duke of Edinburgh which had lost Main and Mizzen masts. 9-5-1887 Assisted at launch of Sans Pareil at Thames Ironworks.  31-12-1891 Shared £2250 award with Anglia for salvage of abandoned barque Warwickshire in Downs and towing to Tlbury. 1892 Sold to Castle's the breakers for £180 who removed engines and boilers and sold hulk to Port Sanitary Authority of London, renamed Hygeia. 1910 Scrapped.
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ROYAL EXCHANGE
 
Built 1842 by John Gray, Newhaven. Sailing vessel, Brig, raised quarterdeck, felted and copper sheathed. L90.3'. B21'. D15.2'. 234grt. ON22835. Callsign NPDH  Acquired 1844. Disposed 1852. Lost 1868.
 
1844 Delivered to John Rogers Watkins, London.1852 Sold to John Thompson and John Turner, Poplar, London.  1855 Sold to Mitchell and Co., Montrose. 1864 Sold to McGregor and Co., Leith. 1866 Sold to John Woods, E. Hill et al, Australia . 7-1868 Wrecked on unmarked rock off Swan Island, Tasmania whilst on passage Lyttelton NZ to Melbourne with grain cargo. Captain Hill, his wife and 9 crew rescued by barque Seymour.
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ROYAL FAMILY
 
Built 1854 by M Byers and Co, Monkwearmouth. Full rigged sailing vessel. 915grt. L169.9'. B30.2'. D21.5'. ON11944. Acquired 1854. Lost 1856.
 
1854 Delivered to John Rogers Watkins, William Watkins, John Watkins and James Thompson, London. 30-10-1856 Destroyed by fire off Madras whilst on voyage Calcutta to Bombay with cargo of sugar and gunny bales. Master, his wife and crew rescued by French ship Rose and later landed at Pondicherry. 
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RUMANIA [1]


As DREADFUL. Photo Svitzer UK colln.
 
 As Pacific Monarch in Canadian waters. Photog/source unknown.
 
as PACIFIC MONARCH about 1928. Photo by Art Thomas/courtesy Marilyn Randall, Dalhousie, New Brunswick,  Canada.
 
Built 1911 by Hepple and Co. Ltd., South Shields. YN621. Designed by James Pollock and Sons Ltd, London, ship No. 436. Steel Screw Tug. L118.5'. B25'. D 15'6''. 253grt. 3cylTE steam engine 15''x23.5''x38''x30''stroke by builders. Boiler 15'0''dia x 12'0''. 180psi. Acquired 1920. Disposed 1923. Official No 131148. Call sign VGDJ.
 
22-12-1911 Launched. 3-1912 Completed for Canadian Tugboat Company,  Vancouver, named Dreadful. Delivered under own power via Cape Horn. 9-5-1917 Req by Admiralty for war service. 1-1-1918 Collided with USS Patterson [DD36] at entrance to Berehaven Harbour, Ireland. 4-5-1918 Sold to Admiralty. 1920 Handed over to William  Watkins Ltd., London as a replacement for Oceana which had been run down at Scapa Flow whilst on Admiralty service.  Renamed Rumania. 4-3-1922 Passed Beachy Head towing SS Thyra, which had lost prop, Newhaven to Antwerp. 1923 Laid up at Ramsgate. 1923 Sold to Pacific Tug and Barge Co., Vancouver, for £10,500. Renamed Pacific Monarch. 13-12-1925 Stranded on Roscoe Point, Vancouver. Refloated next tide and proceeded Vancouver for inspection. 1926 Owners Pacific (Coyle) Navigation Co., Vancouver and had been converted to burn pulverised coal. 1952 Believed scrapped.
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RUMANIA [2]
 
Photo K Haydon colln
 
 
 
Built 1919 by Philip and Son, Dartmouth. YN499. Steel Screw Tug. L86.2'. B21'. D10.4'. 148grt. 450ihp 2cyl 15"x32" 24" stroke  compound steam engine by builder. Acquired 1928. Disposed 1935. Official No. 145733. Call sign MPDN.
 
1919 Completed for War Office [Inland Water Transport Dept]  as HS79. 1921 Sold to Crichton, Thompson & Company Ltd., London. 10-1923 Sold to William  Guy,  Cardiff, renamed Welsh Rose. 6-1928 Acquired by William Watkins Ltd., London, renamed Rumania. 14-5-1935 Sold to Nash  Dredging Ltd., London for £4500. 27-5-1935 Towed from Ramsgate to Dover to be re-boilered. Converted to oil fired boiler. 29-5-1935 Towed back to Ramsgate by tug Simla. 1940 Sold to Government of Trinidad and Tobago, renamed St. David. 1954 Scrapped.
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RUMANIA [3]
 
Photo R. Stanford Colln.
Photo M. Holloway colln.
On the slip at Doig's 1952

Built 1944 by Clelands [Successors] Ltd, Tyneside. YN71. Steel Screw Tug, Modified Englishman/Larch standard class. L137.1'. B33.1'. D15.1'. 592grt. 1250ihp 3cylTE 16"x24"x45"x30"s oil fired  steam engine by Ailsa Shipbuilding Ltd., Troon. Boiler forced draught 16.5'dia x L12'. 215psi. area 3575 sq ft. Prop 4 bladed 11.25' dia x 11.5' pitch. Prop area 48 sq ft. Bunkers [oil] 340 tons. BP approx 14.5 tons. Complement 20, Master, Ch/Off, 2nd/O, Ch/Eng, 2nd/E, 3rd/E, Steward, W/O, 12 hands [plus 4 gunners wartime]. Acquired 1946. Lost 1956. Official No. 169185. Call sign MDFC.
 
19-7-1944 Launched. 9-10-1944 Completed as Empire Susan for Ministy of War Transport, London and handed over to William Watkins Ltd as managers under control of COTUG. 12-1944 Towed MoWT Crane 34 Southampton to Antwerp. 12-1944 Towed SHARK unit Brightlingsea to Calais. 9-12-1944 Weatherbound in Downs with tow for Antwerp. 7-3-1945 Departed Antwerp for Southend, part of convoy ATM85. 8-3-1945 Arrived Southend . 4-1945 Towed Pontoon drydock ex Dartmouth to Salcombe.  4-1945 Towed engineers barge ex Dartmouth to Plymouth. 4-1945 Towed NL Dock ex Dartmouth to Plymouth. 5-1945 Towed boom barges 15 & 16 ex Sheerness to Rosyth. 25-6-1945 Passed Lizard Westbound. 7-8-1945 Passed Lizard westbound with tow. 28-8-1945 Passed Lizard eastbound with tow. 27-10-1945 Arrived Southampton ex Falmouth. 9-11-1945 Arrived North Shields towing SS Malines from Falmouth. 28-11-1945 Passing Lizard eastbound. 9-1-1946 Towing RN submarine Safari to Newport Mon. for scrap. Sub suddenly capsized and sank 10 miles south of St. Albans Head. 10-2-1946 Passed St Catherines Point ex Falmouth. 1946 Acquired by William Watkins Ltd., London for £35,000. 14-2-1947 Renamed Rumania. 1-1947 Left Southampton towing ex RN sloop to Algiers where she collected a second sloop. Continued voyage via Suez, Aden, Colombo and Singapore. Both towed vessels delivered to Shanghai in May 1947. Tug then ran to Sydney and towed a liner,  the Australian steamer Canberra, of 7,700 tons, sold to Greek owners,  to Singapore, where the Rumania was instructed to tow her to Genoa. Next, two tank landing craft were towed from Suez to Dar-es-Salaam. There followed the towing of the disabled oil tanker Gladys Moller to port, a distance of  500 miles. Two more landing craft were taken from Suez and delivered at Mombasa, whence one of the craft was towed to Dar-es-Salaam. The Rumania then returned home. Most of the towing was done with a single rope 16" in circumference and 120 fathoms long.  When she eventually returned to the UK she had been away over sixteen months and steamed 48,000 miles, of which over 34,000 was towing. 6-8-1949 Arrived Dover on passage Dartmouth to London. 1-9-1949 Left Dover for Folkestone to tow coaster Wilmas to Gravesend. 1-10-1949 Arrived Dover reporting that ex-Mulberry harbour unit she had been towing from Arromanche to Amsterdam had foundered that morning. 13-11-1949 At Dover towing tug TID 110 from Ghent to Liverpool. 23-11-1949 Departed Liverpool for Falmouth. 1-2-1950  Ship Towage [London] Ltd appointed managers.  6-2-1950 Recovered 8 survivors from mined German freighter Fidamos whilst towing another vessel in North Sea. 31-3-1950 Passed Lizard towing a corvette. 26-5-1950 Assisted beaching badly damaged coaster Felspar on Sandwich flats following her collision in fog with MV Espartel. 8-1950 Escorting channel swimmers. 1-2-1954 Towed disabled Belgian freighter Antigoon into Dover. 10-2-1956. Wrecked in position 51.43N 1.37E on North Long Sand in Thames Estuary whilst trying to assist Brazilian steamer Loide-Honduras aground on same bank.
 
Rumania had left Dover the previous evening to go to the casualty in a force 8 NE gale and snowstorms. Luckily, as later events were to prove, she only had half her normal crew aboard. After reaching the casualty she anchored off to await daylight but unfortunately dragged her anchor and grounded, beginning to take water after pounding. A mayday was sent at 0500, acknowledged by North Foreland Radio and the crew attempted to launch the lifeboats. The Port boat was unreachable, being swept by the sea and whilst lowering the Starboard lifeboat it was smashed from the davits. The crew of ten were forced on to the focsle head, hanging onto the rails and very exposed. Eight of the crew were eventually lifted off by XJ727, a Whirlwind II helicopter of RAF 22 Squadron, based at Martlesham Heath, piloted by F/Sgt R H A Pinn of Sidmouth, Devon. Although grossly overloaded the helicopter arrived safely back at base. F/Sgt Pinn was later to receive the AFM from HM The Queen for his part in the operation. The two remaining crew members were lifted off by another helicopter of the same squadron, the rescue completed by 1000, five hours after the tug grounded and with no loss of life. The operation was one of the very first ASR's involving helicopters.
 
Photo R. Stanford colln.
 
A section from the flying logbook of F/Sgt Pinn AFM who piloted the first helicopter to reach Rumania. Photo and other Details very kindly supplied by his son Chris Pinn.
 
July 2011
 
I have been contacted by Noel Cockfield, the son of Sergeant Cockfield, who was the navigator of the second helicopter which lifted the last two survivors from Rumania. He very kindly supplied the following pics.
 
It can be seen from this page of Sergeant Cockfield's flying log that he and Sergeant Pinn often flew on the same crew.
The crew of the second helicopter at Martlesham Heath the day after the rescue. F/O Reynolds, J/T Lomax and Sergeant Cockfield. Photos © Noel Cockfield. 
 
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SAUCY JACK
 
For all details see JOHN LEE.
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SCHELDE
 
(Chartered 1915-1918)
 
Built 1904 at Alblasserdam, Holland. Screw Tug. L82'. B20'. D10'. 91grt. 380ihp steam engine.
 
1904 Built for SARH - SA de Remorquage a Helice, Antwerp. 12-1914 At Wapping, London in 'not seagoing' condition. 1916 On charter to William Watkins Ltd. 1918 Returned to Belgian owners? 1939 Hired by Admiralty as a minesweeper, renamed Solitaire (FY1674). 1941 Purchased by Admiralty. 20-6-1944 Foundered in heavy weather off coast of Normandy.
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SCOTIA [1]
 
Built 1874 by Westwood Baillie and Co., Poplar. Iron Paddle Tug. L139.2'. B21'1". D12'4". 236grt. 500ihp 130nhp 2cyl 34"x60" side lever steam engine by John Stewart, London. . Acquired 1874. Disposed 1891. Official No. 70610. Callsign NJTV.
 
1874 Delivered to William and John Watkins, London. 7-9-1883 Arrived Gravesend from Lisbon. 1891 Sold to Societe Havraise de Remorquage, Le Havre for £3250, renamed Surcouf. 1900 Sold to George Petrie, Middlesborough, renamed Scotia. 1911 Sold to Watkins Petrie and Co., Middlesborough. 1913 Owners Tees Tug Co., Middlesbrough. 1913 Sold to Hughes Bolckow Ltd., Middlesbrough. 1913 Sold to John H Pounder, West Hartlepool.  1914 Scrapped. 
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SCOTIA [2]
 
 Photo Ray's colln.
 
Built 1893 by Anderson Laverick and Co., Newcastle. YN9.  Steel Screw Tug. L97.5'. B19.5'. D11.2'. 136grt. 493ihp 3cylTE  13"x21"x34" 24" stroke steam engine by John Stewart and Son, Blackwall. Acquired 1893. Disposed 1935. Scrapped 1935. Official No. 102862. Call sign MQPW.
 
10-1893 Completed for William Watkins, John Stewart Watkins & James M Judd, London. 1900 Transferred to William Jr. & John S. Watkins. 20-8-1904 Escorting Channel swimmers Dover to Calais. 1907 Reboilered. 1908 New funnel. 1914 Transferred to John S. & Alfred Watkins, London.  1917 Owners restyled as William Watkins Ltd. 1919 Reboilered at Grimsby. 1934 Laid up at Ramsgate. 5-1935 Sold for £160 to G Cohen and Sons, Canning Town for scrap.
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SIMLA
 
 Photo Barney Hunt Colln.
 
Built 1898 by Lobnitz and Co., Renfrew. YN467. Steel Screw Tug. L100.4'. B20.1'. D11.3'. 144grt. 3nrt. 500ihp 3cylTE 18"x22"x35"x 27" stroke steam engine by builder. Acquired 1898. Disposed 1964. Scrapped 1964. Official No. 108343. Call sign QCMT later MQZX.
 
10-3-1898 Launched. 1898 Delivered to William Watkins, London. 17-10-1898 Whilst 'seeking' was escorting iron barque Blengfell, when the vessels cargo of Naphtha suddenly exploded. The resultant rescue resulted in the award of the BoT Sea Gallantry medal to Simla's  crew, James Hood, skipper: F. Webb, Mate: W. Baldock, Eng: G. Wells, W. Maltby, deckhands: S. Perry, C. Jeffrey, F. Funnell, firemen: E. Cullis, cook. Details HERE   1900 Transferred to William Jr. & John S. Watkins. 1901 Census position 10m SE of Lizard.  1903 Reboilered. 19-11-1911 Towed SS Sussex [5600grt] off Tongue Sand. 1914 Transferred to John S. & Alfred Watkins. 30-7-1914 Req by RN. 18/19-4-1915 Assisted SS Sarpen, aground at Papa Strousay in the Orkney Isles. This led to a case in the Admiralty Court as to whether she could claim salvage, being under Admiralty control at the time. 21-7-1915 Returned to Watkins. 1917 Owners restyled William Watkins Ltd. 19-8-1924 Mast shattered by lightning whilst berthed at Ramsgate. 9-7-1928 Assisted beaching liner Carmarthenshire at Erith and  fighting oil bunker fire on liner. 4-9-1939 Req by Admiralty. 25-10-1939 Returned to Watkins. 1940 Worked at Dover throughout Dunkirk operation under Master G Lowe, assisting over 140 vessels berthing and leaving the harbour. Based at Dover for over four years. 27-5-1940 Towed bomb damaged SS Mona's Isle into Dover. 29-5-1940 Together with Dover tug Lady Brassey refloated destroyer Montrose and towed her stern first to Dover from Cape Gris Nez after the destroyers bows were blown off.  Later towed bombed destroyer Jaguar into Dover. 31-5-1940 With Gondia towed damaged sloop Bideford into Dover. 19-7-1940 Damaged by bomb near-miss in Dover Harbour. 25-10-1943 Returned to Watkins.1944 Returned to Thames prior to D-Day.  25-5-1944 Assisted towing Phoenix unit A2-68 ex South West India Dock to Tilbury.  1-2-1950  Ship Towage [London] Ltd appointed managers. 10-4-1964 Scrapped by Medway Drydock and Engineering Co., Sheerness.
 
 Photo Ray's colln.
 
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