Built by JAMES POLLOCK, SONS & C0 Ltd. Naval Architects, Shipbuilders and Engineers, 3 LLOYDS AVENUE, LONDON, E.C.3. SHIPYARD, FAVERSHAM, ENGLAND.
This website is a wonderful tribute to the River Thames ship handling tugs that were a regular feature on "old Father Thames" from 1833 until 1975. Packed full of information and early photographs of some historic vessels that would have been so familiar to people living along the Thames to the east of the city of London. Serving the merchant shipping world right through the rise, peak and decline of the British empire, these vessels saw it all.
Having beautifully restored and preserved the following tugs:
KENT 1948 - Built by Richards Ironworks of Lowerstoft for J.P. Knight, Rochester.
BARKING 1928 - Built by James Pollock, Sons & Co. Ltd. Ship No 1304 54' x 13'. Delivered to Gas Light & Coke Co.
I grew up in Tottenham, North London and lived at Shelbourne Road, close to Tottenham Marshes. My happy childhood days were spent playing with my friends along the banks of the beautiful River Lea. This is where I first caught sight of a Jubilee Class tug pulling a rake of heavily laden lighterage barges carrying tree trunks to the many furniture and wood veneer companies that were once located along the banks of River Lea as far as Enfield. I can remember the air was always thick with the smell of freshly sawn timber. It was quite a spectacle when the tug would approach as the fishermen would have to wind in their fishing lines.
This delightful website by Alan Swain elicits wonderful childhood memories for me growing up in Tottenham and encapsulates the influences which have led me to become the proud owner of 'Swallow'.
LONDON LIGHTERAGE TUGS WEBSITE
THE LIQUID HIGHWAY WEBSITE
SOUTH EASTERN TUG SOCIETY WEBSITE
RIVER LEA TOTTENHAM - A BRIEF HISTORY WEBSITE
The Swiftstone Trust
The Massey Shaw
The grand old river, "Old Father Thames" that flows through London, has seen some great days, but commercial traffic largely stops a long way east of the city these days. Nevertheless, the activity on the river is still quite high with lots of craft, familiar to Londoners, regularly plying up and down. The webmaster has created a super site that shows many photos, which also includes photos of Tug Swallow and lots of information about River Thames vessels.
MASSEY SHAW is a former London Fire Brigade fireboat built in 1935 by the J. Samuel White company at Cowes, Isle of Wight. This historic vessel was saved from dereliction by a group of enthusiasts who are currently engaged in its restoration. Thanks to a successful Heritage Lottery Grant in 2008 the vessel has been completely restored in Gloucester dock by a professional team of boat builders.
SWIFTSTONE was built in 1952 by Richard Dunstone Ltd at Thorne and delivered to Cory Lighterage Ltd at London. Vessel now based at Trinity Buoy Wharf, Tower Hamlets, London. The Swiftstone Trust own, preserve and operate the Thames Tug 'The Swiftstone'.
After 45 years in the towage industry, Ray Harrison has finally got around to creating a website that provides so much information about the long tugboat history and operations in the Medway / Kent coastal area of South East England. Full of interesting facts and historical information about the boats and their operators (especially J.P. Knight), this site will be of great interest to those who have worked (or still do !) in the area. Not as large or as flashy as some sites, but created out of a passion and deep knowledge of the subject. Well worth a visit.
VASSAL is a sister tug to SWALLOW. Her new owners having bought Vassal in June 2014 are now carrying out a full and extensive restoration at Waldringfield Boatyard, her home berth in Suffolk. VASSAL's future is now assured as she is in very good hands with her new owners. I can't wait to see the completed restoration of VASSAL.