Solway Shipping    


The news and views of the latest events along the Solway Coast

Ships Expected
Port of Workington    "Cembrook" 21st Jan.
Port of Silloth       
Taking advantage of a lull in shipping the Workington pilot/tug boat "Derwent" gets a bit of TLC on the dockside.
An occasional  look back at some of the shipping along the west Cumbrian coast from the past.      
The grab hopper dredger "Clearway" built by Alexander Hall of Aberdeen in 1926 and delivered to her new owners, the port of Whitehaven twelve months later, was a very familiar sight on the Cumbrian coast where she worked for an astonishing 70 years. She was decommissioned finally in 1997 and scrapped a year later down the coast at Millom. Up to that time she was one of the last steam powered dredgers still working in the whole of Europe. The engines were saved from the scrapman and bought by a group in Norway for their renovation project, the 1908  steamer "Oster" based in Bergen.
The 1930's were turbulent years in Spain and in 1936/7 the Spanish seamen went on strike demanding a 100% pay rise, 20 days paid holiday a year, a reduction in working hours and increasing the firemen on board ships by 2.
In May there were 54 ships in British ports and the strike soon spread to them. In Workington there were 5 iron ore carriers affected which were blocking the port and the police became involved. After much discussions with the crews and the Spanish ambassador, it was decided to forcibly remove one ship to outside of the 3 mile limit by use of a local crew. Once this was accomplished, the local crew and the police then disembarked onto a tug and returned to shore, the picture shows them climbing down the ladder onto the tug.
The Spanish Government informed the Workington Dock and Harbour Board that if they would advance the increased wages to the remaining crews they would reimburse them and so end the strike and unblock the port.
Furness Abbey, the Barrow in Furness based tug, took advantage of a recent calm spell of weather to collect one of the channel markers used by ships en route to Silloth, and to bring it into port for maintenance work. The buoy is situated a few miles offshore near Allonby.

Pictured is Wagenborg's "IMKE" at  Workington carrying a cargo of pipeline for a United Utilities project to transfer water from Thirlmere reservoir in the Lake District to West Cumbria, this is the third of an expected six shipments. Eventually 60 miles of new pipeline will be laid at a cost of £3000 million. The Environment Agency is to withdraw the companies licence to abstract water from Ennerdale Water, which it uses at present, in 2022 to prevent harming protected species.

Local film maker Julia Parks has made an amazing short timelapse film of ships in the Solway Firth ports, watch it  here.

                                 To see more photo's of shipping in the Solway Firth don't forget to check   Cumbria Ship Photo's