Solway Shipping    


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


"WORKINGTON           "Arklow Fern" 17th June


As JOLYN was docking in Silloth (see Latest Movements) it was interesting to see what was for the crews tea that evening.  Hanging, cleaned and ready for the pan were a string of mackerel.
Fast craft TENACITY which is normally based in Whitehaven is pictured taking the pilot out to an inbound ship while the DERWENT, the Workington pilot boat, is temporarily unavailable due to mechanical proble.
Clearing the shrubbery around the base of one of the channel leading lights at Workington has revealed a relic of the the past. In April 1971 a set of new dock gates was installed at the Prince of Wales dock (the entrance is below the large crane which can be seen in the background of this photo)    The old gates were removed and floated across the turning basin onto the nearby beach and cut up into pieces for scrap. At each end of the gate was a piece of shaped wood to allow the gate to swivel and close securely against each other. The piece of wood in the photo is all that's left of the old gates.
The wood can be seen on the end of the gate.
Pictured arriving on the early morning tide is the Russian vessel  PETROTRANS 5901 to collect a cargo of 5,500 tons of shredded tyres bound for Turkey. At an impressive 141m. in length this 2020 built ship is one of the longest vessels to arrive at the port of Workington for quite some time.
as the vessel began to turn to port into the basin the stern on the starboard side came quite close to the shoreline
the large length became evident as the vessel swung to reverse into the dock with the help of the ports tug DERWENT
Fisheries Protection Vessel "North Western Protector"   pictured in the lock at Whitehaven. This vessel was the replacement for "Solway Protector" which was also based in Whitehaven.
A short video of Zapadnyy docking at Silloth with a cargo of molasses,       "Zapadnyy"
As the cold damp weather continues and travel is restricted a great way to pass some time is to read local author Ann Lingards extremely interesting account of what's involved piloting a ship up the Solway Firth to Silloth (including a report on "Zapadnyy")

A little over 100 years ago in May 1919 the Workington shipbuilding yard of R. Williamson and son completed the 115' long steam trawler "Thomas Currell" for Sanford of Auckland but just a few months later it was requisitioned by the Admiralty who intended it to be used for patrol and minesweeping duties as a Strath Class armed trawler.
A couple of years later in 1922 she was de-commissioned and returned to Sanford for fishing in New Zealand waters. However in 1939 she was requisitioned yet again, this time by the Royal New Zealand Navy,  as an armed trawler once more. In 1945 she was returned to Sanford to resume fishing duties.
At one point during this time she had been renamed "Enrico" for a short period.  It seems that she was a good reliable vessel because as late as 1968, for one reason or another, she was beached at Port Hutt, Chatham Island and left to her fate. Remarkably she still survives to this day and is a fine example of the workmanship of the Workington yard.       
It seems a shame that, what must be the last survivor of her type, is slowly but surely rusting away to obscurity.
My thanks to John Whitwell for his assistance.

Earlier this year an hydrographic survey was carried out around the Port of Workington using a small boat and drone, the results can be viewed here.  SURVEY
                                 To see more photo's of shipping in the Solway Firth don't forget to check   Cumbria Ship Photo's