Solway Shipping    


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


"WORKINGTON      "Ronja" 18th Jan.

 SILLOTH     "Zapadnyy"  17th Jan.   "Indi"  18th Jan.      

MERETE CHRIS has arrived at Workington from Aberdeen to dredge the ports entrance. The grab dredger was originally built as a coaster in 1966 and named KAMERAD but in 1978 was converted for dredging operations and renamed.
 Pictured below in the davit launching crane, which is unique in the RNLI fleet, is relief lifeboat STELLA AND HUMFREY BERKELEY, now in the relief fleet the boat was formerly on station at Leverburgh, Isle of Harris. The relief boat that was covering for Workington's own boat ERICS LEGEND 13-40 had to depart for a scheduled upgrade.
Looking like two huge sugar cubes stuck on the end of the piers at Whitehaven the covers hide the work underway to renovate the neglected historic lighthouses.
Still in Whitehaven, is a former RNLI lifeboat which was built in 1938, the Watson class THE CITY OF EDINBURGH which saw service in Wick, Scotland. Now in private ownership it has been renamed SALTIRE. Like many others in the marina it is showing the results of a cold damp winter.
A couple of photographs taken in c.1900 showing a sailing vessel being towed out of Silloth dock into the Solway Firth. In the background is the "Solway" lightship. The paddle tug on the bow is the 1897 built Petrel.
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