AS A NEWCOMER TO SEA BREEZES I must say how much I have enjoyed my first few copies of the magazine.
The article in the October 2009 issue, ‘End of an era on the Tyne as dock is filled in’, was of particular interest and brought back some distant memories for me.
I joined my first ship (MV Clearton, Chapman & Willan) in Tyne dock in August 1960 where she was awaiting the end of the National seaman's strike. I returned to Tyne dock on two or three occasions while I was 'on the coast' waiting to go to the Marine college at South Shields in the early 60's. In the same issue I was taken on another trip down memory lane when I spotted the photo on page 415 showing the Shell Marketer fitting out at the Cleland's yard, however the caption to the picture has confused me by stating that the RFA Tidespring was alongside the North Eastern Marine quay, the company where I served my apprenticeship.
I believe the Wallsend Slipway lay between the NEM and the Cleland's yard and the hammer head crane shown must belong to the Wallsend Slipway engine works which, incidentally, was an identical 150 tonner to that next door at the NEM. Is my memory letting me down again or are my recollections correct.
I would be interested to have the confusion resolved.
For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine