EARLY MORNING ON 29TH JANUARY 1940 the Dutch scoot (schuyt) Nora, while at anchor in the Downs off Deal in Kent, was struck by a mine.
She was on route from Harlingen (her port of registry) to London loaded with a cargo of cardboard bales. Fortunately no one was killed although some crew members were injured. She was then taken in tow by the naval commandeered tug Kenia out of Ramsgate. Unfortunately, in adverse tidal conditions and weather, the tow line became parted. The Nora drifted out of control and collided with Deal’s iron pier (dating from 1864) destroying several landward sections.
A subsequent enquiry found negligence on the part of the Kenia’s master for letting go of the tow line. The pier was mortally wounded and was demolished with explosives later in 1940 as part of wartime defence measures.
I attach a photo of the wrecked and beached Nora, her Dutch flag clearly visible alongside her name. I would be very grateful if any reader can supply me with a photo of the Nora in an un-wrecked state and/or can tell me about her ownership and former service. I believe she was built in 1932. My enquiries to the Harlingen museum have so far proved fruitless.
16 Beechwood, Curwen Place
Brighton, BN1 6UJ
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