Tug Meeching

19th February 2006, 11:27
I'm curently involved in a con-commercial 'labour of love' project for the Newhaven Maritime Museum. I'm building up a history of the harbour tug Meeching, with as much information and as many photos as I can collect. This is special and personal for me, as my father Capt. Frank Gilbert, was her skipper for many years. It was his last command before he retired in 1979.

so far, it's going well, with photos from local people as well as some of the contributors here, local press and Fotoflite allowing me to use their images.

If you're reading this and have anything that you can share, please let me know by a reply or a PM.

Now here's a long shot. I can remember reading a post somewhere on one of the forums by a gentleman from Holland, Piet van Damme. He said in the post that he had a copy of her plans. I lost my set in a house move years ago and would like to obtain copies. If anyone can help put me in contact with this gentleman, I'd be really grateful.

Very many thanks
Andy G

19th February 2006, 17:01
Did you know that the Meeching was still around? I saw her on the River Medway in July!!

22nd February 2006, 18:37
Hi Andy
i remember back in the late sixties i took a TV camera crew out to film the wreck of the tanker Sitacand? which was on fire,off Langley Point. The Meeching was alongside her, doing its best with her fire hose. it was so hot, the steel was melting on the stricken ship and rivets were popping out of her. There was also a severe risk of her exploding, we passed a case of beer over to the meechings crew to help cool them down. They certainly earned thier salvage money on that job.

22nd February 2006, 19:21
There is a nice picture of her in action on this page:

second row 7 down.

Fine picture here:

Meeching (Tug)
Jim Still - Deck - 1950's (Old crew member here)


Tom harrison

26th February 2006, 17:30
Sorry I haven't replied to recent posts. I've been more concerned locating Newhaven's 'missing' new ferry, Cote d'Albatre!

Anyway, here goes!

davidpayne - yes, as far as I know she's still on the Medway. Queenborough at the last sighting, though there are some pix of her in Marsat2's album at Woodger's Quay, looking rather sorry for herself.

Rivet. If you look in my gallery you'll see quite a few pix of the Sitakund incident. I wonder if any of your film footage still exists and who might have it? BBC, Meridian TV? I'd love to get hold of that for the Newhaven Museum.

TB142. Those pix probably come from the Newhaven Museum next door. [It's in the Paradise Park Building, 100 yards from me] Some of them were given to the museum by my father [the lifeboat crew had passed them on to him years ago] so they kindly let me copy the whole lot and post them in the gallery.

I think I have most pix of her by now, but I'm always on the lookout. In particular, there are NO colour pix of her in her original British Rail colours [ unless anyone knows better!]

Andy G (*))

28th February 2006, 19:53
hi Andy
the film crew for the sitakund incedent was micheal nicholson ,bbc or perhaps itv i can't remember which.
however we dropped them off on eastbourne pier and picked up a film crew from pathe news. i remember seeing our efforts on the news that evening., so it must be on record.

28th February 2006, 23:28
1960 Built P.K. Harris & Sons Ltd, Appledore (Yard Nr 127)
1960 Delivered; British Railways Board : Shipping & International Services Division; Managed Sealink UK Ltd, Newhaven
ON 300240; Call Sign GGZA
1990 Sold; Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd, Newhaven; (Sea Containers Group)
1996 Sold; Dave Miller, Newhaven
2000 Sold; Graham Jewiss; Managed Tug Manning Ltd, Gravesend

Best Wishes

1st March 2006, 00:11
Thanks Rivet. It's a long shot, but a couple of emails will go off to ITN and BBC.


Thanks for the post.

Meeching was operated by NPP (Seaco) until January 2000. There was a great 'to-do' locally about the decision to retire her and her decomissioning ceremony attracted great local interest.
Nothing much happened for almost a year. Sold to Miller in 2000, I think, in but she didn't leave Newhaven till 2001.

As always, any info and pix welcome.

I've put a 'colourised' photo of her in original colours into the gallery.

Andy G

25th September 2006, 10:32
Found this on MCA website:
17/01/05 @ Tilbury Dock. Meeching Detained as unseaworthy due to loadline and lifesaving appliance deficiencies. Still under repair at the end of June 2006.

Cheers everyone. JIM(Scribe)

25th September 2006, 10:45
Found this on MCA website:
17/01/05 @ Tilbury Dock. Meeching Detained as unseaworthy due to loadline and lifesaving appliance deficiencies. Still under repair at the end of June 2006.

Cheers everyone. JIM(Scribe)

thanks for the update Jim.