Collier identification numbers

zelo1954
9th September 2006, 05:54
Folks:
Each collier on the London trade (possibly only the non-flat-irons?) wore identification numbers high on the front of the bridge. They were displayed as white numbers on a black background. At present on the Riversea site there is a photo of JETBLACK wearing 73:

http://riversea.tugtalk.co.uk/memories/jetblack1920.htm

Also there is a photo of the France-Fenwick paddle tug DUNELM on the Tyne alongside a collier wearing 72:

http://riversea.tugtalk.co.uk/tugs/dunelm1883.htm

Can one of you guys formerly in the trade say what the purpose of these numbers was? I'm picking it's something at the London end.

Cheers, Geoff

awateah2
9th September 2006, 11:40
They were identification numbers for recognition by Tilbury Signal Station for reporting in Lloyds List as having 'Passed Gravesend' inwards or outwards

zelo1954
9th September 2006, 21:43
They were identification numbers for recognition by Tilbury Signal Station for reporting in Lloyds List as having 'Passed Gravesend' inwards or outwards

I rather suspected as much. Thanks for that

Cheers, Geoff

B.Bass
22nd February 2007, 05:02
They also carried an array of lights on the monkey island for the same purpose for use after dark.