Southend pier workboats

Steve Hodges
14th May 2013, 18:14
Most of my "formative years" - the late 1960's - were spent ( or mis-spent!) on Southend pier - I used to get a season ticket and spent nearly all my spare time out at the pierhead watching the ships go by. There were two workboats that took pilots to and from anchored vessels. They were clearly ex RNLI boats - one was called "Thameserver" and the other was " ??? Bradley", can't remember any more. I used to get an occasional unofficial trip on one because I knew some of the boatmen, they used to roll like hell!
I would like to know where they originally served, and what eventually became of them - can anyone help?

Richiel
15th May 2013, 18:46
Thameserver was ex ON 712 C. D. E. C. , 45'6 Watson, built 1928, served Fowey, and sold out of service 1959.
Now semi-derelict at Leigh
The second was probably ex ON 684 John R Webb / Hearts of Oak, 45' Watson, built 1923, served Tenby, Barra Island, Yarmouth and sold out of service 1955
The name was William Bradley? Now at Migennes in France.


Richie

alan ward
16th May 2013, 11:20
I once paid off the Clan Ranald at Southend.We had come in from RSA with a load of chilled fruit and were told to wait off the Thames for the price to rise or whatever.those of us weren`t needed were sent home from there so we got the Pilot boat to the end of the pier and then the pier train with all our luggage half cut and full of enthusiasm much to the surpise of all the trippers.I haven`t thought of that for years.

stores
16th May 2013, 12:24
They Were Owned By A Mr Don Rowland, Or Roland, ? A Very Tall Man. First One Before The Lifeboats Was Called The British Angler, All Were Painted Grey, British Angler Had A Funnel, Sometimes He Would Use A Large Passenger Speedboat, There Were A Few, Flash, Swift, And I Think The Shark, I Used To Fish On Most Days In The Summer,

Steve Hodges
16th May 2013, 16:03
Thank you, gentlemen, for the information. Sad to hear about "Thameserver", better that a vessel should be broken up than just moulder away IMO. I will have to go and look for her when I am next back in Leigh. Pleased to hear that "William Bradley" is still with us, I had guessed she was the older of the two as "Thameserver" always seemed to be used as first choice. As I recall, "Thameserver" had a wheelhouse in front of a small funnel, with an open cockpit at the rear, while the "Bradley" had a smaller wheelhouse mounted further aft.
I also remember the speedboats, principally " Swift" and "Jet". If we had a really good day on the slotmachines to augment our pocketmoney, we would sometimes take a trip - we paid for it all in pennies which used to upset the lady selling the tickets. Happy days!

stores
16th May 2013, 17:01
Hi Steve, Jet Was One I Could Not Remember, If The Fishing Was Quiet We Played The Penny Slot Machines, You Could Do Well If You Knew Which Ones To Choose, The Good Old Days ! Its Deserted Now. There Was Another Ex Rnli Lifeboat Derelict For Years In Johnsons Boatyard At Leigh Station Was Used As A Fishing Boat, Called Frogmans Miss, ! The Yard Boss Took It For Debt, Converted It To His Private Cruiser, Was Renamed Lady Leigh II. I Used To Work On The Cockle Boat Ranger II. And The White Weeder , Duchess Of York.

Galley Boy
17th May 2013, 12:50
Hi Steve, Jet Was One I Could Not Remember, If The Fishing Was Quiet We Played The Penny Slot Machines, You Could Do Well If You Knew Which Ones To Choose, The Good Old Days ! Its Deserted Now. There Was Another Ex Rnli Lifeboat Derelict For Years In Johnsons Boatyard At Leigh Station Was Used As A Fishing Boat, Called Frogmans Miss, ! The Yard Boss Took It For Debt, Converted It To His Private Cruiser, Was Renamed Lady Leigh II. I Used To Work On The Cockle Boat Ranger II. And The White Weeder , Duchess Of York.

Hi Stores,you might like to know that the Lady Leigh is now in St Peter Port, Guernsey called Courtmacsherry(Thumb)

stores
17th May 2013, 15:19
Thanks For That, She Was Used For Whiteweeding, Laid In Johnsons Yard Derelict And Tidal, For A Good Few Years, They Totally Rebuilt Her, To A Good Specification, New Engine, My First Motor Boat Was Being Built In The Next Shed At The Time, Nice To Hear She Is Still Going, Rnli Boats Are The Best. No Corners Cut In There Construction. Best Wishes, Stores.

aguila wren
17th May 2013, 22:34
Hi Stores,you might like to know that the Lady Leigh is now in St Peter Port, Guernsey called Courtmacsherry(Thumb)


"Lady Leigh IV" is indeed ex-ON.716 "Sarah Ward and William David Crosweller", 45ft 6in Watson ex-Courtmacsherry and now in St. Peter Port.

However according to the 2013 LBES Handbook "Frogman's Miss" was ON. 764 "Nellie & Charlie" 35ft 6in single screw Liverpool stationed at Anstruther 1933-1950 and, as of October 2012, based in Sharpness docks bearing her original RNLI name, although there is no reference to her carring the name "Lady Leigh II".

Moulder
17th May 2013, 22:55
Was anchored off Southend Pier, September '72, on Al Ahmadiah (Kuwait Shipping Co) waiting for a berth at Tate & Lyles - we had a cargo of sugar from Mauritius. Most of the lads had already paid off and taken ashore by the agents' launch but, true to form Marconi hadn't got a relief arranged for me until we berthed. The old man - Brian Horrod - on finding out it was my 21st in a couple of days time - signed me off and ordered a boat to come out and get me during the evening. I had a very invigorating journey to the end of the pier, where my parents were waiting, on the speedboat Swift 5 - will never forget that.

trotterdotpom
18th May 2013, 01:55
Arrived off Southend Pier on Cape Leeuwin with a cargo of sugar from Mackay, Queensland, after slow steaming during the Fuel Crisis in 1974. The trip (via Panama) took ages and we were just about out of grub when we were told to anchor for a couple of weeks. The ship wasn't cleared by Customs, so the Pilot organised a surreptitious visit by a local boat with stores - think they ended up making a couple of visits. At last back to two eggs a day. Thanks Southend boatmen.

John T

stores
18th May 2013, 05:04
The last i remember of Frogmans Miss was seeing her taken into the big shed at Johnsons yard, she was an open boat around 35 feet, i think single screw,? ? with typical RNLI oval cabin, by this time my boat was built, 1955/6, so i did not return to the yard for around 6 months, when i did i saw Lady Leigh II Just launched, looking brand new, i assumed it was Frogmans Miss, am sure Frogmans Miss was a Liverpool type, is ex Lady Leigh II Single or twin screw.

aguila wren
18th May 2013, 12:41
The last i remember of Frogmans Miss was seeing her taken into the big shed at Johnsons yard, she was an open boat around 35 feet, i think single screw,? ? with typical RNLI oval cabin, by this time my boat was built, 1955/6, so i did not return to the yard for around 6 months, when i did i saw Lady Leigh II Just launched, looking brand new, i assumed it was Frogmans Miss, am sure Frogmans Miss was a Liverpool type, is ex Lady Leigh II Single or twin screw.




"Frogman's Miss" was ON.764 "Nellie and Charlie", 35ft 6in Liverpool with a single screw and yes, an open boat. She may well have been named Lady Leigh II at the time you saw her, it's just that there's no existing record of this so this is very welcome information. She's now reverted to her RNLI name.

Lady Leigh IV is a 45ft twin screw Watson, a much bigger boat with flush deck and below deck cabin.

stores
18th May 2013, 14:36
One Last Question, Is The Nellie And Charlie Still An Open Boat, ? If She Is Then She Could Not Have Been Lady Leigh Ii, She Was Completely Decked In With A Wheelhouse Aft Of Amidships, Regards, Tony.

aguila wren
18th May 2013, 19:50
One Last Question, Is The Nellie And Charlie Still An Open Boat, ? If She Is Then She Could Not Have Been Lady Leigh Ii, She Was Completely Decked In With A Wheelhouse Aft Of Amidships, Regards, Tony.



No, from the photo I've seen of her she's been quite heavily converted with a deck cabin. I'll see if I can upload it, although it's going back a few years.

Of course it's just as easy to "reverse engineer" a conversion like this back to an open boat, as has been done with many ex-lifeboats.

Locking Splice
19th May 2013, 08:31
Hi Steve,

Interesting thread, remember being on the multi purpose RORO Railway Boat the MV Vortigern for a few weeks in the spring of 1971, and one weekend we did a special up to the Pool of London. Enroute we berthed at the end of Southend Pier for a few hours to pick up guests (cannot remember what the function was, possibly a transport seminar). It was quite surreal, but good fun as us Deck crowd managed to put an hour in at the Bar at the end of the Pier before continuing up to the Pool.
Often wondered if any other Railway Boats had tied up there?

Best Regards

Yuge

stores
19th May 2013, 09:39
i am unable to find a photo of either boat.

aguila wren
19th May 2013, 16:33
i am unable to find a photo of either boat.

I'll have one of 764 as "Frogman's Miss" in a scrapbook somewhere - might take a while to find it.

stores
19th May 2013, 16:36
H, That Would Be Great If You Can, Thanks, Stores.

aguila wren
20th May 2013, 21:28
H, That Would Be Great If You Can, Thanks, Stores.


Googled her and she's now a National Historic Ship, I'm pleased to say. Some very good photos of her at:

http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/register/2311/nellie-and-charlie

and she looks in excellent condition.

stores
21st May 2013, 02:51
thank you so much, was good to see again after so long, a bit different now to when she used to be tidal, STORES.

aguila wren
21st May 2013, 23:10
thank you so much, was good to see again after so long, a bit different now to when she used to be tidal, STORES.

Yes, she's in fine condition; great when they are well looked after like this.