Hullo to everyone on this site and am a new boy here. I joined James Dredging in the early '70's as trainee tug skipper ( "you will soon get the hang of it" said Jim Cluston, the Marine superintendent!) I was given the dutch tug SNIP with Ron Whitlock on the opposite shift, running transporter barges between the bucket dredger Afrika and the steam powered pump ashore unit the Carnroe. After a couple of years I was junior skipper on the James 95 in Scotland and St Nazaire. I came ashore as Crew Manager until I left around 1980. I met up with Ted Wright, Tidrip skipper, recently who, despite being 93 next birthday is still alert and healthy. Sadly I believe both Ken and Len Whitlock passed away earlier this year. If I'm wrong about this would someone please correct me.
My interest has been awoken by recently finding the tug Jumsey and researching her history. She was the smallest tug that James's operated in Southampton during my time there, but one of my favorites. I have discovered she was built in Holland in 1928 and came to James's from new. They must have had a contract with Southern Railway as she was employed 1928 -1937 at Lymington, towing ferry barges with livestock and wheeled vehicles, between the mainland and Yarmouth. The RoRo ferry Lymington arrived in 1937 after which the Jumsey show up as a boom defence support vessel in the west solent until 1947. From this time until the mid 70's she was towing dredging barges in Southampton. She was sold to the Tees and a friend of mine John Radford, delivered her. I believe she worked on the Tees until 2002 and next shows up on the Tyne in rather poor condition. I found out she was lying in a dry dock between Doncaster and Rotherham. Last week My wife and I made a pilgrimage to pat the old girl and say good bye. She is a forlorn sight now. the wheelhouse, engine, propellor and shaft all gone. Hull, deck, housings and bulwarks all perforated. A sad end to 89 years splendid service. I would love to hear from anyone who can throw any more light on her history. Peter Smith
PS Really sorry to hear Sam Jupe has passed away. He was a good friend to me and an inspirational skipper.