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Discussion Starter #1
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
 

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They were identification numbers for recognition by Tilbury Signal Station for reporting in Lloyds List as having 'Passed Gravesend' inwards or outwards
 

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awateah2 said:
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
 

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I have been researching this for ages!

In 1969 I was R/O on Stevie Clarke's PULBOROUGH/GPVE.
I clearly remember on the starboard wing of the bridge there was a wooden box divided vertically into three or four open fronted vertical compartments each with a different coloured lamp.
I was told that the collier signal station recognised each incoming collier by its unique pattern of lights and then lit up a similar box with a pattern that signified the unloading berth.

Am I correct in my memories of >50 years ago?!

Obviously by then it was done by VHF.
 
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