Hendon was regularly on duty for Tyneside ship launches. If my memory serves me right another regular on these duties was King George V. I believe that the most powerful tugs travelled along the coast to cover both Tyne and Wear launches and possibly to Blyth. Some member will know if they went as far as the Tees.
I looked at your photo of King George V and was appalled. Obviously converted to diesels since I last saw her but why did they destroy her classic looks? I am sorry but I think she looks like a film star that has had a bad face lift. Has anyone a photo of her in her steam days?
I realise this is an old thread, but here goes....
My Grandfather (Jack (John) Swinhoe) was skipper of Hendon at one time, also performing the same role subsequently on Grangetown, Ryhope and Cornhill. I believe he also has interest in Eppleton Hall, the paddle tug that was exported to the USA.
Anyone with pictures of the tugs out there?
I have only one photo of the Cornhill with my grandad at the wheel, and although its good quality its only small.
I have 'the book' Years of the Maltese Cross which is an excellent read as well as a great reference - it's well thumbed now.
Think it must have been in 1956 that the George V was converted to diesel. Well remember the other tugs on the river blowing her a farewell. I was on Lawson Batey tugs at the time. Hector Stewart would have been her skipper at that time.
If my memory serves me right I remember the George V leaving the Tyne for Appledore about June 1954, my Dad was skipper of the Ridleys tug 'Marty' at that time and he said Hector Stuart told him later it was not a smooth trip around to Appledore for the George V,infact I am sure he said she broke down on the way.
As Steve says most of the Tyne tugs at that time were busy enough on the Tyne and did not go to far afield, I do recall Dad taking the 'Impetus' which he skippered later to Blyth once or twice.
I met Hector Stuart a lot as I spent most of my younger days with my Dad on the tugs, one thing is though Hector always kept the George V very 'ship shape' and it was sad to see some of her pictures in later times.
great reading about all the old tugs and storys. My G.G.Uncle was Hector Stewart. No-one in the family knows much about him so its really nice to hear someone talking about him. Apparently he wrote a book but again not much is known about it. My G.Grandfather was William Stewart who skippered the WEARMOUTH on the tyne. If anyone has any other info that would be great,