Harry belongs to: The Coble and Keelboat Society
Harry grew up on the Lawe Top in South Shields. He served an apprenticeship on the tugboats and worked on the Titan Crane. Harry is a member of the Coble and Keelboat Society.
Harry was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 31 January 2006. The interview took place at South Shields Museum and lasted 1 hour, 20 minutes and 15 seconds.
The foy boats and skulling
"Do you know that boat I had, you were in? You know when I skulled you over to the coble the other day?"
Do you know that boat I had, you were in? You know when I skulled you over to the coble the other day? That is, that, that small boat, thereís not many of them left now, that small boat is a tug boat, original one. Itís what they made the film with. And that came off a tug called the Ironsider. I mean at one time, there were thousands, you know, they reckon at one time, about 1900, you had, in 1900s you had about 150 tugs on the river, you know, there was that much work on the Tyne.
The skulling? Well, really, itís like a figure of eight in the water, and a lot of people donít realise that as youíre making a figure of eight, the blade keeps coming up out of the water, and people find it hard to do. But what youíve got to do is as youíre coming down in the eight, youíre pulling, the blade is pushing the water away and itís keeping itself in the rollock, but you get, people donít pull and it just floats out. A lot of people, itís easy, you know, Iíve seen, once you pick it up. But where I lived in South Shields on what we call the Lawe Top which originally was just like a row of houses in the 1900s along the top, I donít think there was a little kid who couldnít skull. Because even the lasses, you know, youíd be down here on what you call the quay or the Mill Dam, youíd be in the boats, and you might have about 20 odd tugs lined up at the buoys. Now, if a tug, a lot of these tugs were off the weekend, all them little tug boats used to be moored at what they called the TDE, there used to be a big pontoon with all the little boats there- well, all the kids on weekends were, you know, on the boats, and theyíre all just skulling around. And everybody, everybody, well, all the lads I went to school with, go to school before six years old.
Harry has 24 memories in the memorynet:
Harry's memories with a Traditions theme:
- The foy boats and skulling
- Coble smells Ė black varnish
- Foy boatmen
- Sculling a foy boat
- The Mary Young
- The Royal Diadem II
Harry's other memories:
- Joining the tug boats
- The role of the tug boats
- Cabin boy's routine
- The galley
- Progress through the tug boats
- Value of the tug boat apprenticeship
- Routines on the tug boats
- Leaving the tug boats and moving to the Titan Crane
- Working on the Titan Crane
- The Tynesider
- The Joffre
- The crew of the Tynesider
- The Titan crane
- The Titan crane at work
- Loading coal
- The crew of the Titan crane
- The Titan Crane