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 first coble I had was the Mary Young, she is still down there, an Amble boat"
The first coble I had was the Mary Young, she is still down there, an Amble boat, and then the next one, I had quite a few cobles, like. I like building them up and putting them back, the way that I… a lot of them get hammered, but the one I’ve got now the Royal Diadem, she’s an Amble coble, 32 footer, I’ve had her about four years, and she comes from Newbiggin, and if you ever wanted to buy, people have to look after their boats, cobles properly, you can’t go to any place better than Newbiggin. They’re like old type fishermen, like you had in Shields years ago and North Shields, it was their way of life, so they had to look after their boats, they were immaculate, you know, you always get the odd ones, like, but Newbiggin that’s where I got this one from, she was built in 19, I think it was 1960, 67, nine and half foot and she’s a traditional coble, she’s still got the stock in for the mast and everything. A lot of the old timers, even, even to this day, well they don’t build cobles now, but they still put the stock in for the mast, if you ever want to put them back to sailing, you can put them back to sailing, you know.
I don’t know, there’s just something there, it’s like people collecting vintage cars. The look of a coble. If you look at a Viking boat they’re exactly the same boat, if you look even to this day if you look at a coble, the way they’re built the way they’re planked, the way they’re nailed, I don’t know who long it was since the Vikings were here but it’s exactly the same boat. People don’t realise why the coble has a flat stern, but I read a book one time by a fellow called Rutter, I think it was Rutter from Seahouses, he fished all his life. He said, "basically, the coast of Northumberland is sandy and a double ended boat like a Viking ship if you pull it up into the sand the first thing it does is dig into the sand," so he reckons, and I agree with him, is just cut the stern off, and put a flat stern on a flat back so when your pulling them it’s just sliding over the sand.
Harry has 24 memories in the memorynet:
Harry's memories with a Work theme:
- Joining the tug boats
- The role of the tug boats
- Cabin boy's routine
- The galley
- The foy boats and skulling
- 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
- Foy boatmen
- Sculling a foy boat
- 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
Harry's other memories: