Mel belongs to: The Coble and Keelboat Society
Mel was born in Tynemouth. From childhood he has always had an interest in boats and the sea. Mel has a coble, which he has restored. He joined The Coble and Keelboat Society through a friend. It is a good way to find out information and make contacts.
Mel was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 16 February 2006. The interview took place at Ouseburn Heritage Centre and lasted 20 minutes and 27 seconds.
How he got his coble
"I was actually sitting in the Cumberland Arms one night and Peter came in, Peter came in with Gordon and said, “are you going to tell or shall I tell him?” and he said “would you like a boat?” "
I was actually sitting in the Cumberland Arms one night and Peter came in, Peter came in with Gordon and said, “are you going to tell or shall I tell him?” and he said “would you like a boat?”
And the story was, this boat, my Joan Dickson, it fished until 1987 with the same family, the Dickson family, Bill Dickson and John Dickson, it’s named after John Dickson’s sister, she was one year old when it was launched. It fished out of Beadnell all its life there and in 1987 he decided to retire from the fishing, John Dickson, and he gave it to the Sea Life museum in Seahouses.
It was taken out there, craned out of the harbour, put on a wagon, taken round to the back of the museum which is on the main street and loaded into the back yard of the museum and they extended the museum around it, to build like an annexe, with the boat in sailing on a plaster sea for all eternity.
Well, about four years ago now we found out the owner wanted to get rid of it-he decided it wasn’t much of a draw, he wanted to have fish tanks there, so it would bring the kids in more, and he wanted to cut it up, because the only way out by then was through an ordinary door. And he was going to take a chain saw to it. And Peter said, “you know, what you want to scrap it for? Can we have it?” and we were told that we could have it if we took it away.
And we had until the end of November, this was the middle of October, middle of, no September, it would be. We had about four, five weeks to take it away.
Mel has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Mel's memories with a Leisure theme:
- How he got his coble
- Rescuing and restoring the coble
- First voyage after restoration
- The Mouth of the River Festival 2005
- The Tall Ships 2005
- Growing up in Tynemouth
- Moving the Joan Dixon
Mel's other memories: