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.
First voyage after restoration
"After a lot of messing around it fired up and coughed black smoke everywhere and banged and rattled but it started to run"
After a lot of messing around it fired up and coughed black smoke everywhere and banged and rattled but it started to run. Massive trouble with over heating because all the waterways were jam blocked up, it had been left with water in and sediment just hardened. But I did quite a few months hard work in that.
And of course it sank the first time I put it in the water, because they’re not, they’re clinker-built boats so there’s no sealant between the planks- they rely on the planks being forced against each other to keep the water out, so they’re bent under pressure. When they dry out, you get gaps forming, like gaps so…
We put it in the water for the first time since 1987- great, lovely painted up, it looked lovely. I opened the front hatch and there’s water dribbling in everywhere, pulled it back up the slip and every day we had to pull it further out in the water for a few hours and back out again, drain the water out when the tide went out, until it gradually filled up. That took three months for it to gradually…the planking absorbs, slowly absorbs water and swells slightly to make it watertight.
Mel has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Mel's memories with a The North East 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
- The attraction of the coble
- Growing up in Tynemouth
- The Joan Dixon
- Invoice for the Joan Dixon
- Moving the Joan Dixon
- The Joan Dixon under sail
- The Bonga
Mel's other memories: