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.
Growing up in Tynemouth
"We had a good life when we were kids in Tynemouth, compared I think to say somewhere in the middle of Newcastle"
We had a good life when we were kids in Tynemouth, compared I think to say somewhere in the middle of Newcastle because we had enormous playgrounds called the sea and the beach. We used to go down, we were never off the beach in the summer, on the three beaches in Tynemouth.
But one of the favourite places to go to was, especially when the trippers were around, because the beaches became uncomfortably full of outsiders on our beach. We used to go walk round to Spanish Battery and then along to Collingwood’s Monument, and they’ve got the cannons from the ship there from the Royal Sovereign, 1805, the original cannons. Of course the river was very busy in those days, so that was one of the favourite occupations, sinking ships complete with sound effects and just messing around there watching the ships. The river was a busy river in those days- there was always a ship in sight.
One of the things I remember when I was a kid there was always half a dozen ships anchored off the river. Always- we got there at night; there were lights out there, waiting for the tide or waiting for a berth. It was cheaper to, if their berth wasn’t ready, or their load wasn’t ready, whatever, or the cargo they were taking out, it was cheaper to anchor off the river, a mile off, of course no harbour dues to pay then. It must have been frustrating for the crews, because I remember Christmas Day you’d see ships anchored out there, I thought that must be frustrating for the crews, sitting and watching the bright lights.
Mel has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Mel's memories with a Sounds and Smells theme:
Mel's other memories:
- The history of his coble
- 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 being launched
- The Joan Dixon under sail
- The Bonga