Coastal Craft

Coastal craft Barking (oil on canvas)

Barking

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 160630

Oil on Canvas, 40x30 cm, £145 including frame [Sold]

 

The tug Barking was built in 1928 by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd in Faversham for the Beckton Gas Light and Coke Works in London. Until about 1970, she was used to manoeuvre lighters (barges) loaded with coal. In 1979, Ian Wollett discovered the derelict hull of Barking in a Southampton boatyard; all the machinery had been removed. The 54ft tug is a testament to one man’s love - it took 25 years of painstaking work assembling new and recovered machinery, rebuilding the deck and fitting out the cabins, and converting her from diesel to steam propulsion. Barking was relaunched in 2004 and has sailed far further than she ever did during 42 years of work on the Thames. Now berthed at Chatham Historic Dockyard, she is a regular and welcome visitor to Faversham.

BP Haulier

Faversham Built, Faversham Registered, Coastal Craft, Official Number 186960

Oil on canvas, 40x30 cm, £145 including frame

 

Launched sideways on 22nd April 1955, the oil tanker BP Haulier was built by James Pollocks, Sons & Co Ltd., Faversham. She was specially designed by Pollocks so she could motor up the creek stern first to take fuel oil to the Shell-BP depot on Faversham Creek. The flags - actually a signal code message which reads - ‘Shell Good Luck BP Haulier Mex BP’. She was the first British constructed tanker to be fitted with a ‘Voith-Schneider’ multi-direction propulsion unit which combined steering and propulsion in one unit. This meant that BP Haulier could manoeuvre easily in the shallow waters of the creek. Such was the significance of this event, it was even reported in 'The New York Times' of 23 April 1955! She was sold in 1975 and renamed Chrysanthy H. In 1976, she was operating in Greece carrying fresh water to the outer islands under the name of Niagaras.

Coastal craft BP haulier (oil on canvas)
Coastal craft Mexshell II (oil on canvas)

Mexshell II

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft

Oil on canvas, 45x35cm, £165 including frame

 

Mexshell II was built by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd, Faversham in 1940 for the Shell Petroleum Company. Together with her sister vessel Mayshell, they were specially designed as self-propelled, steel refuelling barges to serve BOAC's Empire flying boats. They were 15.2m (50') long and could carry 11,259 litres (2,500 gallons) of aviation fuel and 900 litres (200 gallons) of lubrication oil. A further eight similar refuellers were built for the RAF for use with Sunderland and Catalina flying boats. Mexshell II is known to have serviced flights of the S.30 flying boat 'Clare' at Foynes in Ireland in 1940. 'Clare' was originally registered as 'Australia' (G-AFCZ) and built in Kent by Short Brothers at Rochester in 1939.

Barking

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 160630

Ink and watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame [Sold]

 

The tug Barking was built in 1928 by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd, Faversham, for the Gas Light & Coke Co. London. She was constructed as a motor tug, with a riveted steel hull and fitted with a 120 bhp Swedish Bolinder diesel engine. Her working life was spent on the Thames towing coal-laden lighters. By the late 1970s, she was derelict. She was bought, rebuilt, converted to coal-fired operation and relaunched in 2004. Barking is now owned by the ‘VIC 96’ Trust at Chatham Historic Dockyard and is a regular visitor to Faversham. She was a sister ship to Noni, built by Pollocks for the Faversham Navigation Commission. Noni worked as a motor tug in Faversham Creek from 1926 until 1942 when she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service.

Coastal craft Barking (ink & watercolour)
Coastal craft Beaumont (ink & watercolour)

Beaumont

Faversham Registered, Coastal Craft, Official Number 912578

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame

(Based on a photograph, courtesy of Juan Dominguez)

 

Beaumont, together with her sister ship Ventura, are presently the largest vessels registered at the Port of Faversham, each with a net capacity of 1,460 tonnes. Beaumont was built in 2005 in the Netherlands and is 88.6m (291 ft) long. She is operated by Faversham Ships Ltd which was originally founded here at Faversham in 1994 by Chris Cook - hence the name of the company. He started with one ship Conformity which he purchased from FT Everards & Sons Ltd. Now the Company are located on the Isle of Wight and operate a fleet of ten bulk carriers. They keep links with Faversham with ships continuing to be registered here.

Bee

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 149537

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame [Sold]

(Based on a photograph, courtesy of Roger Wills)

 

Bee was built was by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd in Faversham in 1928 for the Shepherd Brothers on the Isle of Wight. It replaced a sailing vessel of the same name that had been carrying goods to and from the Island since 1801. On Tuesday 28th May 1940, the Bee was in Portsmouth Harbour. A Naval Officer boarded the ship and told the captain that the Navy was taking over command of the vessel as part of 'Operation Dynamo' (the Dunkirk evacuation). By Thursday 30th May, Bee and her crew found themselves being bombed and shelled off Dunkirk. Unperturbed, they bravely managed to rescue 375 troops and returned safely. The barge no longer exists.

Coastal craft Bee (ink & watercolour)

Kingston (Sun XXIV)

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 302876

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame

 

Built in 1962 by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd, Faversham (YN2127), Sun XXIV was fitted with a 750 bhp 6 cylinder diesel engine. She was the first of three "Sun" tugs built by Pollocks for WHJ Alexander Ltd for use on the River Thames. Under new owners in 1992, she was renamed Kingston. In 2001, she was bought by Griffin Towage, London, and was rebuilt in 2005 at Macduff Shipyards in Scotland and fitted with bow thruster, push knee, Kort nozzle and new propeller. She is still in active service and can be seen in the 2017 film 'Dunkirk', moored in the background in Weymouth harbour. She is the only "Sun" tug still working in the UK (2018).

Coastal craft Kingston (ink & watercolour)

Seafox

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 184555

Oil on canvas, 40x30 cm, £145 including frame [Sold]

 

Built in 1946 by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd, Faversham, HMS Seafox was one of a pair vessels built for the Admiralty, Ripon being the other vessel. Seafox was used for ferrying aircraft between Northern Ireland and the west coasts of England and Scotland. She had a carrying capacity of 700 tons and could transport four ‘Seafire’ planes in a special hold as well as a light bomber on the deck aft. ‘Seafires’, the naval version of the famous ‘Spitfire', had modified landing gear and folding wings for use on aircraft carriers. In 1951, she was converted for Royal Fleet Auxiliary service as RFA Seafox and used to transport general cargo until 1958. She was later sold and in 1968 renamed Roubahe Darya. Her final fate is unknown.

Coastal craft Seafox (oil on canvas)
Coastal craft Silver Barracuda (ink & watercolour)
Coastal craft Sun III (ink & watercolour)

Silver Barracuda

Faversham Built, Passenger Craft, IMO 7340382

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame

 

Silver Barracuda was built by Southern Shipbuilders (London) Ltd for Woods of London. With a length of over 38 m (125 ft), she was launched into Faversham Creek in April 1976. After being elegantly completed by Woods in Isleworth, she entered into their service in 1977. Silver Barracuda is still operating today on the river Thames in London as a beautiful, vintage cruiser. Her recent refurbishment reflects the original, striking art deco interior styling with opulent fabrics and oak panelling. With a history contributing to over four decades on the Thames, the Silver Barracuda has welcomed prime ministers, film stars, pop singers, writers and Royalty.

Sun III

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, IMO 6600735

Ink & Watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame

 

James Pollock (a consulting engineer and naval architect) established a shipyard in Faversham in 1916 at the request of the First Lord of the Admiralty. Over 1,100 steel vessels were built and launched from Faversham between 1916 and 1969. The narrowness of Faversham Creek was no obstacle as larger vessels were launched sideways. The shipyard specialised in naval vessels, tugs, workboats, barges and coastal craft as well as dumb lighters. It was a pioneer in diesel propulsion and in the construction of concrete ships. Sun III was built in 1962 for WHJ Alexander Ltd for working on the river Thames. In 1992, the tug Sun III was bought by new owners in Greece and renamed Filippos. She is still active today - a testament to the quality of construction of Pollock’s vessels.

Coastal craft Sun XXVII (ink & watercolour)

Sun XXVII

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 336987

Ink & watercolour, 30x20 cm, £65 including frame

 

Built in 1968 by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd, Faversham, the tug Sun XXVII was the final vessel on their official list. She was the last Thames-style tug to be built for ship-towing as well as for fire-fighting and believed to be the last Thames tug built in the UK using a riveted construction. She was delivered to WHJ Alexander Ltd., London in December 1968. After changing owners several times and being fitted with a Kort nozzle and Becker rudder to increase her towage capabilities, she was renamed Saga Sun in 1997. She was sold in 2003 to a company in Trinidad where she remains in active service as a port tug, along with Saga Moon (originally Sun XXVI).

Coastal craft VIC 56 (oil on canvas)

VIC 56

Faversham Built, Coastal Craft, Official Number 180809

Oil on Canvas, 40x30 cm, £145 including frame

(Based on a photograph, courtesy of Alan Jenner)

 

VIC 56 was built in 1945 for the Ministry of War Transport by James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd in Faversham at a cost of £17,613. She spent thirty years at Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland as a lighter - a vessel used to load and unload cargo from larger ships; firstly as a victualling stores carrier and later as an ammunitions carrier to Royal Navy warships. In 1978, she was advertised for disposal and bought by Henry Cleary. Following extensive restoration in 1984 and conversion to coal-firing, she is presently berthed at Chatham Historic Dockyard. With the help of volunteers, VIC 56 is regularly steamed and can be seen around the Thames estuary and Kent coast.

Faversham Creek has a long local tradition of wooden boat, barge and shipbuilding over several centuries. In more recent times, the Faversham yard of James Pollock, Sons & Co Ltd was established to build a range of specialised coastal craft. Their steel vessels ranged from dumb lighters for use on the Thames to cargo barges, tugs, coasters and small tankers. It was also a pioneer in diesel propulsion and in the construction of concrete ships. The yard closed in 1970. It was taken over by Southern Shipbuilders until the late 1970s when it also closed.

 

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