By John Sweatman

Photo:Looking downriver.

Looking downriver.

John Sweatman

This picture, taken around 1963, shows one of the cargo ferries (Rennes?) being turned. This was done using on board winches with a cable across the river - presumably the small boat is there to collect the cable. These ships were called "Screws" locally, I suppose they were single propeller vessels, and they seemed to sail in the worst of weather.

This was taken from around the lifeboat house / watch house, and shows that there was another gridiron there.

Great photo, packed with interest!

1963 is pretty much spot-on. The cargo vessel being swung is either Rennes or Nantes. (You can tell the Brest by the slant at the top of the funnel.) The term 'Dieppe Screw' dates from when we had paddlers on the route, back in the late 1800's. Our cargo ships were the first to go over to screw propellers and the name stuck for all our little cargo ships until they disappeared in the mid 1960's.

At the extreme left is the flared bow of the French steamer Lisieux. On Castle Hill at the right is the Master Gunner's house, about to become the first home for the Cresta Yacht Club.

The south gridiron next to the harbour Watch House was handy for yachts and trawlers, and even the tugs, whenever underwater work was needed and the north (main) gridiron was in use.

The vessel on the South Hard is the dredger AA Raymond, here for major engine conversion work. - Andy, Editor.


This page was added by John Sweatman on 13/03/2010.

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