Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MARINE SHOP TALENTS' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MARINE SHOP TALENTS' page

A.A. Raymond

By William Still

In response to John Hills picture of the interior of the marine shops.

Some of you may remember the A.A. Raymond. She was an ugly-looking grey-hulled ship which was towed to Newhaven from Singapore.
Whilst at Newhaven she had her massive diesels removed and replaced by much smaller engines which ran at a higher speed.
She was either moored up by the marine shops or down on the hard (south of Sleepers Hole).

It was whilst at Sleepers Hole that her large propeller shafts were removed. These were lowered onto two lifeboats lashed together and a local fisherman (either Mr Saunders or Mr Waller...not sure now) towed these shafts up river to the Marine shops where the skills of our local machinists did the necessary work on them.
I may point out that the two lifeboats, whilst carrying the weight of the propshafts did not have much free board left, however, thanks to the handling skills of our local fisherman they made it to the Marine shops and back without incident.

I have attached two photographs. The first shows the A.A. Raymond moored at the Marine shops and the second when she was on "The Hard" with her shafts removed. The two characters you can see are Peter Spanns standing on the hard and Billy still sitting on the A bracket.

On completion of her refit she proceeded to the river Thames where she was regularly seen discharging sand and gravel from the Thames estuary.

This page was added by William Still on 23/11/2007.
Comments about this page

My Husband Nevill Smith worked on this ship in 1963, when the river/sea was frozen over.

By Valerie Smith
On 21/03/2008

Nevill Smith! Thats right, he was the expert welder called in to do the modifications. Bet he would remember me. I found some leaky rivets for him to weld in the bilges...

By William Still
On 28/11/2008

Is it possible to have copies of photos of the AA Raymond?

Photos are provided to Our Newhaven solely for use on the site. We therefore regret that we are unable to supply copies.

I know that Newhaven Museum does have several original photos and postcards of the vessel, so it's worth making contact with them to see if they can help you. Their website is:

Andy - Editors team

By Doug Laverie
On 16/04/2012

Thanks for the info

By doug laverie
On 16/04/2012

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.