A low tide launch in Newhaven Harbour

By John Hills

This is a picture from my late mother's collection of slides of the harbour, showing the Newhaven Lifeboat the Kathleen Mary being launched at low tide sometime in the early 1960's. On the starboard stern is Harold "trotter" Hills the radio operator, getting ready to raise the aft mast which had attached the short wave wire transmitting aerial. A sight which will be sadly missed.

Moored on the east quay opposite you can see the large bucket dredger the Foremost which was used to keep the harbour free from the build up of mud.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'THE KATHLEEN MARY LIFEBOAT' page

M. W. Hills

This page was added by John Hills on 31/12/2007.
Comments about this page

The dredger's name was "Foremost Prince" she was used for dredging the outer harbour, (green light, east pier to the end of the breakwater) twin screw steam engines,the buckets were operated by there own engine. Mud dredged was deposited in her hold and she would take it out to sea for several miles to dicharge it on an outward tide. I believe when sold that she towed out to New Zealand.

By Colin Holden
On 15/01/2008

Amazingly, she made it all the way to New Zealand under her own steam! Meeching has a black hull so this must be very early 1960's.

By Andy Gilbert
On 27/02/2008

In the 60's, when I was but a lad (!), I used to watch the dredger with my dad (Arthur Woolford) and I remember him explaining how the mud came down one of two chutes on either side of the dredger and was deposited into barges tied alongside. The barges were, in turn, towed out to sea by the Meeching. One of the chutes can be seen, folded, amidships below the top bucket wheel.

By David woolford
On 09/04/2008

At one time my uncle, Len Flowers, was working on the deck of the dredger when he looked up and saw the spikes of a mine sticking out in one of the buckets ! After his frantic warning shout - the buckets were stopped, the mine disposal unit arrived, discovered it was live - it was eventually taken out to sea and blown up ! I'm sure the crew soon retired to the Shades pub for a stiff drink or two !!!

By Vicky Delaney
On 15/05/2008

Rumour had it my father (who worked for P&O) named me after this lifeboat, yes my middle name is Mary).

By kathleen
On 08/03/2010

In 1973 I started to build a 1" to the foot scale model of "Kathleen Mary" In 2010 , yes I am still working on it !! I received a truly wonderful response from the then Hon Sec who arranged for me to get on board in the boathouse and take a mountain of photographs to aid my build. When I took the photographs, in black & white of course, the wheelhouse section was painted all over in grey but the orange panels where limited to the top front and rear of of the wheelhouse. She was also sporting at that time a radar scanner but no self righting arrangement which appears in other photos on this site. All my photos are undated but I wonder if anyone can give a range of dates (years) when "Kathleen" was in this condition ? Regards,David Crowden Now Press & Publicity Officer Bromley,West Wickham & Hayes Branch

By David Crowden
On 22/09/2010

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