TESTSIDE AND FOREMOST PRINCE

Harbour Workhorses

By Derek Longly

The two dredgers Testside and Foremost Prince seemed to be an almost permanent part of the harbour scene in the 1950's and 60's. They were forever busy either inside the harbour area in the case of the Testside, or clearing the channel into the port in the case of the Foremost Prince.

The clanking and puffing noises produced by the pair was fascinating to listen to whilst if you got close enough to either when they were working you would have a stimulating whiff of the mud that slid glutinously down into the barges that accompanied them.

At one time in 1959 I was offered a job on one or the other of them by James Contracting & Shipping, their owners, but was either lucky enough, or unlucky, depending on the viewpoint, in being at the same time offered more lucrative employment within the American oil industry in Libya, so was able to decline the opportunity to work on either of them.

Both vessels were around for many years, had a great deal of character and, I am sure, are fondly remembered by many residents of the town.

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Photo:Testside getting up a head of steam

Testside getting up a head of steam

Derek Longly

Photo:Testside busy at work in the harbour

Testside busy at work in the harbour

Derek Longly

Photo:Testside resting

Testside resting

Derek Longly

Photo:Foremost Prince dredging the channel into the port

Foremost Prince dredging the channel into the port

Derek Longly

Photo:Foremost Prince alongside the former London & Paris Hotel in the 1950's

Foremost Prince alongside the former London & Paris Hotel in the 1950's

Derek Longly

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This page was added by Derek Longly on 18/09/2011.