A one time regular at the North Quay

By Andy Gilbert

One another page there's talk of a 'salt caked coaster from Seaham'. That vessel may or may not have been the Keynes, but she was a regular sight at the North Quay for so many years that she deserves her own page.

She was one of Stevenson Clarke's fleet of colliers that plied their trade around the coast in the days of coal fired power stations. Newhaven was a regular port of call for her, and she  would come in every week or so laden with coal for the gasworks at Bexhill, I think.

I can remember her in the early 1960's, and we later got visits from some of the more modern vessels in the 'Stevie Clarke' fleet. I guess by then she had been sold on or scrapped due to old age.

Photo:Keynes enters Newhaven

Keynes enters Newhaven

Photo: Kind permission of Newhaven Museum

Photo:A second view of the Keynes

A second view of the Keynes

Photo: Kind permission of Newhaven Museum

This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 25/05/2008.
Comments about this page

Thanks for the pictures, Andy.

I'm still struggling to remember whether she was the coaster I saw so regularly at North Quay, from the Ferguson Lab window, but she looks great anyway.

If she was taken off the route and sadly scrapped around 1968/1969, then I think she's the one. The more I think of the name "Keynes", the more I think you're correct.

I didn't start working at Ferguson's until the middle of 1965, and I'm certain I remember seeing the vessel by North Quay for a good two or three years. Maybe someone has a picture of her on her last trip, with the bunting?

By Roger Morley
On 26/05/2008

I remember her well, (dare I tell this one).
When she was empty she would drift up river with the tide to an area just north of the Island known as "the swinging berth'. There she would drop anchor and let the tide swing her round, retrieve the anchor and proceed down river again.
Well, one summer evening in the company of a young lady, laying on the grassy river bank at peace with the world (all I am saying), our peace was shattered by the sound of the anchor running out from the Keynes. She had drifted up silently on us. Very startled I looked round and up at focsul from where I was greeted with waves from the crew. When I looked round the young lady had fled, very red faced, towards Cantels boatyard. Being something of a gentleman in those days, I managed to catch up with her at the bottom of Elphick road and return to her the things she had left behind in her haste to get away.
Yes....I remember the Keynes all right Andy!
Happy days they were.

By William Still
On 06/10/2008

I meant to add the fact that, having checked, it was indeed Seaham where Keynes loaded her coals for Newhaven. So that does indeed make her Roger's coaster.

William, you rascal! Nice story.


By Andy Gilbert
On 24/11/2008

Thanks a lot, Andy - mystery (failing memory) sorted, at long last! Still waiting to see a picture of her with the bunting, on her last trip. Surely SOMEONE has one...please?


By Roger Morley
On 28/11/2008

From my hazy memory banks, my father was cook/steward on the Keynes when she was sold in 1966 to a swedish firm to be made into a floating drill rig, later to be scrapped in 1969.

By John Hardy
On 11/06/2010

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