Baltic Exchange Communications: Colm Nolan

Bltc 1

2014 saw the 25th anniversary of the birth of the Internet. It is also the 138th anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone call in 1876. Such an event made me think it would be interesting to write about the history of communication within the Baltic exchange. Read the rest of this entry »

Dedication of memorials to the loss of two Liverpool Pilot Boats: Stuart Wood


Lp pilot boats

SS Alfred H Read, No1 Pilot Boat, built in 1913, hit a mine while cruising at the Bar Pilot Station on 28 December 1917. It sank very quickly with the loss of 39 lives, including 19 pilots and eight apprentice pilots. Only two of the crew were saved. Read the rest of this entry »

Retired Liverpool, Roger Ellison, Pilot Receives the Arctic Star Medal

Actic star 1

Roger Hilton Ellison lives on the Isle of Man. This year a special ceremony was held for him at the Governor’s residence in Douglas to present him with two World War II medals, the Arctic Star and the Ushakov Medal. Read the rest of this entry »

Obituary: William Hedley Kett 1913-2014



W Kett 1

Capt Hedley Kett, who has died aged 100, was a successful wartime submarine commander and, post-war, piloted ships in the
North Sea and on the Thames.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tilbury Restores London International Cruise Terminal Cupola



The Port of Tilbury has invested £250,000 into restoring a historical landmark, which features prominently on the Thames skyline. Read the rest of this entry »

Sailing the Cambria for the 150th Thames Barge Match Race: JCB

Cambria-Thames-Match-2011On Saturday 13th July your editor joined a Port of London team who had chartered the sailing barge Cambria to participate in the 83rd Thames barge match race which was significant in that this year also marked the 150th anniversary of the original race. Read the rest of this entry »

1918: UKPA President Michael Joyce survives torpedo Attack: Harry Hignett

Joyce RMS_Leinster

Retired Manchester pilot and author of both the original 1984 centenary UKPA history and the updated edition published earlier this year came across this account of the survival of a torpedo attack in 1918 by past President of the UKPA, Michael Joyce. Read the rest of this entry »

Bristol Channel Pilots: William & William David Selway: Alison Berqqvist (Nee Selway)

Pilots in Cork

The only picture we have of William Selway is this one of him sitting on the floor with his hat in his lap representing Bristol Pilots at a conference of UK Pilots in Cork (year unknown).  Read the rest of this entry »

Whither Towage: John Clandillon-Baker

The Paddle Tug

JMW Turner: The Fighting Temeraire being towed to Rotherhithe for scrapping in 1838. 

The relationship between UK pilots and towage goes back to the 1830’s when the concept of attaching a specially designed small vessel to tow bigger ships was first introduced into Britain.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Loss of the Humber Pilot Cutter J H Fisher: 12th January 1963 (Davis Raddings Humber Retd.)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the severe winter of 1962 -63 which lasted from December to March and saw major rivers such as the Thames and Humber freeze over. Read the rest of this entry »

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