Schooner TAMESIS. The old steamer and sailing ship type of ornamental bow for many years before 1936 seen sailing on the River Colne. [DW].
The 140 ton schooner yacht TAMESIS weighing anchor in the Colne, 1933. The cable is being hove short and the staysail is backed to stop her forging ahead in the light breeze under the foresail (the sail between the masts in a two masted gaff rigged schooner) and a small jib. The mainsail hangs in lifts awaiting final adjustments to its halyards and clew outhaul. The boat in davits on her quarter will also be swigged up and griped in when she bears away out of the river.
Schooner yachts of this size were becoming rare by the 1930s. The 107ft, clipper bowed TAMESIS was designed and built at Cowes, Isle of Wight, by C. Hansen and Sons in 1875. Auxiliary petrol engines were installed in 1928 which reduced her speed under sail but made her more manageable in confined harbours such as Ramsgate or Torquay, with few hands. When this photograph was taken in the early 1930s she was owned by Alfred Adams and sailed with a principally Brightlingsea crew. The clipper bow, prominent shroud channels, and topmasts give a robust appearance to this old cruising yacht, which survived laid-up in a Brightlingsea mud berth until the late 1940s.
The masthead stays of this version of schooner rig complicate the setting of a main topsail between the masts; effective on a reach yet difficult to pass over the stays when tacking.
The steam yacht beyond her is probably the 110ft MEDEA, then owned by John Wild, a leading shareholder in the Brightlingsea shipyard of Aldous Successors Ltd. The MEDEA is now preserved at San Diego, California.
Again, Went has achieved a well balanced composition from the anchored steam yacht, through the stirring schooner to the jutting bow of the motor cruiser in the foreground. [JL]
Plate.24 in SWW.
Used in The Sailor's Coast, page 58.
Used in Essex Countryside December 1963 page 87.
TAMESIS 71881 owner J.R. Hoare registered Cowes [LRY 1881]
TAMESIS 71881 owner Col. Alfred Bibby [LRY 1900]
TAMESIS 71881 owner Col. Alfred Bibby [LRY 1914]
TAMESIS Official No. 71881, owner Alfred C. Adams [Lloyds Yacht Register 1935].
TAMESIS 71881 Aux twin screw schooner, 2 petrol motors, owner J.L. Wild registered Cowes [LRY 1947]
TAMESIS 71881 owner J.L. Wild [LRY 1953]. Not in 1969 LRY.
The Salty Shore, page 130, mentions TAMESIS in the late 1950s serving out her days as a houseboat in the Tollesbury saltings.
This image is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection.