|From Ashley Howard:
The company I worked for used to be the Agents for Everards here in Hull and it was my job to do the customs documentation and help skippers and crew in any requirements - doctors/dentists/provisions etc. I'd take the post that was sent care of the office down on board as soon as any vessel arrived as all crew members liked to keep in touch with their family (no mobile phones in those days!).
I spent many an hour drinking steaming hot coffee in the galley with your granddad [Fred Mackie] chatting about things. I remember those huge mugs they had on the Will and the tins of thick milk they used.
I remember one day he said to me that Everard's had offered him the chance to take-over one of their coasters and he had (politely.....'ish) told them what they could do with it! He said that when he lost the Will Everard he would go ashore. He felt that he had found his place in life, on a Thames Sailing Barge and he was content with his life. "This is where I belong. Boats like this have character" he said to me. But he didn't go ashore straight away though, as I remember one day being on the Albert Dock in Hull and seeing an Everard coaster anchored in the River Humber about 100 yards out, waiting for the tide to run and spotting Fred on deck. So, being a bit of a loud mouth I hollered out "Fred is that you......how you doing?" and that was it....we had a long distance conversation there and then, both of us yelling like football supporters' to each other. What all the dockers thought about us I don't know (and didn't care).
That was the last time I saw him as our paths never crossed again.
He was a great guy and I always had lots of time for him.
I have often wondered what happened to him, and so it is wonderful to know that the life he followed must have been good for him as he lived to such a ripe old age.
God bless you Fred, you were a well loved man.
The photos I have of the trip from CWS wharf in Hull to Kings Lynn were on transparency slides and have got damp over the years.
The pilot cutter tied-up along side us so that we got into Kings Lynn with enough water under us. Otherwise we would have been grounded on a sand/mud bar. The wind was against us as soon as we left the Humber and into the North Sea so we arrived in the Wash later than expected, so by tying up along side the Will there where two engines working together as the tide dropped.
We "thumbed" our way back to Hull via open top cars, on the back of flat back wagons etc etc as far as Doncaster then we got a train back to Hull.
Ashley puts the date as 1963 - 1966.
From Simon Mackie
Fred Mackie, the skipper of the Will, was my grandad, and although he sadly passed away in 2006, aged 92, he was the life and soul up until the end. He's survived by his wife and a very large family of several generations. She has a model of the Will on the sideboard (the kitchen was always, and still is, 'the galley' in that household!).
[Photograph of Simon, Fred and Doris is saved in MMIma040/Misc017 taken August 2005]