Colne river police boats PRINCE OF WALES and ALEXANDRA stand upriver over the oyster beds they guarded. The Colne River Police were established in 1890 to take over the duties of the anchored watch smacks which were the earlier guardians. Up to four of these smart little cutters and sloops patrolled the river to protect the limits of the oyster fishery, which befoe 1914 saw forty or more smacks ...
Cat1 Oysters-->Pictures Cat2 Places-->Colne

Colne river police boats PRINCE OF WALES and ALEXANDRA stand upriver over the oyster beds they guarded. The Colne River Police were established in 1890 to take over the duties of the anchored watch smacks which were the earlier guardians. Up to four of these smart little cutters and sloops patrolled the river to protect the limits of the oyster fishery, which befoe 1914 saw forty or more smacks dredging its grounds. The fishery stretched seaward in the mouth of the river to the Colne Fishery Buoy, with a western limit along the West Edge. Beyond this, perhaps a hundred other smacks might dredge in season. This was an animated scene from September until April, with upwards of 200 Colne dredgermen working the smacks, and a score of river policemen patrolling their watery 'beat'.
The police boats were built by Aldous at Brightlingsea and most were designed by Mr Polley, the yard's loftsman. Hull forms varied but they were reputedly fast. The fleet included the PRINCE OF WALES, COLNE, RAVEN and ALEXANDRA. All were sold for pleasure sailing during the 1930s and 40s, the force ending with the outbreak of war in 1939. [JL]
Plate.127 in SWW
Used in The Sailor's Coast, page 48.


Photo: John Leather Collection - Douglas Went
Image ID BOXB5_017_034
Category 2 Places-->Colne


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This image is part of the Mersea Museum Collection.