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Lovely Old Ships

Issue: 5 Dated: 17th December 2013

Photographs from the private archives of Gerald Ransley Clarke, with additional contributions from Margaret Faulkner & Dave Conveney

Page 1 of 4

Quick links: 2 : 3 : 4

It was in 1929 that Gerald Ransley Clarke & his brother Ronald Osmer Clarke set up 'Clarkes' in King Street, Maidstone, Kent

Known as the 'complete house furnishers' they sold everything from lino to carpets, & carpet sweepers (we understand that was the first thing they ever sold!) to furniture

Gerald had a great interest in ships & sailing, many of the pictures are taken from his beloved two berth motor cruisers the Margaret Ann 1 & 2

In this feature we travel geographically from his home town of Maidstone, along the North Kent coast into the English Channel & across to the Channel Islands

Margaret Ann 2

Gerald's Margaret Ann 2 in the home waters of Abingdon 12 August 1961

21st October 2012 - I was really excited when I came across the photo of the little boat Margaret Ann 2 as I've been trying to find one of these boats for ages I own her sister Margaret Anne 5. Do you know anything about the boat as I would really appreciate any information you may have as I don' believe any survive Thanks - Mandy Faulkner

Mr Clarke who was grandfather to a family friend as stated owned both Margaret 1 & 2 but from the photographs have been unable to unearth where they were built or what happened to them. Unfortunately, as you know a good many of these fine vessels ended up on rivers and neglect claimed them, you can still find similar hulks on the Thames and Medway, a great shame - Ed

Margaret Ann 5

Above shows perspex covered windows photograph supplied by previous owner shows raised back roof resulting in the loss of her pretty lines

More Pictures of the Margeret Anne 5 and the Thornycroft Boat Yard in 2012 in Old Ships - Page 4

Short S20 Flying Boat

We throw in a few Flying Boats on the River Medway, travel to Southampton with pictures of the last truely great ship the Queen Mary & include a selection of shots of Naval Ships of the mid 1930's

Shorts Medway Slipway

On the Shorts River Medway Slipway 24th September 1930

On the Mooring

Mid-river on a mooring 24th September 1930

Calcutta, Amphibian & a Moth

But 1st it's the River Medway & the Shorts Company makers of Flying Boats, above a Calcutta, Amphibian & Moth pictured above on 24th September 1930

HMS Valient

HMS Valiant on the River Medway on 2nd August 1933

The 31,100 ton ship was 640' in length with a beam of 104'

Laid down in 1915, with a war crew of 1187 she was fitted with 8 x 15" guns & 7500 HP engine capable of 25 knots

20th June 2013 - I eventually got into the loft and remembered the photographs that I promised to send along

Regards, Dave Coveney

Bill Coveney inspects tickets at Strood Pier

Newspaper Photograph of my Dave's father Bill Coveney, in uniform inspecting tickets at Strood pier in the early 1960's

The Peking at Rochester

The Peking later T.S. Arethusa on her arrival in the Medway, laying off Gas House Wharf, Rochester

TS Arethusa

The TS Arethusa (Training Ship) formerly the Pekin by Upnor Woods on the River Medway on 2nd August 1933

MV Queen of the Channel June 1935

MS (Motor Steamer) Queen of the Channel on 16th June 1935

21/01/10 - My grandfather, Greaser, William Marshall, was in the engineroom of the first MS Queen of the Channel when she was sunk during the Dunkirk evacuation. I am the owner of his discharge papers from that occassion, which state reason for leaving ship, sunk by enemy action. The papers along with his photo are on long loan to the Maritime Museum at Ramsgate Harbour and can be viewed there. He along with his son in law, Sid Scanlon, went on to serve in the new Queen right up to the end of trading. If she were still around today she would never get into Ramsgate, the berth is all silted up and nobody seems to care - Malcolm Milham

MV Queen of the Channel June 1935

MS Queen of the Channel on 16th June 1935

14/09/09 - I'm a wreckdiver. & was searching for pictures of the ship MV Queen of the Channel, I came upon you're site and found these very nice pictures. In October we plan a channel dive trip starting in France, the Queen of the Channel and the Moldavia are on our target list. We normally make articles of the wrecks we dive,with underwater pictures, added with historical pictures.We'd like to add a picture when we publish in the Duiken Magazine Diver, Wreckdive Magazine Thank you very much stefan Panis from Belgium

Bill & Joe Coveney on Queen of the Channel

Bill Coveney Chef & his brother Joe in the late 1930's photograph by Medway Studios, 43 High Street, Chatham

SY Alcrity

The 2250 ton SY (Steam Yacht) Alacrity off Upnor on the River Medway being used as the yacht club vessel on 7th June 1933

23rd January 2009 - My Great-great-granfather Captain Skinner was Master of the Alacrity (pdf) in the 1920's when she was a charter vessel to Montague Graham White's fleet of ships, I'm writing a family history & so pleased to see the picture of his vessel - Malcolm Pearce

5th October 2012 - I stumbled upon a whole box of photos and details concerning the steam yacht Alacricty. She was built for an American millionaire, sold to a Russian princess who outfitted the yacht with treasures from one of her palaces, and then sold to an Englishman who was married to an American heiress. The yacht went round the world three times, and was chartered to two wealthy American women for a while who took 9 month trips across the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Then in the late 1930's the yacht became a 'club' with paying members who took trips to the med' in the autumn and the fjords in spring followed by short trips based from Poole Harbour, where I now live, I'll let you have the pictures for your article - Best Regards Dick Morris

Kitty at Old Kings Ferry Bridge

Undated 'Kitty' passes under the old Kings Ferry Bridge linking the Isle-of-Sheppey to North Kent


The German Auxillary Magdalene Vivven at Queenborough on the 25th September 1932 built in 1921 she was 3476 tons

SS Bassett Hound

Oil Tanker the SS (Steam Ship) Bassett Hound off Sheerness on 27th June 1934


Panier at Sheerness

Panier, Sheerness

Dated as the 1930's

City of New York

Undated The City of New York in the Thames Estuary

18/4/09 - I was fascinated to find the above picture my Dad was chief engineer on the New York in the 1950's and sailed several times out of the Port of London. A scale apprentice piece (model) built by Vickers Armstrong (now BAE Systems) sits in the main entrance hall of Furness General Hospital in Barrow in Furness. My Dad was writing his memoirs of his days at sea before he died 6 years ago, but he had very few photographs, so it was nice to see the ship he used to talk about so much. Regards - Tim Clarke

PS Royal Daffodil

The 465 ton, 152' long SS Royal Daffodil leaving Southend with a top speed rating of 12 knots

PS City of Rochester

PS (Paddle Steamer) City of Rochester the 160' long 235 ton ship capable of 35 knots leaving Southend

Both above pictures from 27th June 1934

HMS Scout

HMS Scout the 905 ton 276' fitted with 3 x 4" guns, the ship could reach 36 knots she's pictured off Southend 5th June 1935

PS Crested Eagle

The PS Crested Eagle at Southend Pier 7th June 1933

Shamrock Yankee

Shamrock & Yankee off Southend on 5th June 1935

19/06/09 - Whilst looking for something entirely different I chanced upon the photograph of Gerald Lambert's Yankee at Southend on 5th June 1935 on your site. She had come from the USA to race against other 'J's including Britannia to celebrate George V's 25 years on the throne. My interest in Thames Sailing Barges has resulted in me researching for publication by the Society for Sailing Barge Research, an autobiography of a Victorian Barge Master Captain George Winn. He retired around 1933 and lived in Southend & was invited to crew aboard Yankee in the two races held at Southend because of his local knowledge. I was with his grandson in Southend yesterday - Richard Walsh

Single Funnel Paddle Steamer

Undated entitled Single Funnel Paddle Steamer

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