Viking ship - lost - and found ?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Bergalia, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Hi Tim, we lived at 192, down towards the end next to the big detached house. We moved there in 1964 and moved out in 1975? Had a wonderful childhood as the moorings were down at the Sandhey slip by the tennis courts, through to out house by the steps. Dad had a wooden Falcon (as they aall were in those days), Kahua no 16 which was initially moored on the sailing club side of the Sandhey slip groyne! Remember the old baths, I recall swimming there as a nipper... the monkey woods etc..

    I had an Achilles 24 on the moorings before moving abroad. I had a Falcon myself at WKSC for a couple of seasons and one day... I'd like to come home and get another. Loads more stories and loads of wonderful memories of HSC, the sheds, the sands and the fishing boats.

    Best wishes to Meols and the beach and have a pint for me at the Railway.
    Richard
     
  2. Tim Baldock
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    Location: meols, wirral

    Tim Baldock Junior Member

    Meols, Viking Boat etc

    Well fellahs in that well-worn phrase of our glorious legal system, 'I rest my case.' You guys just don't get it do you, we 'Meols lads' always stick together, regardless of what we do for a living! However, one or two of you do sound a bit dodgy, so who wants to go first?

    Hi Richard, thanks for getting back to me. I had written a long email to you only to find that I was not logged in (or something!) and it seems to have gone off into the ether. I'll write to you again but will only be brief now.My mate Guy Pullan lived at 196 and now lives in Beachcroft Road did you know him? He moved there from Yorkshire in 1966.

    Was your dad fairly well spoken and of stocky build with short curly hair? He used to call around to Merrimans on a Sunday morning for his papers when I was marking them up , and he would sometimes have 3 or 4 children with him.

    A neighbour has just approached me and told me that her elderly uncles recall another ancient boat being unearthed by the Monkey Woods when they were building Ashford and Garden Hey Roads in the 1930's, so watch this space!
    Thanks for the shared memories.....Hoylake Swimmimg baths.....halycon days.
    Tim
     
  3. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    You are a sppokie chap Tim, yes I remember the Pullens... but weren´t they 194? Guy and a brother? They were a few years older than us. Next to them were the Stephensons then the detached house on teh end but I dont remember their name. The large detatched house next to us on teh other side was Jack & Margary Meek (I still go to visit her when I come home, she must be well into her 80´s now) thenthe Richardsons bought it.

    Dad was ´portly´, well spoken for a scouser from Dingle but yes were were 4 kids so looks like you´ve pinged us! Obviously a copper eh?! I remembeer going down to Merrimans, I got The Wizard... and used to use our old sixpence pocketmoney to buy dinky cars. My sons now do the same.

    What is sad is that we used to go to the boat sheds, the monkey woods the the field/dunes behind our houses by ourselves at the age of 6-7-8 without any worries or fears, and of course onto the beach. I doubt parents today would be so willing.

    I hadnt heard about the second boat, thats news to me. I saw on the net last week that Hoylake Lifeboat station is building a new boathouse on the site of the old baths in anticipation of a new boat.

    Meols will stay in my heart forever so keep it safe Tim!

    Cheers
    Richard

    PS How long have you lived at 196? That would be the post box wouldnt it?
     
  4. Tim Baldock
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    Tim Baldock Junior Member

    Meols and Viking boats

    Hi Richard,
    Yes I think you are right, Guy Pullan was at 194 . I was only looking at Google Earth very quickly and not having used it before was counting incorrectly from where we lived at 146 , next to the Strattons at 148 who were and still are ,well into Hoylake Sailing Club. I suspect that I was probably Guy's 'brother' as he was an only child and I spent a lot of time there in those days. Our house was in the cut in , a few houses just before Roman Road. My sister and her husband bought it a few months ago from my dad who is now in a local nursing home. We moved there from Derwent Road by the shops in about 1960 when I was five.Yes your memories are very similar. However my parents were never into sailing so instead I got into sea fishing as it was so very easy then to catch a couple of flatties and eels right over the road from where we lived. I then got into small rowing dinghies with my cousin which soon became motorised with the addition of a small outboard and we would launch from Sandhey slipway (I have a painting of the slipway hanging in my living room , how sad is that !) and fish by the 'spit' which was then only about 300 yards from the moorings.And we would catch loads! Then it was bass fishing from the shore across the bank that also took our fancy. My interest developed further in Anglesey where we would spend the summer holidays in a small dinghy, lobster pot fishing. Truly marvellous times with not a care in the world.
    In later years this hobby of mine became a job for 3 years when I was in the Marine District of the Royal Hong Kong Police, now that was an adventure. However I returned to Blighty and for a few years had an Orkney Longliner. But there is so little time either side of highwater nowadays, it really is a joke. You must notice when you return that you have to go well beyond Leasowe Lighthouse to get out to sea! So I packed it all in. Another friend and I will walk out put a net out over the bank at the low water mark for a few weeks of the year when the bass are in, but even that is taking a back seat.
    Up until recently we used the Sailing club for our committee meetings for a 'Tallships Chance of a Lifetime Voyage' that was organised from Hoylake Police Station and we would take 24 or 48 young people from Wirral on a 2 week voyage around the British Isles and France. So I managed to sail on the Prince William and the Stavros Niarchos if that means anything to you. However it wasn't much fun working long all hours everyday in the galley.
    Apart from the haunts that you mentioned , the stinking river Birkett down Park Road/Park lane was also a good place for stickle backs and frogs!
    I suggested to the professor that the old Lifeboat station may well be the place to put our viking ship should funding allow it.The building of the new one has already started.
    Last point ....did you know the Guest family from School Lane? There were 3 lads now aged about 52, 50 and 46. The middle one Brian settled in Sao Paulo in Brazil although he is currently in UK educating his kids at secondary school and university. Any knowledge? As far as I know he still has his other home in Sao Paulo.Both of his other brothers are still in Meols and Hoylake.I know the older one, Noel.
    Your mates must be getting fed up reading about our wonderful past although I see one was a skipper of a fishing trawler....there has been a series of good documentaries about them on the tv recently.
    Cheers and beers,
    Tim
     
  5. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Jesus H Christ, somebody go bury that there viking ship again quick - I can see why the meols stick together they gotta be the most borring buggers in the world!
     
  6. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Safewalrus free zone

    Tim, thanks the news. The Strattons are an institution at the sailing club but in reality I wonder apart from the Operas what the club's upto these days... Yep, I recall the cut in well but too far from the beach for my liking..!

    I find myself in complete agreement considering yourself sad having a painting of Sandhey slip on the wall. My painting is of the slip at the end of the prom where the moorings are now.... ha! Its fairly recent, a local artist George Thompson and shows a dozen fishing boats on the moorings from the Enid era.

    It must have been fun in the Hong Kong Police, not that you'd find any nobbies out there mind.

    By the way if you're a bobby, I went to school with Phil Newhall who's sister married my brother. Seems Phil is going for the record of years in the force without every being promoted and is still going strong at this stage.

    I'd be surpirsed if the RNLI hold onto the lifeboat station, surely they'd sell it for development, especially if they could persuade HSC to relocate as well.

    I dont remember the Guests, I am but a nipper of 43 (44 next month....) however sadly the ex-pat population in SP is a shadow of what it used to be, mainly ex-pats on fixed contract terms as opposed to lads going down there to make a go of it. We have a small and good set of pals but its always sad when they leave on a failrly regular basis. I've spent 6 years here, keep saying I'm going to leave however we have another 5 years before we have to make any serious decisions promoted by the kids education etc..

    As you said Tim, those were also the happiest days of my life as even from a very early age we knew the channels, where the sinking sands were, the speed of the incoming tides and the name of every yacht and fishing boat on the moorings from memory. Golden days for all young boys.

    Anyway, for anyone still with us at this stage I attach a few photos of 'our' beach. First shows the local Opera class yachts, adopted as a club one design in 1902. 14 of the 16 built are going strong with one other in Liverpoool Maritime museum - not bad for a 105 year old class. They're good seaboats however weigh one bag of sugar less than a VOR 70. The other lovely wooden yacht is a Finesse 21 called Hobah built in 1969 and been on the beach since new - I love her to bits. Way back we had 50 yachts like this on the moorings...

    Cheers to all,
    Richard Pollard
     

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  7. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    A couple of nice looking boats there. How deep is it when at high tide?
    You'd need to time it right getting in and out.

    Mychael
     
  8. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Thanks Mychael, you see the height of some of those banks between the moorings? You have to know the channels to get in and out safely - easy enough to do when teh tides out however it all looks the same when its in!

    On a neap tide we would only get as little as 4 foot which would allow no more than 1 hours sailing either side of high tide however on the monthly high tides we used to get 7 foot of water over the sand giving 2-3 hours either side of high tide.

    The Operas shown and Hobah are all centreboarders, very fixed fixed keel yachts remain.
     
  9. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    I've just searched Multimap for Meols - even that had difficulty finding it! It's got a beach wow! There I've said it! I can see why the Vikings died, probably boredom! come on guys if it's so great show us the good bits!!
     
  10. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    I guess it must be the people that make the place special........ :)
     
  11. Tim Baldock
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    Tim Baldock Junior Member

    Hi folks,
    Spoke to Phil Newall today Rich , he has just moved in next door to my office a couple of weeks ago.Got the lowdown on your family!
    The top floor of the Railway pub has never been used, just clean unplastered brickwork....it was meant to be hotel bedrooms but never got off the starting blocks, total waste of space......any thoughts then, on how we might get the viking boat up there and put on display?
    My mate has just taken ownership of an Opera, belonged to Chapman senior if you know him.I am told that John Percival's Opera had No.17 on the sail, can you explain Rich?
     
  12. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    This is getting better than the drivel thread..............
     
  13. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Flippin´ek Tim this is getting spookie !! Give my best to Phil !

    Architecturally the RI is a very imposing building, and I believe extremely good looking but way OTT for a hotel or pub. The cost of construction must have been horrendous. Have you been upstairs etc..? must be acres of space and headroom.

    Where is the boat, under the carpark? I think the only way you´re going to get it up would be to either get the British Museum involved or get a Lottery grant, I suspect it would be too expensive otherwise. Also, what condition would you expect to find it in and how could you preserve it for the next 100 years? It might be to delicate a condition to move etc.. so you´d need to plan a proper storage place and cost in goodness what kind of maintenance. Maybe you should contact the Liverpool mariatime Museum for starters and try to keep it a local project?

    Ref sail number 17, just found teh following info from the HSC website:

    `It was in 1899 that the decision was first made to adopt a new class of boat for Hoylake Sailing Club. The gaff rigged, 16 foot clinker boats were developed from a design by Captain Winchester, a club member, and built by Alex Latta, also a club member and owner of a busy boat building yard. ‘Opera’ class racing commenced at Hoylake in June 1902. The fleet grew quickly to 17 and has raced regularly since then. In 1909 ‘Orchid’ sailed from Hoylake to Ardrossan and on to Ballycastle in Northen Ireland. 14 boats of the ‘Opera’ class remain today in Hoylake with another ‘La Poupee’ on display in the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The class has therefore stood the test of time although some boats have been inevitably been lost over intervening years. John Hale, Owner of ‘Country Girl’ comments “They need a great deal of care and attention but thanks to enthusiastic owners, remain in good condition.”

    And yes I know the Chapmans but not very well, just from the club.

    Catch you later.
    Richard

    Added a couple more pics of Hobah, one on the green beind HSC and another from teh moorings plus a photo of a couple of nobbies taken up at Heswall, by the old Dee SC. The blue one is a 28ft fibreglass hull moulded from an original hull. And another Opera. Enjoy
     

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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  14. Bergalia
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    Bergalia Senior Member

    Viking ship - lost - and found

    Sorry Walrus...Having started this thread, I should have known better - Cheshire being so close to Wales....:( :( :(
     

  15. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Bergie, thanks so much for starting this thread its really put me back in touch with my roots. I hope one day you will have as many nice memories revived by someone who literally comes out for the blue!

    Whats next?!

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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