We Buy Another Vessel

Because our purchase and conversion of the WWII Tank Landing Craft LCT 7074 better known as: *The Clubship Landfall* had proved to be such a commercial success in its central Liverpool berth we decided that the next thing to do was to find a suitable site on the Manchester Ship Canal then buy another vessel. In early 1972 we contacted the The Port of Manchester Authority and were delighted to be offered a berth for a suitable vessel in the Pomona Dock at Salford. A tacit acknowledgement was received from the Manchester Licensing Magistrates that a Justice's On drinking license would be issued if we complied with all the necessary rules and regulations.

The police and the Fire authorities were also contacted and we elicited an encouraging response. The Brewers Bass Charrington offered us a considerable amount of money on the understanding that they would have the permanent exclusive contract for the supply of beers, spirits and wines and all soft drinks.

Our naval architect Ken Osborne found a suitable vessel. She was named The Westward Ho! She was laid up down in Hayle down in not far from St. Ives Cornwall. Colin and I travelled down with Ken Osborne to inspect the vessel. We liked what we saw and purchased the vessel a few weeks later.

I travelled to Hayle by car with a skeleton crew to where the vessel was berthed in a tidal dock and lived aboard the ship for three months cleaning her and repainting the hull in between tides in order to avoid the expense of dry-docking here before we moved her to her new home up north. W also welded the customary sacrificial zinc anodes to the bottom of the hull (a ship in salt water is a floating battery and the block of zinc is sacrificed to the corrosive action - rather than the grey steel plates themselves being allowed to rust.) We finally decided that the vessel was ready for the long sea-journey up to the North West and arranged for a pre-voyage survey. The Westward Ho was inspected by a local marine surveyor who came up from Exeter and she was declared ready for sea.

Westward Ho leaving Hayle in Cornwall under tow with the Irish tug Dunheron Sat 7th October 1972

For insurance purposes I was to be the only person allowed on booard during the voyage.  I was to slept in the wheelhouse on the bridge and later had great fun watching the radar pictures  of the coastal terrain and approaching vessels as we sailed north.

The Westward Ho anchored off Milforf Haven

                                    LOG OF THE TUG DUNHERON:

October Fri. 6th 1972:

16.55. received a radio message from the Captain of the Tug Dunherron informing us that she had arrived and was lying at anchor in St. Ives Bay.  According to the captain she had suffered very  bad weather on the way down and had to seek shelter in Milford Haven, South Wales. Arranged to go aboard tug 16.00 hrs tomorrow with surveyor and accompaay them into Hayle Harbour..

October  Sat. 7th 1972:

16.00. Gig boat arrived with surveyor. Proceeded in the gig boat to St. Ives Bay and boarded tug Dunherron and had discussion with the captain.

16.30. Pilot boat arrived to guide tug into harbour.

16.55. Rigged towline from tug to Westward Ho. Left Hayle Harbour under tow

17.00 Cleared bar and anchored to adjust the towline. The tug's Norman Pin had bent whilst coming alongside Westward Ho. - The Norman bars are the bars or roller-pins that are fitted at the tug's after bulwark, one on each side to restrict the tow line's movement and prevent it from passing over the vessel's beam.

19.00 Surveyor passed the towing arrangent as satisfactory and left in the gig boat. We hove to and waited for the wind to drop.


October Sun. 8th 1972:  

01.00. Anchor up and underway with tow

01.30 Cleared St. Ives Bay and headed North.

0.600. Passed Trevose Head  abeam.

0.12.00.  Lundy Island. Wind rising 5 - 6.

0.12.15.  Link Call to Dublin owners.

0.1.00.  Approaching Lundy Island.

0.14.15.  Past Lundy Island. wind 6 - 7.

0.12.00. Irish Sea . wind 7 - 8

17.00.  Tug and tow rolling.

18.55.  Force 7 - 8 Tug and tow rolling heavily.

20.00. Force 8 Gale Heading for Milford Haven.

October Mon 9th 1972

00.30. Anchored in Milford Haven.

Watches set. Tow safe

9.30. Tow swung around across tug's bow. Bridle chains parted due to strain on passage to Milford Haven in gale.

10.00 to 12.00. Tow anchored safely with assistance of Pilot Launch.

14.00.  Crew put aboard to rig new towing connection - with ship's anchor to cable.

17.00 All rigged up and tow aboard tug. One man left on tow in case of emergency.

11.00. Boat hired to bring oil and stores.

12.45. Boat arrived.

13.30. Boat left for Milford Haven town with Mr. Jud Evans and Mr. Jimmy Jenkins aboard for food stores

14.00. Tug alongside tow - crew overhauling towing gear and checking lightsPast Lundy Island.

17.00.  Boat back with Mr. Jud Evans and Mr. Jimmy Jenkins.

17.05. All gear rigged. Anchored close to tow. Crew on watch.

00.30. Awaiting moderation in weather. Irish Sea N.E.  4 - 5.

0.6.30. Weather 4 - 5.

13.55. N.E, 5 showers.

18.30. Valley Air Station forcaste N.E. 4 - 5. moderating tomorrow to 4.

18.40 Crew aboard Checking anchor and lights.

18.55. Westward Ho all secure. Tug anchored alongside. Crew on watch.

11.00. Underway with tow.

11.30. Clear of St. Anne's head. Tow lengthened out.

13.55. Weather Irish Sea 4 - 5

14.20. South Bishop's abeam.

16.20. Strumble Head abeam.

October Tues. 10th October. 1972t.

01.20 Bardsey Island Abeam.

0.900 Skerries abeam. Link call made to Liverpool Pilotage.

16.15. Abeam Mersey Bar Lightship

16.30. Shortened tow - Liverpool Pilot aboard.

16.45. Shortened tow and proceded to Manchester Ship Canal entrace and tied up Westward Ho ready for canal gig boat.