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Thames tug Gondia of 1927
Ships and Harbours
No: 2986   Contributor: Ian Boyd   Year: 1993   Manufacturer: Unknown   Country: United Kingdom
Thames tug Gondia of 1927

Thames tug Gondia of 1927
Picture added on 15 September 2007
add commentComments:
around 1959/60 aged 16/17. I was a boy cook on this, and many other Watkins, Dick and Page tugs, sailing from Gravesend terrace pier, up to the pool[between tower/london bridges]& all other docks, she was to big to get any further up, and tower bridge had to be raised for us to get under, we used to do approx 50hrs on board, then get 24hrs off, quite often I would go to bed, [the boy cook was the only one allowed 8.hrs sleep]moored up in one of the london docks, and I would wake up at Margate/Ramsgate, it was a very tough life for a young boy cooking for a crew of 8, , but very well paid, at 16, I was earning more than my father, I stayed working for them for approx 2/3 yrs, until, like all young boys, my interest in girls took over and I got a job which gave me much more time ashore with my mates, and girls.

Added by ALAN GEORGE JAMES WHITE on 27 August 2008.
In 1959 I joined the same firm (I believe it was called ship towage when Watkins, Dick & Page and the Cock tugs merged.) I was in relief crew 6 and I would have certainly relieved Alan White when he went ashore for his 24 hours break. I only stayed a year, leaving for the same reason as Alan. The tug I spent most time on was the Cervia, which is in a very sorry state of repair at Ramsgate harbour.
Alan is right, it was a very tough job. I remember scrubbing the messroom whilst the Chief Engineer watched me. He then told me that as it was a Bank Holiday I did not have to scrub the floor on that day.
Gerald Adams

Added by Gerald Adams on 02 November 2008.
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