|Short planks being unloaded from an onker|
onto a lighter at the Surrey Commercial Docks
|Fred, onker barque. Photograph|
by A.G. Linney 1929
Windmill pumps were common on older sailing vessels. Ships registered in Scandinavia were required to have windmill pumps if they were reinforced by frapping. The term frapping describes the process in which ropes or cables were passed around ships' hulls to keep them intact - a terrifying thought - and such ships were often referred to as floating coffins. The pumps were driven by wind power and were used to expel water from the old wooden hulls. As David MacGregor says that "Many were old wooden vessels and leaked abominably, and the windmill saved the crews from continual pumping." I've tried to find out what the wind pumps looked like, but haven't been able to find a picture, so if you know of one please do let me know.
|Alastor by Pelham Jones from Frank C. Bowen's |
London Ship Types 1938
David MacGregor says that regular visitors were Prompt, Varma, Fred, Plus, and Shakesepeare, but in Frank Bowen's opinion the best known visitor to the Thames was Alastor, an iron barque build in 1875 in Sunderland for Robert Penney of Shoreham, who had a small cargo fleet. The pride of his fleet, with a gross tonnage of 874 she was under the same captain for two decades, carrying cargoes to Australia and New Zealand. In 1895 she was sold to a Norwegian ship owner, M.F. Stray, and made considerable income for him during the war. After the war she ran between the West Indies and France and in 1923 was sold to another Norwegian owner who used her to run short lengths of wood between the Baltic and London and Rochester. The illustration of her above, by Pelham Jones, comes from Bowen's book.
|The barque Plus, an onker registered to Finland and wrecked in 1933.|