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harbour tug PRIMROSE
Ships and Harbours
No: 10009   Contributor: Chris Cartwright   Year: 2002   Manufacturer: Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd, United Kingdom   Country: United Kingdom
harbour tug PRIMROSE

Built 1902 and Still Working at Hull, England, 2002
Picture added on 01 April 2009
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tug Primrose built at Appledore in North Devon in 1906 by Robert Cock and sons. Please do not ever let it be scrapped

Added by Michael guegan on 27 January 2012.
We have just started restoring the Tug Primrose.
Please get in touch if you can get to Hull to help us any time, or help in any other way.
We are smartening it up, repairing the mast, connecting up nav lamps etc to ready it for sailing to a dry dock nearby for a survey.
We are trying to get it into a state of working preservation, so that volunteers and supporters will be able to benefit from regular trips up and down the Humber, Trent etc.

Added by Paul Thompson on 14 September 2012.
Hello Thank goodness someone is trying to save her I knew her when she worked on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Her companion Tug from those days Speedwell is also in Hull I believe . When I was born in1959 I spent a lot of time in Hospital To avoid going home on a draughty bus, and my mother facing a 2 mile walk, at the end of it I was sent home on the Primrose . My father was a bridgeman on the canal, so I could be delivered to the door almost !!

Added by Martin Hemming on 28 May 2013.
Thanks Martin for some very interesting background to our tug.
There are quite a few pictures on Flickr by now.
Progress has been slow but consistent over the Winter but is picking up now with the better weather. We have nearly finished de-rusting and painting the port side of the hull (the worst side).
Today with the "flat" being used by our kind hosts, "Dean Tugs", we had the time to begin to finish off the wheelhouse - left from the back end!
There are now only two of us since one moved to a a different area and another only coming occasionally. We could do with another one or two volunteers if possible. We go on Tuesday and Thursday most weeks. Lots of de-rusting and painting but welding and engineering jobs too. We have almost completed converting the donkey engine to electric start and hope to add a mains voltage alternator soon.
Hoping to get surveyed soon and then off on some trips!

Added by Paul Thompson on 28 May 2013.

Shame I'm in Gloucester really Hull is a bit too far a trip. I would like to come up at some point to see her , The old Skipper was Fank Savage , who sadly passed away a few years back. You can be sure he would have been proud to see someone restoring the old girl. She and the rest of the British Waterways tug fleet were a part of my life. Her sister tug the Resolute was also being saved but was found to be too thin to save and has been scrapped. The other tug Stanegarth, is at the bottom of a diving school in a quarry in Leicester. These were tugs that often went out of Sharpness into the Bristol Channel as far as Avonmouth, or sometimes Newport. She often went up river as far as Worcester, or even Stourport, mostly River work was done by the river tugs The Severn Active, which I believe is on the west coast of Scotland, The Severn Victor, which is in preservation in Hertfordshire and the Severn Progress which is still in Gloucester . The Victor and Progres have collapsible wheel houses to get under Worcester bridge when the river was in flood .

Added by Martin Hemmin on 29 May 2013.
My Great Grandfather was Capt William Savage and I'm really disappointed to have found that Primrose has been scrapped !,

Added by Bob Rouse on 08 September 2016.
Delighted to have come across this site, my Grandfather, Capt. Tom Williams was the Master of Primrose for 36 years until he retired at the age of 74. I sailed from Sharpness to Avononmouth with my Father in 1950 as a treat, I was 6 years old and I still remember it vividly towing barges.
The Captain then must have been William Savage, I remember the name as my Dad spoke of him. Good luck with the renovations, would loved to have helped, but retired now and living in Spain.

Added by Mike Williams on 01 June 2017.
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Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd, United Kingdom

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