MEECHING TUG MEMORIES

Pictures of the crew

By Heidi Watkins

Photo:Sally Flowers and Charley Stone

Sally Flowers and Charley Stone

Heidi Watkins

Photo:John Watkins (My Dad) and Charley Stone with mud barge from testside in tow

John Watkins (My Dad) and Charley Stone with mud barge from testside in tow

Heidi Watkins

Photo:Picture from Sea News mag 1992

Picture from Sea News mag 1992

Sea News

Photo:Meeching on hard near No 5 Stage. 1992.The man on the hard is John Watkins

Meeching on hard near No 5 Stage. 1992.The man on the hard is John Watkins

Heidi Watkins

Photo:Meeching crew March 6th. 1998. left to right Gary Marsh, Chris O'Callahan, Bob Domin, Ray Todd, John Watkins,  Center rear Charlie Hutchins

Meeching crew March 6th. 1998. left to right Gary Marsh, Chris O'Callahan, Bob Domin, Ray Todd, John Watkins, Center rear Charlie Hutchins

Sussex Express

Photo:The Final crew picture a matter of days before decommissioning from Sea containers. pic taken 17th. Jan 2000

The Final crew picture a matter of days before decommissioning from Sea containers. pic taken 17th. Jan 2000

Heidi Watkins

Photo:John Watkins at Meeching's wheel  17th. Jan 2000

John Watkins at Meeching's wheel 17th. Jan 2000

Heidi Watkins

Photo:Meeching crew circa 1965 L to R John Watkins, Ted Townsend, Fred Holden(Skipper) Bob Patterson, Alec Pringle.

Meeching crew circa 1965 L to R John Watkins, Ted Townsend, Fred Holden(Skipper) Bob Patterson, Alec Pringle.

G. Ivan Barnett. St. Leonards

Photo:Meeching All dressed up for arrival of Super Sea Cat 1998

Meeching All dressed up for arrival of Super Sea Cat 1998

Heidi Watkins

Photo:Chief Engineer Charlie Hutchings on Meeching taken 17/01/2000

Chief Engineer Charlie Hutchings on Meeching taken 17/01/2000

Heidi Watkins

Photo:Decomissioning day 22/01/2000 L to R - Barry Gilbert, ?,?, Frank Gilbert, Bob Domin, John Watkins, Charlie Hutchings, Chris O'Callaghan, and Ray Todd at the old Fishermans Club.

Decomissioning day 22/01/2000 L to R - Barry Gilbert, ?,?, Frank Gilbert, Bob Domin, John Watkins, Charlie Hutchings, Chris O'Callaghan, and Ray Todd at the old Fishermans Club.

Heidi Watkins

This page was added by Heidi Watkins on 01/03/2008.
Comments about this page

Nice pix, Heidi. The one with Fred Holden is earlier than 1965, I'm sure. Fred retired in 62/63, I think. (Colin H - do you know?) My Dad would have been there by 64.

By Andy Gilbert
On 04/03/2008

Great Pics Heidi, it's good to see some pics of the Meeching and your Dad once again. Take care.

By Justin Holden
On 11/03/2008

Hello Heidi. We have never met. I sailed with your Dad on the Cross Channel Service. I often stopped by when Meeching was alongside to chat with him. My late father was mate on the Meeching (Jock Still) and my Brother was an AB (Jim Still).

My Mother was a stewardess on the Londres and the Brighton and also knew John well. He was usually a quiet man who just got on with the job. My late Mother thought the world of him and called him her "Blue eyed boy".

By William Still
On 13/03/2008

Fred Holden retired in 1963, his index linked retirement pension increased to better his tug masters salary,---- that always gave him smile.

By Colin Holden
On 13/03/2008

These photos, and others in this section, certainly bring back memories for me. My late Dad, Charlie Stone, served on the tugs from about 1947 until he retired in 1967. He started on the Tidworth and Foremost and then went on the Meeching. Names from the early days I haven't seen are Ron Parker and Bern Jupp. We were quite excited when we were told the Meeching was to have a fridge aboard. Mum thought she would get a decent cup of tea when we went to look over her - fresh milk instead of the usual tinned condensed. We got a shock when we opened the fridge - all that was in there was Steve Payne's fishing bait! I also remember the floating dock saga; Dad was a good sailor but said he found the seas very bad and was sick. This turned into a bit of a 'jaunt' though - the crew ended up in Ostend for a few days and I think they had quite a good time. Sally Flowers told me a few stories when they got back. Dad died in 1995, when John Watkins kindly attended his funeral, but he never lost his love for the river - I often wonder what his views would have been on all the new building that has taken place. This is a wonderful website for me - I moved right away from the coast last year, but this site keeps me in touch.

By Norma Ingram
On 30/05/2008

In the last paragraph a Ron Parker is mentioned. I only knew Meeching for a very short time, but her captain then was Ernest (Ern) Parker, my father - could this have been him?  He was probably only Captain for about a year, maybe two, but neither of us have ever forgotten.

By Trevor Parker
On 25/09/2008

I remember Mr Parker, after serving on the the Meeching he went to Knights tugs up on the Thames. We were moored up in Sheerness over night with the tig Tidworth once and he came aboard to visit us.
The last I heard of your father he was working abroad with a tug but can't remember where...

By William Still
On 03/10/2008

Another name from the early days of Tug Meeching was Captain Spargo. Does anyone know what happened to him ?

By Heidi Watkins
On 27/10/2008

Lovely photos, my dad Chris O'Callaghan died just over 6 years ago. It's been really nice to see some pictures of him with the rest of the crew.

By Sharon Randall
On 21/07/2017

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