Monday, 10 January 2011

Motor Tug Volunteer

Here's the 1934 built Volunteer, predecessor to the John King. Like the John King she was built by Charles Hill & Sons Ltd for CJ King & Sons Ltd. She spent much of her working life towing ships up and down the Rover Avon and within Bristol City Docks. When built I understand her to have been the first diesel ship handling tug in the Bristol Channel.

She to moved to F.A. Ashmead & Son where she was renamed Robert A. She later left the Bristol Channel area for Wisbech where she worked into the 1990's before entering lay up. Sold to a private buyer she was partially restored before heading to the North West of the UK again in private ownership.


Ted Howell said...

My brother John Howell worked on the Volunteer as deck hand/cabin boy. I believe it was his first job with Kings & it was probably in 1937. I joined him with Kings in 1940 on the Sea Prince, he was then a stoker,& I was the cabin boy.
I'd love to see the volunteer in her original Kings colors.
Brother James Howell started on the John King probably in 1938.

%Regards. Ted Howell Calgary Alberta Canada.

Anonymous said...

The tug is privately owned and is still in good order, for its age. The owner has done a lot of work already at the mooring its on, is committed to getting her ship shape and is sufficiently technically able for the sea journey back to Bristol, but its a long process, as there is a lot of years of not such good treatment on all manner of mechanical defects to correct to ensure the passage when it happens is trouble free. You will see her back in bristol eventually and back in the rig she was originally, in except for the high bulwarks which will remain, after restoration.

Andrew Wright said...

The Volunteer is at Holyhead, and has been since being towed in by the RNLI suffering with fuel problems.
Due to the extreme weather we are having, the owner is not prepared to attempt to get to Bristol for the fore see able future.
Here she is as she looks now.