Model of historic tug on display at Newhaven Museum

Meeching Tug Newhaven Museum
Meeching Tug Newhaven Museum

A model of a harbour tug which served at Newhaven port for nearly forty years has been acquired by Newhaven Museum.

The original Meeching was launched during February 1960 at the place of its construction, Appledore in Devon.

After fitting out, the tug arrived in Newhaven on the first of June and went into service on July 20, under the command of skipper Fred Holden.

During its time it carried out a number of tasks including towing out the mud barges from the harbour dredger and dumping the contents about a mile and a half at sea.

During the 1960s, larger cross channel ferries and cargo ships began to use the port, and the Meeching was used to tow the cargo ships in and out and assist the ferries during bad weather.

The tug was well placed to help with salvage operations in the channel.

On September 23, 1961, two ships, the British Aviator and the Crystal Jewel, collided in dense fog to the south of Beachy Head.

The Meeching was soon at the scene giving support.

There was one casualty – the captain of the Crystal Jewell lost his daughter, whose body was bought back to the mortuary at Newhaven cemetery.

During January 2000, the Red Ensign was lowered and the Meeching was berthed at Newhaven for about a year until she was sold.

Latest news about her is that she is being restored at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey, and is now known as the Nore-Crest. Newhaven Museum spokesman Ian Everest said: “Perhaps when this is completed, the old Meeching might make a return journey to its home port of Newhaven.”

Until then museum visitors can see this model of the tug Meeching.

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