The Coastguard Cutter Vol5 No10


The Coastguard Cutter
October 07 Edition
Vol 5 No. 10.

"The Lady Margaret"


Hello Friend,

It is easy when searching around Ireland looking for former Coastguard stations to notice the outstanding ones built after the 1860's.  It is very easy to pass by a smaller boathouse structure and ignore it. In fact these were the original stations constructed in the 1820's as accommodation for officer or Chief Boatman in charge of boats and equipment. In fact during the troubled early 1920's the larger stations were targeted and burnt down while the smaller boat-house type were ignored.


19th Century Station Design.

19th Century SailorsIt it difficult to trace back the design of the early 19th Century Coastguard station. In his report to the Treasury department, James Dombrain recommended the construction of a "watch-room and boathouse" on the great majority of the stations. These were built in large numbers during the 1820's to a standard plan with some local variations in proportions. Architecturally, the watch houses resemble buildings from an older period and they are often mistakenly dated to the late 18th century. It may be said that they were based on designs that had been introduced by the Customs some years previously.

The classic watch-house was a two storey, rectangular block with half-hipped roof, split-stone rubble construction, roughcast and whitewashed; it was built on the very edge of the shore a foot or two above storm tide level with a boat slip protruding from the front. Their measurements vary from station, but most were about 40ft long by 20ft wide by 16 ft high. The building was divided into a number of functioning areas. The large front room on the ground floor, with twin doors that opened on to a slipway, housed the boats and their equipment. Above this was the watch room with canted bow window overlooking the sea and where the crews arms were stored. Behind these rooms was an office and the living quarters for the chief officer and his family.

Ref: D. Mayne.


Dundalk Town Board. The Coastguard Water Supply. 1892.


The following was read: H.M. Coastguard, 9th.May 1892.

Sir, Having seen in the “Dundalk Herald” of the 7th.May that the town surveyor informed the Board “that he had heard the Coastguards had been drawing water at night from the fountains” I beg leave to give a flat denial o the statement, and to express my regret that the surveyor should have brought such a matter to the Board without ascertaining the correctness of the accusation.

Yours faithfully. Ernest Kinder. Lt. R.N.

Surveyor – If that is all he has to say I am not much troubled by it.

Mr. Duffy. -  You should have first enquired about it.

Surveyor – I got the tracks of the cart there in the morning. Who should I ask about it?.

Mr. Duffy. - The officer in charge of the Coastguards.

Surveyor – Would he tell me?

Chairman. That is enough of this. If they want water let them pay for it.- or take it from the barracks. 

Ref: Dundalk Democrat 14th.May 1892.

Nautical  Terms

Meaning something is filled to capacity or over loaded. If two blocks of rigging tackle were so hard together they couldn't be tightened further, it was said they were "Chock-a-Block".


An iron ball attached to a long handle was a loggerhead. When heated it was used to seal the pitch in deck seams. It was sometimes a handy weapon for quarrelling crewmen.

Irish Humour and Wit.
Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.
Oscar Wilde. 

Fleet Revenue NewsRemoval of arms from Limerick.

The magazine of arms in Limerick was conveyed to the Custom House on Wednesday morning, in a number of artillery wagons and carts, escorted by a guard of the 74th. Regiment and shipped on board the ‘Friends’ of Weymouth for the depot at Haulbowline. Cork. The consignment comprises 8,000 stand of fire arms, musquetry, carbine and bayonets, which are made from timber boxes, 25 stand in each, with 7 pieces of heavy ordnance. Three of His Majesty’s Revenue Cruisers have arrived in port to convoy the above vessel round to Cork. There are no large guns now in garrison but those attached to the Artillery stationed here.   

Ref: Morning Register Fri 22 October 1830.



On Friday last the Revenue steam vessel, on its return to Mulroy, met the schooner ‘Hazelwood’. M’Donagh, master, with a valuable cargo from Sligo to Liverpool, close on shore making signals of distress. The ‘Warrior’ having bore down upon her, Capt. M’Kellar, was enabled to get two hawsers attached to her, and succeeded after much difficulty, owing to the very heavy swell, in towing her over the bar in safety. The ‘Warrior’ carried away her starboard timber heads in performing this service. Great praise is due to Captain M’Kellar for his human and anxious exertions to aid vessels in distress upon this dangerous coast. (Derry Standard)

Ref: Saunders News-Letter 31st.January 1845. 

UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

A Humiliating Spectacle.1884

During the past few days a large quantity of wreckage has been washed ashore along the coast to the   East of Brighton, between Blackrock, Newhaven, and Seaford, and from portions being found with the name ‘Simla’ upon them, it is believed the wreckage comes from that vessel, which was in collision a few days ago off the Isle of Wight. Among other articles were a dozen 36 gallon casks of wine and several casks of Burton Ale. A large concourse of persons assembled during Friday purloining various articles, and broaching the casks.


An extraordinary scene of drunkenness followed, numbers of men and boys lying about helplessly intoxicated, many of them insensible. One boy of 15 and two others were found to be so bad that they were removed to the Sussex County Hospital, and were detained, the stomach pump being brought into requisition. Twenty persons were found helplessly drunk shortly after 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon, and had not other persons and several Coastguards arrived on the spot a number of them most certainly have been drowned. They were removed to the Coastguard station, where a fire was lighted, and they were kept till morning, when a portion of them having recovered were permitted to take their departure. A man named Mockford, who was found in a cave on Saturday, having apparently being lying in a state of intoxication since Friday night, has since died.

Ref: The Times. London. 4 February 1884.

Plymouth, Saturday. 1853.

The Coast Guard men, under Captain W.H. Kennedy R.N., Inspecting Commander of this district, were inspected on Tuesday at great gun drill, on board the gunnery ship Hotspur, by Captain Hewlett, of Her Majesty's ship Edinburgh, who highly complimented them on their state of efficiency.

Ref: The Times, London  7 June 1853.

Coming in November Edition.

Rocket Carts. 





powered by

0 Comments · 3674 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on October 25 2007


No Comments have been Posted.

Post Comment

Please Login to Post a Comment.