Author Topic: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)  (Read 25129 times)

Offline rod sharp

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #54 on: Thursday 07 April 16 15:54 BST (UK) »
Last time I was in Brightlingsea the hotel was still there. The Nemo ll pleasure boat that had formerly been HMS Nemo's liberty boat, finally passed away somewhere in Wales some years ago. I have very happy memories of it at Clacton on Sea in the 1950's where it was owned and operated by Newton (Newt) King.

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Offline beamers

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #55 on: Thursday 15 June 17 16:41 BST (UK) »
NEMO II
   Having read some articles, on line concerning Nemo II, I feel I, John Reginald Lawes, should add what I can to the story. This was effectively kicked off by sheena58, then Brian Mac and later, my step-brother jerrylawes. I am, perhaps, six years late with the following, having only become aware of all this fairly recently. Now having some time to spare, I thought I should try to complete the story, as far as I can, for the period I had firsthand knowledge of the “Nemo”. This is being done purely from memory, so, if anyone can correct any inaccuracies it will be appreciated.
 “Nemo II” was one of three “Nemo’s”, each being larger than the previous “Nemo”. It may be of interest to know that in the early 50’s, my father, Reg (Reginald James Lawes) and Newt (Newton Davis King) went up to inspect “Nemo III”, on the Clyde, with a view to bring her to Clacton. However, this never came to anything. “Nemo II” was established in Clacton in 1928. When he, and Newt, took over the “Nemo”, I don’t know. Newt would seem to be involved pre-war, from photos on rootschat. Refer to rootschat.com, page 4, #32, Nemo Crew - 1930’s. Centre rear is Newt, and left rear, James (Jim) Laws, my grandfather. Yes, that spelling’s correct. When his birth was registered, literacy was not what it should have been. He made sure my father, as well as all other siblings, had their names correctly spelt. I do know my father ran a speedboat, “Lady Spray” from No.1, North Sea - Clacton Pier. When war broke out Nemo was requisitioned by the Navy, with Newt, and used as a liberty boat/MFV in Brightlingsea. My father, being a retained fireman, then became a full time fireman for the duration. After the war, “Nemo” was returned to my father and Newt. This suggests that one, or both, were running the Nemo for some time prior to the war.
   When the Nemo was returned, she was taken to James & Stone (Brightlingsea) Ltd. shipyard, now posh housing. It’s from here that I can go from personal memory with winter re-fitting and working on the beach. Nemo had acquired a ”superstructure”, for want of a better description. This was to give weather protection to “all those who sailed in her”. This was removed, returning her to her pre-war specification. This was, basically, a big carvel built “rowing boat”. I can’t remember, exactly, when she returned to working from the west beach, but this was probably 1947. I can certainly remember this work being carried out, as I often went with my father, and Newt to “help”.
   Later the “Nemo” had its winter refit at Rowhedge Ironworks Ltd. (Rowhedge Shipyard), as the fees were more favourable. Not having been to Rowhedge for very many years, I suppose it also became housing after closure in 1961? We would drive to Winenhoe, park the car, Newts Morris 8, and take the ferry over the river.
Continued..

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Offline beamers

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #56 on: Thursday 15 June 17 17:00 BST (UK) »
NEMO II Continued
   Around 1950, she was re-modelled with a proper engine room, with wheel and controls above, and with some weather protection. I remember we went to the Boat Show, in London, where a new Thorneycroft diesel engine was ordered to replace the original petrol/paraffin (TVO) engine. In addition, the alterations involved a new deck, at thwart level, and seating around the gunn’els, with steel railings as a backrest, and, of course, for safety, as well as somewhere to mount lifebelts. Extra seating, was placed in the centre, for’ard and aft. Aft had life rafts for seating, as well as for life saving. Now she was licensed to carry 82 passengers. She remained like this for the remaining time she was in my fathers and Newts possession, and certainly into the 60’s. The later wheelhouse and fo’c’sle, “Viking Saga” style, being added after she passed to Dick Harman, who, previously, ran the Viking.
   During the school holidays I worked, on the beach, with my father and Newt and other crew, making a total of four, plus me when available. At times, I would take the wheel when on pleasure trips and also taking the “Nemo” to/from Brightlingsea and Rowhedge. Crew members, at various times, included Albert Potter, Sid (or Syd?) Salmon, Dick Harman, Jack King and Billy Dale. Refer to rootschat.com, page 4, #32, for the crew around 1956.  The dogs name I can’t remember, it belonged to a regular customer, but I am Unknown? in this photo. This connection with the “Nemo” continued for some time after I left school, when I worked weekends and holidays. I was not allowed to work full timeon the beach until I learnt a trade. When 15, I was made a licensed boatman, Clacton UDC No 21. I still have my hat with the Nemo II cap badge and licensed boatman badge. I also still have “Nemo’s” compass and the printing plate for the “Nemo” photograph which appeared on printed posters. Refer to rootschat.com, page 1, #1 second photo. My step-brother Jerry has Nemo’s bell.
   When the “Nemo” was sunk, it was due to a storm coming up very quickly. Refer to rootschat.com, page 4, #33, where she and the Viking are at their moorings, and then Nemo’s recovery. Newt was the first to get down to the pier, but, due to the storms quickness and severity, no one could get to the Nemo to take her to safety. Perhaps the quickness, and severity, of the storm was a blessing in disguise, as Newt couldn’t swim. In these situations, the “Nemo” would normally be taken round to Brightlingsea, but on the few occasions, when a severe wind was in the wrong direction, she would go to Harwich. While Nemo was “out of service”, we used rowing boats, me from the east beach. I took, mainly, children for “a row with the boatman”.
   Running from the west beach, in addition to “Nemo”, was the “Viking Saga”, “Jill”, (the last time I saw her, she was at St. Osyth, looking rather forlorn), then there were sister boats “Lady Essex” and “Lady Kent”. Running from the east beach for a while, was the “Skylark” with Jack King and a power boat, the name of which I can’t recall, run by Freddie Knight.
   The very latest photos of the “Nemo” show that she came to very sad, and neglected, end. I would like to think I was involved, in a very small way, in her very best years.

Offline Ungy

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #57 on: Monday 11 September 17 01:30 BST (UK) »
Hi Beamers, I think we may know each other from the Nemo, my name is Clive and spent my holidays working on the Nemo mainly after you stopped but I think certainly before, around the time of the sinking.

Offline beamers

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #58 on: Thursday 21 September 17 17:07 BST (UK) »
Hi Clive, It's been a long while since our time on the beach. I must say my memory is rather letting me down, but I suppose that's what goes with anno domini! I did have quite a time down memory lane, putting together a history, as I know/remember it, about the Nemo. I also included more of my personal history, then had to précis it to get it to what's above. We have been in Derbyshire now for nearly 50 years; we can't be much further from the sea. Initially, and for several years, we missed the sea, but not so much now. There are no relatives left in the Clacton area, except for an old aunt of my wife's, so rarely get to Clacton. Maybe later this year? All the best, John.

Offline Moffatt Marine

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #59 on: Sunday 26 November 17 21:13 GMT (UK) »
Hello all, don't know if the discussion is going on about the Nemo II, and it all been interesting, just thought I would add my little bit. The photo showing the vessel on the Palace Breakwater, Clacton was taken about 1984, I know this as its me in the Blue shirt between the two kids running towards the boat. I was working for Dick Harman as crew at the time. Hourly trips were getting harder and we did trips up to Colchester, taking school kids, dropping them on East Measea, and Rowhedge, as we took the tide up to Colchester, dropping them back at Brightingsea, at the end of the day.

When I let the boat, (as Dick brought the St Osyth boat yard and sold the boat) I joined the Coastguard, both Dick and I were on the Lifeboat, and ended up in charge of the Rescue side of the Coastguard.

Just as a foot note, HM Nemo was named after the boat, not the other way round. I have studied the picture f the wreck on the beach, and still can't see it as her, but I am sure your all right, and if that is the case, It makes me very sad, as that boat gave a lot of entertainment to folk and in Dick and my presence alone, we rescued at least 10 people from the sea, including a yacht on fire with a family of three in the Pyefleet, a Fisherman and crew off Clacton and three kids in an inflatable.

Now I meet Dicks grand kids, Jo and Ben, Andy's boys, they operate a windfarm vessel called Alliance, they do it with great style and I know Grandad would be proud of them.

Offline Ungy

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #60 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 06:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi Moffat Marine
I am unfortunately unable to see the picture of the Nemo at the Palace Breakwater for some reason but I have never seen a pleasure boat at the palace so it must be quite unique. I guess the low tide must have caused a move further down the beach as it silted up over the years. I have a good collection of Nemo photos over the years from the launch up to the 80's and then the wreck pictures in the 90's. it is most definitely NemoII registered London. I last spoke with Dick in 1992 at the St Osyth Boatyard, I had known him for about 40 years at that stage. He had an anchor on his cap that was originally mine. They were good days.

Offline beamers

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #61 on: Thursday 28 December 17 16:55 GMT (UK) »
As far as I can remember, the Nemo only worked, post war, from the breakwater adjacent to the pier on the West Beach, from a brow on the west Beach, and once, when there was an exceptionally high tide, directly from the prom. Sometimes, when there was an exceptionally low tide, passengers were disembarked on the breakwater, adjacent to the pier, on the East Beach.

Offline Ungy

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Re: HMS NEMO (bit of a long shot)
« Reply #62 on: Saturday 30 December 17 08:57 GMT (UK) »
Hi John, I have attached the picture in question and it clearly shows her at the groyne near the pier. Also attached is an earlier picture at the same place, I think it is the best Nemo II picture I have seen. I have made an error the picure in question follows on page 8. Clive