Rosemarkie and Helmsdale.

As a kid at Whitby forty five years ago my Dads job was a one-man outfit to load lime into coasting vessels. I have a small b&w photo on the wall here of the ‘Timberto’ mooring up at the lime shed further up the quay towards the extensions; later on maybe 1962/3 the shed and my Dad moved to the new Endeavour wharf.  In that photo are three men, at a guess I would say Uncle John, my Dad and Uncle Alf. Their posture/stance is to me unmistakable. I used to play in the lime which is now regarded as dangerous stuff. Oh heck……

Two boats I remember were the ‘Helmsdale’ and ‘Rosemarkie’. I’m not sure which tho I can remember being taken onboard. The skipper was into making radio gear, like my Dad. Also someone on board made matchstick models, probably of ships.  I’ve a photo somewhere of ‘Rosemarkie’ and possibly the ‘Helmsdale’. The names originate from up in northern Scotland, here is a link to the places: http://www.carolynlee.co.uk/19_northscot/north-scot3.html 

I think ‘Rosemarkie’ was painted red and black. I can recall making a drawing at maybe six or so from across the river Esk at Church Street of a larger vessel, probably trading in timber or paper docked at Endeavour wharf. Sat on a stone step, the drawing book was from Scarborough. Probably Boyes. Amazing a kid so young could do such things. I remember my Dad taking the drawing in his wallet, perhaps to show skipper? The land at the back was curious, old empty shells of buildings, old green un-used mossy steps, and often the smell of Feverfew. Not at all up-market……but okay all the same. I remember various things, all no later than six or seven, being stung by a wasp, finding an old penknife in the soil, making lead sinkers (on my own- I loved making fires and melting lead), all sorts, the roof of the building next door. My Dad as usual was an idiot to move, at the back of the house wasan excellent dry, warm stand alone hut, had been used by a dental mechanic, an excellent workshop. Why the hell leave something as  good as that. My tiny bedroom was spooky and the school shift to St Michaels was a real downer.  Worse was to come. My Dad made some really dumb decisions.

Postscript 23 feb 2010 … here is a digital picture taken of a photograph of the coasting vessel ‘Timberto’ at Whitby, in I guess 1962-3 at the latest. Its the old Slaters shed down the pier at Whitby which later got moved up river. We would stupidly leave Whitby in autumn 1964… age seven i was in no state to control my parents crazy actions. 

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