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Author Topic: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug  (Read 352 times)

Robin Stobbs

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Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« on: May 03, 2021, 03:50:15 pm »

Good day all ye tug enthusiasts. A gauntlet has been tossed at me with the challenge to make a model of an historical tug built bu Money Wigram for South African harbour service.  All I have to go on is the following.  Anyone with suggestions where I might find some details - drawings perhaps - or even pics of similar vesels? In 1871,  a steam tug was needed for the developing port on the Buffalo River, East London. Tenders were called for and on the 8th April 1872 the contract to build a steam side-paddle tug was entered into between the Crown Agent for the Colonies and Money Wigram and Sons of Blackwell, London.  On 13th June 1872, a further contract was signed between the Crown Agents and John Penn and Son of Greenwich, for the two oscillating steam engines – each of 15 horse power – which would give the vessel a speed of 9 knots.
On 14th December1872, the completed vessel was given her certificate of tonnage by the Surveyor General of Tonnage.  “Buffalo” was of 49.76 tons nett with a length of 24.4 metres (80ft) and a beam of 5.2 metres (17ft) and moulded depth of 2.2 metres (5ft).  “Buffalo” sailed from Southampton on26th march1873 bound for Cape Town and East London.  At 2.45pm on the 15th July 1873, she steamed into Cape Town where she spent some six months undergoing minor repairs and alterations.
"Buffalo" had a very mixed career - losing more ships than she berthed - in East London and the then developing harbour of Port Alfred on the Kowie River, finally settling into the mud of the Kowie on 19th July 1889. All that can be seen at low water springs today is part of a paddle wheel and ?? boiler.  Unfortunately this is the only picture I have been able to find - and it doesn't show very much!
TIA


ps. Model is for the Port Alfred Publicity Office - a non-working model!



 
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dodes

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2021, 08:47:29 pm »

Apart from trying museums for perhaps saved papers, the book "British Steam Tugs" by P.N.Thomas may help, there is no mention of your tug, but there is several drawings/plans plus pics and info from first steam tugs to the last. The ISBN 0 905184 07 6. published by Waine Research publications in the 1980's, the book can still be found in second hand shops. The museums I would try is the London Museum, Maritime Mueseum and the Science museum. Good Luck with your project.
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dodes

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 08:55:53 pm »

Found this drawing of a similar tug in the afore mention book.
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Robin Stobbs

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 07:00:15 am »

Thank you 'dodes'. x2.I will certainly try your suggestions.  Your tug drawing gives me renewed hope for making a model pretty darn close to what the "Buffalo" was - even if I do eventually have to omit a few "fiddly bits".  Many thanks again.
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tonyH

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 09:40:54 am »

"Deliberately wrecked in 1899 by a disgruntled Port Captain, the Buffalo is one of many wrecks evident of an unsafe harbour. The remains can clearly be seen at low tide."
The above is a quote from Sunshine Coast Tourism......Are you sure they want to be reminded? :embarrassed:
I presume you've seen A Century of South African Steam Tugs (ISBN 0-620-16649-5) by David Reynolds. If you have a quick look at this, https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/329776042/A_CENTURY_OF_SOUTH_AFRICAN_STEAM_TUGS_DAVID_REYNOLDS.html you'll see in the pages they show there's at least one pic of Buffalo. Forget the price they talk about, there's a copy on Abe Books for ŁUK18.50 or surely there's one in a library in ZA somewhere?
Dodes is absolutely right about the Phil Thomas book as well but the South African one could be the one to find.
Good Luck
Tony
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derekwarner

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2021, 09:42:22 am »

Try this! %)  Thermopylae being Paddle Tug towed & leaving 'Foochow' harbour  :-X


Possibly with a hold of Chinese Tea destined for England?  O0


Derek


[PS Buffalo is not mentioned in Paddleducks archives]
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Derek Warner

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Robin Stobbs

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2021, 12:04:54 pm »

"Deliberately wrecked in 1899 by a disgruntled Port Captain, the Buffalo is one of many wrecks evident of an unsafe harbour. The remains can clearly be seen at low tide."
The above is a quote from Sunshine Coast Tourism......Are you sure they want to be reminded? :embarrassed:
I presume you've seen A Century of South African Steam Tugs (ISBN 0-620-16649-5) by David Reynolds. If you have a quick look at this, https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/329776042/A_CENTURY_OF_SOUTH_AFRICAN_STEAM_TUGS_DAVID_REYNOLDS.html you'll see in the pages they show there's at least one pic of Buffalo. Forget the price they talk about, there's a copy on Abe Books for ŁUK18.50 or surely there's one in a library in ZA somewhere?
Dodes is absolutely right about the Phil Thomas book as well but the South African one could be the one to find.
Good Luck
Tony
Very many thanks Tony.
Much appreciated.  I have asked my son in S'ampton to try for a copy through ABE Books as you suggest though it's a tad expensive when all I need is a page or two. Anyway - he owes me a Xmas pressie or two so .......?
Sadly SA libraries - certainly the ones within easy reach of me - are not what they used to be but again, I've put out some feelers.I'm a little wary of that quote from Sunshine Coast Tourism as I have not read anywhere else that the skipper scuttled his own boat!  But, having written that, it would not surprise me after the disastrous life the "Buffalo" had here!!
Thanks again - and my regards to Suffolk - esp. Ipswich and environs where I spent two years while I obtained my medical lab tech 'ticket'.Robin
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tonyH

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2021, 01:09:59 pm »

Hi Robin,
Best wishes from not so sunny Suffolk! You'd probably find that it's not changed much since you were here, no matter how long ago that may have been!

Don't shoot the ship driver. Not guilty in this case. The Port Captain was the local admin boss who got fed up!
I enjoy a good search so I'll keep at it.
Cheers
Tony


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dodes

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Re: Historical Money Wigram paddle tug
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 02:38:01 pm »

Found two more sketches from the book which may be of interest to you. The one showing the hull lines is a Blackwall built wooden tug of 1863.
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