Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Volume Nine - Pre-Victorian to the present day - even more aspects - More Moments Captured in Time . . .

1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier.

◊ 1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier - What was she doing there? A photograph by Martin J. Ridley who worked in the South Wales area during the period 1900 - 1910 and produced many fine photographs which were used commercially as postcards. [M.J.R.B.8363] [NLW Reference : Ridley 2198] More fine postcard and photographic views of Moments Captured in Time from the Penarth Dock Collection. [001] [20180826]

A view aboard 'Yarra' - Her official number was 83802 having been built at Bristol in 1880. She was owned by D. Gower of Cardiff being her port of registry. She was of 56 net tons. Originally a Severn trow at first sloop rigged, she was motorised in 1949 and later became a towed barge. [612]

The local press reported events leading up to her sinking and subsequent salvage during November 1906 :

Trawler and Trow - Collision off Penarth Head - A Crew's Narrow Escape - 'An exciting incident occurred off Penarth Head early this morning, in which three men narrowly escaped being drowned. The steam trawler 'Skomer' (Captain Stokes), owned by Messrs. Neale and West, Cardiff, left the West Dock, Cardiff, by the morning tide. There was dense fog at the time. When off Penarth Head she came into collision with the trow 'Yarra' (master, J. Good), owned by Mr. D. Gower, Cardiff, and laden with grain for Portishead. The impact was so great that the trow sank almost immediately. Two members of the crew jumped over-board, and remained in the water for some time. They were picked up by one of the trawler's boats, which brought them on to Cardiff. The trawler was apparently undamaged. It is stated that the 'Yarra' was at anchor between Penarth Pier and Lavernock when the collision occurred. A pilot named Hobbs brought a punt belonging to the 'Yarra' into Barry this morning, and states that he saw wreckage floating near Sully Island.

His Own Boat - It is a somewhat curious fact that Mr. J. J. Neale, who resides in Penarth, was one of the first to learn of the collision. "Shortly after five this morning," said Mr. Neale, "I distinctly heard the noise, as if a collision had occurred in the Cardiff Roads, and directly after I heard the excited shouts of men, 'Lend us your boat,' 'Quick with a boat,' and 'Quick, quick.' Shortly afterwards I heard that one of our trawlers had run down the 'Yarra', and had taken them on the Cardiff." - Evening Express [135] [361] 14th November 1906.

The Cardiff Times had a slightly different story to report :

Collision Off Penarth. - Trawler Sinks a Ketch. - Owner At Home Hears The Crash. - 'Mr. Neale (Neale and West, steam trawler owners, Cardiff), resides at Penarth. On Wednesday at 5.5 he distinctly heard the noise as if a collision in the Roads, followed by the excited shouts of men, "Send your boat," "Send your boat." Shortly afterwards Mr. Neale, who at once instituted inquiries with the object of rendering aid if possible, learned that his own trawler, the 'Skomer,' had collided with the ketch 'Yarra,' owned by Mr. D. Gower, Cardiff. The 'Skomer' was proceeding to the fishing grounds, and it is said that the 'Yarra' was lying at anchor some little distance from the Cardiff low water pier. The weather was very thick at the time of the accident. The impact was so severe that the 'Yarra' at once commenced to sink and she completely disappeared in less than five minutes. One of the crew - composed of John Good (master), Henry Gardener (mate), and an A. B. - clambered on to the 'Skomer,' but two were struggling in the water for some time. Captain Stokes, of the 'Skomer,' at once put out a boat and rescued the men from their perilous position. When taken on board the trawler they were in a very exhausted state, and Captain Stokes did all that was possible for them. The 'Skomer' at once turned back to Cardiff, and landed the crew of the 'Yarra'. - The Cardiff Times [019] [361] 17th November 1906.

A few days later :

The Yarra Salved - 'The trow Yarra, owned by Mr. D. Gower, which was sunk through collision off Penarth Head a few days ago, was successfully raised by Mr. W. H. Tucker yesterday evening and beached.' - Evening Express [135] [361] 17th November 1906.

From the Bottom of the Sea - ketch 'Yarra' - 1906
From the Bottom of the Sea - A photograph and report from the Cardiff Times. - The Cardiff Times [019] [361] 24th November 1906.
1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier.
1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier.
1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier.
1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier.
◊ 1906 - Ship 'Yarra' beached by Penarth Pier - The original photograph shows the extent of the damage at the stern of the 'Yarra'. On the beach a group of school children view the vessel and I wonder if it Mr. Ridley's camera and tripod set up on the beach to record the view. A digital record from the archive of the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth of the work of Martin J. Ridley, photographer during the years 1900 to 1910. The archive record is a black and white, glass dry-plate negative. [439] [Preferred citation : Ridley 2198] [20190302]
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