Monday, 2 December 2013

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 21



Simon’s poor luck with his tradesmen continues. He thought he was having the odd bit of good fortune. Searching for some slate tiles for his new kitchen floor, he found 475 going for free in London. In addition, he was anxious to get rid of several large and very heavy sheets of rusty iron (old bulkheads?), which he could not manage on his own. A London scrap merchant agreed to come to Hoo and remove the sheets as a quid pro quo for collecting the tiles and bringing them to the ship. A good deal all round – but they didn’t turn up, so Simon had to go and get the tiles!  On the other hand, Simon needs only 250 of those tiles and has still got the scrap for sale, so may well end up in profit!

Continuing my examination of the blueprints, I was interested to see that on the plan view of the galley the cooker is labelled ‘Aga’, while on the elevation it is labelled ‘Agha’. 


Accepting the first as the correct one, I contacted Aga and sent them a photo of the cooker, in the faint hope that they may still have some record of their 1940s products. They were extremely helpful and identified the cooker, not as an Aga, but as a Rayburn – a No3 Rayburn in fact.  Not only that, they actually sent me a photocopy of a user’s handbook for that model and indicated that some parts may still be obtainable!

 Well with his new kitchen he does not need any more cooking appliances, but the words ‘all the hot water you need’ are very welcome. Besides the traditional background heat, this could supply a few radiators below deck. Mind you, moving 1.5cwt (75Kg) of fuel along that 400ft of causeway once a week ………

Although we accept that restoration as a lightship is out of the question, we are both determined to preserve anything that remains of the old Cormorant / Lady Dixon. So the Aga/Agha stays and I have been looking at the mizzen mast with its two booms. 

The anchor points of the two booms are still there, fore and aft of the mast, but there are also a number of other anchor/securing eyes close by, the purposes of which are not apparent. I have inserted a fake mizzen mast at the point it obviously emerged.

Note also the temporary (nick) name plate hung there by a not-to-be-identified family member!
David