Wednesday, 7 May 2014

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 44



Well after all the excitement of Belfast, the historical part has slowed right down. ‘Dead End in Dublin’ could be the title for this chapter!  Contact with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) is proving difficult and the Liffey Dockyard Ltd., where the conversion work was carried out on behalf of Belfast, has long since ceased to exist.  Pat Sweeney, the author of ‘The Liffey Ships’, is being very helpful, but has not found any mention of the Cormorant amongst his extensive research, even though it must have been a major project for the yard at the time. So the only information I have so far about the Cormorant before she became the Lady Dixon, is that she was built in 1876/78 by the Victoria Shipbuilding Co., West Passage Cork, Ireland. She was 91 ft long, 21 ft wide and her draft was 11ft. She cost £7,500 to build and served on many Irish stations. Her construction was a composite of teak planking over Iron Frames. I have yet to find any early photos or paintings of the vessel. There is a mention of her in the history of another lightship when, in 1912 I believe, that vessel needed repairs and Cormorant took over the South Rock station for a short time. That’s it!

So, if any of you know any influential members of the CIL Board, or worked in the Liffey Dockyard during WWII ……….

Meanwhile, Simon makes slow, but steady progress with the more important work. He has laid and grouted the straightforward rows of tiles in the kitchen (Photos) and next week will be doing the tricky edging and surrounds. I wish him luck – I have never been able to cut a floor tile neatly, even when it was just a straight line across the tile!





Just thinking back to those wonderful Masters’ log books, we should not be surprised that the change(s) of name in 1943 were implemented on the cover with a pen. It was war time after all.