Friday, 2 January 2015

LIGHTSHIP CORMORANT / LADY DIXON - Chapter 77



A happy New Year to all my readers!
I gave some serious thought to the suggestion that I should write a book on the history of ‘Cormorant’.  Just repeating these posts would not produce a coherent story (or a lot of interest!), so it would have to be properly done, flavouring the cold facts with historical detail and evidence.  I even started to sketch out the first chapter, beginning in 1876/8 when ‘Cormorant’ was built by the Victoria Shipbuilding Co., West Passage, Cork. That is where I hit the first snag. 
   I have always accepted that statement as fact because it is quoted in many sources, but I can find no record of that shipbuilding company. I know where West Passage is and it did have a flourishing shipbuilding/repair industry in the mid-1800s. I have found the Royal Victoria Dockyards;  the Passage Docks & Shipbuilding Co;  the Cork Shipbuilding Co. Passage West;  and others;  but no mention of the Victoria Shipbuilding Co. Well I am off to Dublin in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I will be able to determine whether this is a case of someone getting the name wrong and everyone afterwards repeating the mistake (instead of doing their homework properly!).
   Meanwhile Patrick (SailPix) sent me a link which shows a mailboat delivering to a lightship on the Kish Bank station. A great deal of smoke was being puffed out by the mailboat, so it is not possible to identify the lightship. That little speck in the water is probably the lightship cutter going back to mother after collecting the mail.  I wonder why the mailboat crew are wearing cloche hats!
David