Sunday, 4 January 2015


In October I received a message from Alex Coulter, who sent me some information about the Lady Dixon when she was a Pilot Station in Belfast Lough….
Hi David, I read the story of the Lady Dixon with great interest. My father John Coulter worked for 23 years in charge of the Pilot cutter Rosa. She carried the Ships Pilots that piloted ships into Belfast. The Pilot Master, Pilots and deck crews lived aboard the Lady Dixon.  Dad would take the Pilots down to go aboard the Lady D. The 2 Pilot Masters were David Hunt and James Owens. I went with him a number of times. When the Lady D was off for overhaul her replacement was the Sir Thomas Dixon - an old Steam Yacht.  I hope you find this information helpful. I went on to go to sea and years later I was Tug mate and Skipper in the tugs Somerton and Sir Kenneth for the B H C.
Alex Coulter.

To which I replied ….

Hi Alex,
Many thanks for that historical snippet. I have a copy of the Lady Dixon Log Book for September 1956 and it shows J Owens as the Pilot Master at that time. It also shows the names of the Pilots on board each day, which ships they boarded and what the weather was like!
I also have a copy of the BHC Board minutes from 26 Jan 1960, which record that the Lady Dixon was to be dry-docked, to be replaced on station by the Commissioners' tender Sir Thomas Dixon.
Your memory is obviously working well!
Best wishes

He came back straight away …..

David,  the post brought back many happy memories. I knew a number of the Pilots in question as I was a Berthing Master in Belfast after my time in the tugs of the B H C.
Alex C R666116.

I then lost track of these messages (sorry Alex), but having found them again I have included them here – they are the first direct link with Simon’s vessel during her working life.