22 JULY 2012
100 years ago, on 22 July 1912, the village of Immingham welcomed King George V and Queen Mary. The King officially opened the dock complex that has since become the UK's number one port.
100 years later Humber Sloops PHYLLIS and SPIDER T were invited to attend the celebrations. PHYLLIS made the short hop from Barrow Haven on Saturday morning, paid host to the HKSPS sales stall during Sunday and returned to Barrow Haven on the evening tide.
The HKSPS stall made brisk sales with help from Derek and Lisa Chafer, Brian Peeps and Alan Gardiner, putting some much-needed cash back into the coffers. Our thanks go to them for giving their time to help our cause.
Your webmaster and partner helped to crew SPIDER T for the weekend. This began on Friday by preparing the vessel, making all the usual checks, filling water tanks, topping up with food and drinks, cleaning and tidying, taking the staysail and jibsail out of their storage bags, hoisting then lashing them in the stowed position ready for tomorrow.
We stayed on board overnight with an early breakfast before the remainder of the crew and guests arrived for the trip to Immingham. Our very special guests for the weekend are sisters Linda Bragg and Karen Walker whose father, Terry Hubbard, skippered SPIDER T in the 1960's. They had spent their summer holidays aboard the vessel in 1964 and this is a weekend of real nostalgia for them.
With early morning fog we delayed our lock booking for half an hour and by the time we were out on the River Trent it was clearing fast. With the sails hoisted and set the River Humber greeted us with clear skies, sunshine and light winds, a perfect sailing day.
Approaching the P&O ferry terminal Passing close by 'dead bod jetty' BBMF Lancaster makes a low pass
After some crew training tacking back and forth across the Humber near Immingham, where SOBRIETY on one of her day trips came alongside to allow her passengers to photograph us, we called up the dock for access. While waiting for two ships to exit the lock the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster made a low pass directly over the top of us, a wonderful sight, then we had a further wait while a large ro-ro freighter gently edged it way into the lock followed by three tugs and finally SPIDER T.
After mooring up adjacent to PHYLLIS it was decided unanimously to take some refreshment at the Seafarers bar after which we had a meal aboard SPIDER T followed by a sing-a-long to ELO's greatest hits (and believe me there are lots of them) led by sisters Linda and Karen. A great night was had by all.
Sunday morning dawned with a beautiful sunny day, unfortunately it was also a little wild and windy. The ship was prepared with flags and bunting above decks and a tidy and polish below decks. The VIP guests of the organisers arrived for a buffet lunch on board at 1300 hours and visitors continued to board throughout the day. Vistor numbers far exceeded expectations so hopefully events will be held here again.
SPIDER T flew the special flag presented for taking part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant along with those of National Historic Ships and as the new ambassador of the Sailors Childrens Society whose patron is the Princess Royal. Later that evening, while bunkering ready for the return trip, an invite to one of the dock workers to have a look around the vessel commenced a succession of visitors until by about 2300 hours all of the shift had been on board!