Newcastle Barque Ashore at South Shields


About two o’clock this morning the signal guns at the Spanish Battery, Tynemouth followed by those of H.M.S. Castor, at the Low Lights, North ShieIds announced that vessel in distress at the south side of Shields harbour. Notwithstanding the early hour the morning, the fact that a smart shower of rain commenced to fall at the time, thousands of persons rushed down to the beach at South Shields, and along the banks at North Shields, to ascertain the nature of the of the casualty. It was then found that a vessel had gone ashore at the end of what is known as the Fish Pier. The members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade mustered in strong force, but fortunately the use of the rocket was not called into requisition. It appears that about one o'clock three South Shields pilots, named William Purvis, William Marshall, and Robert Milburn, were in their boat proceeding to sae in search of ships making for the Tyne, when they saw vessel approaching the Narrows with a white light over her bows, which indicated that the assistance of a pilot was required. The pilots were making towards the vessel, when they observed her fall foul of a Dutch fishing smack, which was “riding" near the Fish Pier. Her helm was put to starboard, but this caused her to run towards the end of the Fish Pier. The helm was again starboarded to bring the vessel towards the channel, but in coming round she took the ground and remained fast. The pilots above named then got out the lifeboat Tyne, which, having been manned preceded to the vessel. She proved to be the barque Gateshead, Captain Willoughby, bound from London to the Tyne, in chalk ballast. The captain consented to on shore, and once proceeded to Newcastle to apprise the owners of the mishap to the vessel, but the other members of the crew remained on board, also did a pilot named John Blair. The lifeboat Northumberland went alongside but the services of her crew were not required. At the time of the casualty the wind was by N, blowing strong and there was "a six-foot sea “on the bar. The captain had been landed, and the lifeboat had returned to her station, before the alarm guns were fired, so that the thousands of persona who turned out were to great extent the subjects of a hoax. The crew of the Dutch fishing smack were warned by several pilots that they were lying in a dangerous place, and that their riding light might prove disastrous to some vessel, as the result too truly proved. The barque lies in a bad position, athwart the Fish Pier, with her decks to the sea, and it is stated that she is holed The weather greatly moderated during this forenoon, and the sea is falling. Should the weather remain favourable, it is expected that the vessel will be got off by “platformlng" her. The Gateshead belongs to Mr James Lamb, Tyne Main, Gateshead, is 506 tons register, and was built at Tyne Main in 1867. She is registered at Newcastle, and her official number is 56,064.

Source:: Shields Daily Gazette 24 August1878

The Barque Gateshead, of Newcastle

The barque Gateshead, which went ashore near the Fish Pier, South Shields, early Saturday morning, still remains upon the Herd Sand, where she struck. During yesterday the chalk ballast was discharged and some the yards were sent down. The vessel is holed, and fills with water at the rise of the tide. At high tide her starboard quarter is submerged.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 August 1878