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Tyne and Wear HER(13326): North Shields, training ship Wellesley - Details

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N Tyneside

North Shields, training ship Wellesley

North Shields


Maritime Craft


Third Rate Ship of the Line

Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

The Tyne had two training ships, both called HMS WELLESLEY. They were former Royal Navy ships used to educate and train homeless and destitute boys. The first WELLESLEY was a 74-gun warship originally called the CORNWALL. She was launched at Deptford, London in 1812. In 1868 she was given to Tyneside local authorities for use as a training ship under the terms of the Reformatory and Industrial Schools Act of 1866. She arrived in the Tyne in June 1868, towed by the steam tug SCOTIA. She was moored opposite the New Quay at North Shields. Commander Pocock RN was the superintendent of the floating school. At first there were 25 boys, but the ship could accommodate 299. In 1873 the first WELLESLEY was returned to the Admiralty and scrapped. Her replacement was the BOSCAWEN, a 50 gun sailing ship, launched at Woolich Dockyard in 1844. In 1883 she was moved from a berth off Limekiln Shore near the Albert Edward Dock, North Shields to No. 3 Tier near the Royal Naval Reserve training ship CASTOR. On 11th March 1914 a fire broke out in the ship's drying room. The second WELLESLEY was gutted and sank in 30 feet of water. The crew was rescued by lifeboat and the tug VIGILANT. She was refloated and towed to Blyth for breaking up. £22,000 was raised to find a new boy's home. The Wellesley Nautical School was set up in a World War One submarine base at Blyth and is still there. Where Built: Woolwich Dockyard Commanding Officer: Captain Kitcat Crew: 290 boys + officers Passengers: at least 1 - Captain's baby




Nigel Green, 2009, Tough Times & Grisly Crimes, pages 72-73; North Tyneside Council and Nexus, North Shields Heritage Trail, board 5 'The Wooden Dolly'; Dick Keys and Ken Smith, 2005, Tall Ships on the Tyne, pp 52-55; National Monuments Record (1317626); Western Morning News 12-MAR-1914 (Thurs); David Lyon 1993 The sailing navy list : all the ships of the Royal Navy built, purchased and captured 1688-1860 Page(s)173; Richard and Bridget Larn 1997 Shipwreck index of the British Isles, volume 3. The east coast of England : Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland Section 6, County Durham (CF); J J Colledge 1989 Ships of the Royal Navy, volume 1 Page(s)84; Boswell Whitaker 1979 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 1 : Skuetender lifeboat Page(s)142-6

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