The Coastguard Cutter Vol2 No12

December 2004
Vol. 2 - No.12.


Restoration &


Monopoly of Seawater.

Most of our readers are not, perhaps, aware, that it is contrary to the law in France to take even a pitcher of water from the sea, lest it should be evaporated for the sake of gaining an ounce or so, of salt, and avoiding the payment of salt duty. The Sentinel des Pyrenees informs us, that a servant who was taking a pail of water from the sea , at Briarrits, (Biarritz) a few days ago, for a bath for a child who was ill, was perceived by a Custom House officer, who instantly compelled her to throw it back, and return with an empty pail. Galignani.

  • List of CG Stations around the coast of Ireland C.1900.
  • Index of CG Stations in 19th.century Ireland
  • The Woodley Medal Presentation
  • Irish Coastguard Service : Stages of Development
  • Dated Ships, Dated Tactics

    Latest Posts on the Forum;

    • Malahide Station
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    • Killyleagh, Co. Down
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    CoY Forum        
    I would be glad to receive any coastguard information,         stories or general snippets and pass it on in to our readers.

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    Wit and Wisdom of Ireland.

    May you be in Heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

    The Perils of Family Life. How Families get broken up.

    While visiting an Edinburgh orphanage we came across a sad example of what happens when parents neglect their duties. I asked a poor wee laddie-----

    'And where is your father?'

    'Faither's in Perth jile'

    'Poor fellow' I replied, 'And where's your mother?'

    'Mither's deid', he answered, without a trace of emotion,

    'That's why Faither's in Perth jile'


    Some rescue operations do not receive the gratitude from the victims which they deserve. Mr. R. Williams of Barmouth rushed into the sea to rescue a woman who was drowning.

    He pulled her out on to the beach where she lay unconscious. Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful so he gave her the 'kiss of life'. She quickly recovered but, instead of thanking her rescuer she smartly slapped his face.

     Bringing Light to Their Lives

    The COROMANDEL was wrecked east of Power Head with a cargo of paraffin.A coastguard showed the locals how to use paraffin oil in lights using a wick. Previously only rush lights were used in the locality. (8)

    How to make leeches bite

    The leech which it is intended to apply is to be thrown into a saucer containing fresh beer, and is to be left there till it begins to be quite lively. When it has moved about on the vessel for a few moments, it is to be quickly taken out and applied. This method will rarely disappoint expectations as even dull leeches, and those which have been used not long before, will do their duty. It will be seen with astonishment how quickly they bite. (9)

    (Medical Gazette)




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    Dear Friend,

    Welcome to the December edition of "The Coastguard Cutter".

    The Good Old Days

    We will take a little time to look back at the past before we move on to next year. The Coastguards of yesteryear lived in a different world. Yesterday has fond memories for all but no one can live in the past. 


    A Smuggling Petticoat
    Lovey Warne of Hampshire

    One day last week on the arrival of the Belfast steamer from France, the appearance of a lady passenger, who gave the name of Mrs. Ellen Marshall, attracted the attention of a Customhouse officer, who handed her over to the female searcher; it was discovered on divesting the lady of her black silk gown, that her petticoats were entirely made up of black French kid gloves, very ingeniously sewed together, and capable of being very quickly undone. The lady was of course compelled to throw off her petticoats, which, with the exception of her gown, were the only apparel she had on: and she was provided with more suitable ones. The gloves on being counted were found to amount to 504 pairs and are valued by the King's appraiser at £37. 19s.

    Smugglers' wives frequently feigned pregnancy, carrying dutiable goods concealed under their clothing. This contemporary print shows Lovey Warne of Hampshire transporting silk fabrics, while the women of Cawsand were swathed in bladders filled with spirits.

    There was a young French lady in company with Mrs. Marshall, who also underwent a private examination by the searcher: and 3 foreign lace flounces, a French lace dress, 8 yards of lace, and 12 yards of blonde lace, which she had disposed about her so as to make her appear with child; were taken from her person. (1)

    Extraordinary Smuggling

    On Thursday morning as the Custom-house officers were inspecting the interior of the Onondaga at Passage, previous to her departure for Quebec they found a large chest, within which, instead of contraband whiskey, they discovered concealed a fine lump of a 'Carrick Man'.

     Some of his friends endeavoured to smuggle him outside the harbour in this manner as the poor man had nothing with which to pay for his passage to America. Some police who were on board - one by the bye, was dressed in woman's apparel, immediately took the Carrick man into custody, suspecting he was some sort of offender against the law, which he stoutly denied. On being marched a prisoner to this city, he referred to a shop-keeper in the quay, named Baldwin, on whose testimony the smuggler was discharged, much chagrined at his disappointment. (2)

    (Waterford Chronicle)


    A Gobby was a Coastguard when this force was under the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, and open to Officers of the Royal Navy, who were time expired or pensioners, but still fit for Coastguard duties. The Coastguard Force is at present under the order of the Board of Trade, and is not so popular with the Naval Service and in consequence the term is not as much in evidence.

    A Gobby ship was an old expression denoting a Soft number, and was a harbour service ship to which "Reserve fleetmen" were drafted on mobilisation. These ships only proceeded to sea on special occasions such as test mobilisations and Royal Reviews, and were regarded as more or less as time serving appointments, with no prospects whatever for any Officer with ambition.

    Library Books

    N.B. It is doubtful if many Coastguards get time to read books considering their long hours of duty.

    The celebrated Mrs. Fry, who has so laudably exerted herself to improve the morals of our sailors, has extended her philanthropy to the men employed in the Coast Guard. Each station in the three Kingdoms has been furnished, at her own expense, with a library for the use of the crew of the station, consisting of from 50 to 60 volumes of cheap works, mostly of a moral and religious tendency, but likewise including some well condensed accounts of foreign countries, voyages, travels etc
    (On 3 February Elizabeth Fry wrote to the Times to point out that the libraries were not  provided at her expense, but by the Government, her friends and the public) 14 December 1837

    Some helpful hints for the house-proud mother.

    The 'HELLO' magazine of yesteryear.
    Onward and Upward Magazine. 1891 - 1896.

    Helpful Hints.

    • When brushing a carpet always work towards the fireplace and in this way a good deal of dust disappears up the chimney.
    • Ceilings which have become smoked with paraffin lamps should be washed with soda water.
    • The skin of a boiled egg is the best remedy for boils. Carefully peel it, wet and apply to the boil.
    • For Neuralgia in the face apply a mustard plaster to the elbow,
    • Sprained Ankle; Pound some caraway seed and heat it with a little water until it thickens. Apply with a bandage.
    • For Inflamed Eyes and Styes take a large baked potato, scoop out the inside and bind it over the lid on going to bed.
    • If an Invalid asks you to read the newspaper aloud to him, omit the death list and 'in memoriam'.
    • Common snuff put into the chinks of the fireplace will drive away the beetles and crickets.
    • Save old toothbrushes for cleaning the corners of window sashes.
    • To catch mice lay fly paper before the holes. When captured they can be destroyed. If care is taken the same paper can be used over and over again.

    Smuggling in a Pleasure Yacht

    Wexford 28th.May.- On Thursday last as the 'Slyph' pleasure boat belonging to Laurence Esmonde White Esq. was entering our harbour, she was boarded by Mr. Biddick, the active Chief Officer of the Rosslare Station who discovered the following contraband articles :- 45 lbs. of Tea : 8 dozen of Wine, (Champagne & Claret), 3 gallons of brandy : one jar of Geneva : 6 lbs. of tobacco : 6 lbs. of gunpowder : 3 parcels of macaroni : a quantity of nuts : different kinds of fruits : and several parcels of spices.

    The 'Sylph' is about 17 tons burthen, and her crew consisted of Mr. White, his son, and 2 sailors. A full account has been forwarded to the Board of Commissioners.


    The value of keeping a sharp watch at all times was well illustrated by one Coastguard at Littlehampton. At 0500 hours one morning, just as it was getting light, he saw a man carrying a sack along the promenade and 'behaving in a suspicious manner'. He looked furtively from side to side and then, apparently satisfied that no one was about, he went on to the sands. Through his binoculars the Coastguard saw the man take out from the sack some dark objects resembling beer bottles. He then buried these in the sand and then went off.

    The Coastguard took no further notice but later in the morning he was told that a picture magazine had organised a Treasure Hunt on the sands. Anyone finding a bottle would find inside vouchers for £1 and 10 shillings which could be exchanged at the newsagent. In less than 5 minutes the Coastguard dug up the bottles and collected £4 10s. in vouchers. He said it was the most profitable watch he had spent and it showed the benefit of keeping one's eyes open at all times.

    References :
    1. Evening Freeman Thursday 16th. January 1834.
    2. Evening Freeman Tuesday 15th.April 1834.
    3. Dublin Evening Freeman 2nd.October 1841
    4. “The Times” (London) 1 February 1836.
    5. "Shipwreck" by William Webb.
    6. Dublin Evening Post, Saturday 4th.June 1825.
    7. "Shipwreck" by William Webb.
    8. "Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast" Vol.1 by Edward J. Bourke.
    9. Evening Freeman Saturday 1st.July 1843

    Copyright © 2001-2004 [coastguards of yesteryear]. All rights reserved.

    0 Comments · 8109 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on June 17 2007


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