Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Maritime tragedy memories surface in charity shop

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 March 2012

Audrey Hinks, a retired ships architect and wife of former Appledore shipbuilder Alan Hinks and daughter Alison look at the pictures of the Stevenstone donated to the Barnstaple Rotary Shop as they try to establish the location of its launch. Pic: Tony Freeman.

Audrey Hinks, a retired ships architect and wife of former Appledore shipbuilder Alan Hinks and daughter Alison look at the pictures of the Stevenstone donated to the Barnstaple Rotary Shop as they try to establish the location of its launch. Pic: Tony Freeman.

Tony Freeman

Barnstaple Rotarians fascinated by donation of pictures showing doomed vessel Stevenstone, whose loss claimed the lives of five Appledore men.

POIGNANT memories of a maritime tragedy which claimed the lives of 16 men, including five from Appledore, have resurfaced 90 years later in a North Devon charity shop.

Volunteers at Barnstaple Rotary Shop in Boutport Street were stunned when an anonymously donated box turned out to contain a dozen large photographs of the Cardiff coal steamer Stevenstone, whose disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

The Hansen Shipping Company vessel was built in Bideford and launched in July, 1921 – six months later she vanished without trace enroute to Denmark with a cargo of coal.

Following research by retired ships architect Audrey Hinks, volunteers realised the large black and white photographs showed her launch from what is thought to be Appledore.

“The shop received a whole pile of items, including letters, school reports, a marriage certificate and about 12 mounted photos,” explained Rotarian Tony Freeman.

“We would like to donate them either to a museum or to relatives of those who died. It is a part of North Devon history and we don’t want it to be lost.”

The marriage certificate recorded the 1928 union between William Baglow and Florence Burnard at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Bideford. Her father William James Finch Burnard was listed as a mariner and Mr Freeman said they wondered if there was a connection.

The fate of the small steamer and her crew of Welsh and Appledore men – including Captain FE Prout of 8, The Quay, Appledore - has never been discovered.

A report from the time said “she was fitted with two lifeboats, each capable of carrying 22 persons and also up-to-date life saving appliances.”

The other North Devonians also presumed to have perished at sea were: Boatswain FM Cox plus able seamen W Cropp, J Whitlock and J McCullan.

Anyone who has information about the mysterious donation of photographs or can suggest who they could be donated to is asked to contact Tony Freeman on 01271 850255 or 07876 457051, or Ann Turner on 07775 700946.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 22:00

North and West Devon Superintendent Toby Davies addressed concerns about PCSO reductions at a North Devon Council meeting on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:21

Book your place for the free Red Nose Day bash in Ilfracombe on Friday evening

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Baker Estates hopes to submit a planning application for Bickington’s Oakwell site by late spring

Read more
Yesterday, 16:35

Heritage Lottery Fund bid for new Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon extension is successful

Read more
Yesterday, 15:52

Routine trip to Barnstaple High Street optician led to life-saving surgery in Bristol hospital.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:42

‘Be alert, not alarmed’ is the message coming from police in the wake of the attack in Westminster yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more
Yesterday, 14:32

Council is close to signing agreement for a short term lease with Parkwood Theatres to run both the Queen’s and the Landmark

Read more
Yesterday, 14:29

Jenny Mills is fundraising for the walking challenge in June by carrying out odd-jobs and gardening for neighbours.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:28

Interactive map: Meet the North Devon runners taking part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and pick where you can cheer for them enroute

Read more
Yesterday, 11:49

Open casting for the film, which is helmed by one of the directors behind the Harry Potter series, takes place in Bideford on Saturday, April 1.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications