Maritime tragedy memories surface in charity shop

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

14:00
The Oldenburg alongside the pier in Ilfracombe

Town in mourning pays homage to ‘a lovely guy’ who lost his life in Monday’s accident at the pier

Read more
The scene on the A39 tonight after two cars collided and caught fire. Picture: Kathryn-Racheal Ring

Members of the public have been praised for pulling two drivers out of burning vehicles following collision near Barnstaple on Friday night.

Read more

Fire in house in Gould Road started accidentally, said fire service.

Read more
11:11
This scenes from a video shot by Steve Pugsley shows the force of the waves.

Big waves are wreaking havoc for motorists who parked near the coast this morning (Monday)...

Read more

Police warn horse owners to keep their eye out for anything suspicious during summer season after ‘isolated’ incident.

Read more
Bideford Carnival 2014. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Find out when and where you can catch carnivals in North Devon this summer.

Read more
Police re-direct traffic following the fatal collision at the Sticklepath roundabout on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Submitted

Arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after ‘Barnhenge’ collision which killed 20-year-old motorcyclist.

Read more
07:34
Verity stands defiant as T-Rex approaches... Picture: Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park

Damien Hirst’s Verity almost ended up as dino food after an art-loving t-rex ‘escaped’ from his handlers during a trip to Ilfracombe.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:10
Ilfracombe Harbour.

An investigation into how a 58-year-old fell from the pier is now underway

Read more
Yesterday, 18:41
Scenes from North Devon Relay for Life 2015 at Barnstaple Rugby Club. Picture: @tidyeyepr

Best feet forward at annual Cancer Research UK fundraiser in Barnstaple...

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

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


North Devon's trusted business finder