Friday, April 25, 2008

T.R.Thompson project update

Will give a full update on the project Monday evening at the meeting but I had a phonecall this morning from the relative who we are now in contact with after the recent BBC coverage.He is sending more info on the Thompson and Westoll line. Amongst this info will be something exciting, which I wont go into now but obviously will share on Monday.

This information will add to the growing portfolio of the history of the wreck its crew and the owners J Westoll and will enable us to finally start putting together some kind of booklet,DVD on the wreck and the project.

Exciting times ahead watch this space.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

T.R.Thompson on BBC Local History Web Site

BBC Wear have been kind enough to put the Meridian Divers and T.R.Thompson Project blogs on their local history website along with a brief account of the ship. Their web pages features a selection of images taken of the wreck by Meridian Divers Clicking on the link below will take you there:-

Monday, April 14, 2008

Biographical Info on Lohs & UB 57 ~ Channel Hunter

This information from :-

Lohs was born in June 1889 in Saxony and entered the Imperial Navy in 1909. In 1915, he was assigned to the U-75, where he served as a weapons officer, before finally receiving command of the UC-75 in 1917. After a successful stint, he was given command of the UB-57.

If you visit the site you can read the article which I believe was taken from a book called the Channel Hunter.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Westoll Line ship off of Sussex?

Just discovered that there is a possible sister ship of the T.R.T sunk off the coast of Hastings.
I say possible because there appears to be some confusion with this wreck.

Some reports say that this is the SS Umber sunk on 30th April 1918 otherwise known as the gun wreck but other reports say it could be the Roecliff .
My thoughts are that it must be called the gun wreck for a reason but if you look at the date the Roecliff sank there would have been no reason I can think of for the ship to be armed.

James Westoll; 1894; Short Bros.; 3,263 tons; 315- 7x45-1 X16-2; 286n.h.p.; triple-expansion engines.The British cargo ship Roecliff sank after a collision off Hastingson June 4th, 1897. She was carrying a cargo of grain from Odessa to Hamburg.

Looks like a bit of investigation may be in order.

Has anyone who reads this blog dived this wreck

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

T.R.Thompson Look-a-Like ?

Whilst trying to track down more info on the T.R.T, I came across this picture of the Westburn.
The Westburn was a British steamship built in 1893 by Short Brothers at Sunderland, England for the James Westoll line. She was 351 feet in length and 3,300 tons with a speed of 7 knots. Does this sound familiar?
This looks almost identical to the TRT

The better quality photo enables us to see what the T.R.T would have looked like.

The Westburn is sunk just outside Santa Cruz harbour in Tenerife in about 30m.

I can almost feel a trip coming on


Monday, April 07, 2008

T.R.Thompson Commemorative Dive 3rd March 2008

After a very early start to get to Brighton Marina for 7am to meet the other Meridian Divers and BBC crew, I wasn't hopeful that underwater conditions would make the T.R.Thompson commemorative dive a particularly good one especially after all the recent bad weather.

On leaving the Marina aboard Steve Johnson's spacious Channel Diving hard boat, the surface conditions looked perfect, although the sky was a little dark and overcast. With nearly an hours trip out to the wreck site there was plenty of time to chat to the BBC crew about the TRT project and what we are trying to achieve and also check our equipment.

The gods were smiling as we arrived at the wreck site and the sky brightened with the clouds parting it had become almost a perfect day.

Any of you who have dived with Channel Diving before know Steve is an expert when it comes to placing the shot on the wreck with perfect precision you tell him where you want it and he places it exactly there with no fuss.

Looking into the water waiting for slack tide we could see the shotline disappearing into the depths which promised, surprisingly some visibility.

After kitting up it was time to enter the water and as always with my first sea dive of the year there were a few butterflies, but on hitting the water and starting the journey down to the wreck they soon disappeared.

I was diving with Sara and Jim from East Sussex Fire Brigade who had joined us for the day.

On reaching the wreck we were surprised that although dark we had at least 2-3m viz and looking up you could see daylight which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.The TRT couldn't show us all her glory today but we could see enough of the wreckage to make the dive worthwhile and we did pick out a massive capstan . I had taken the video camera down but wasn't expecting any success but later BBC footage clearly showed the the capstan and other bits of wreckage.

All too soon it was time to head for the surface and say goodbye to the T.R.T and the ghosts of her crew with a promise we will be back again soon to continue to tell their story.

Dive stats

Total dive time 32 minutes
Max depth 32.6m
Water temp 9.c
Viz 2-3m with torches

Jim H
Jim (ESFB)

Safety Diver Chris P


Sunday, April 06, 2008

T.R.Thompson Relative

After the BBC showed the T.R.Thompson report on their Look North Programme I was contacted by a descendant of Lesley Frances Jack (17 years) who was an apprentice on the T.R,T at the time she sank. Lesley was killed during the sinking.

I have arranged to speak to Mr Jack's relative next week to get further information but he has told me that Lesley's father who was a master of a ship also died on a ship run by the Westoll line who owned the T.R.T

The story continues and I will post more info as soon as I have it.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Contact Made with T.R.Thompson Seaman Relative

After footage of the TRT dive was shown on BBC Look North lunchtime and evening programmes a relative of a crew member who lost their life on the T.R.T. has contacted Meridian Divers

The TRT project has always regarded finding a relative as an important objective and now with help from the BBC we have.More details shortly.

Watch this space


BBC T.R.Thompson coverage South East edition

Friday, April 04, 2008

Contacting the T.R.Thompson Group

If you have come to this site due to the recent radio and TV coverage of the T.R.Thompson N.A.S project and can provide or would like further information on the T.R.Thompson please leave a comment with a way to contact you. The comments are moderated by the blog author so no personal infromation will be shown on the blog before posting.
We will then get back to you as soon as possible

Thank you
Meridian Divers