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Old paddle tug with an intriguing name

RIVER TUG ... the old paddle tug Moselle on the Tyne.
RIVER TUG ... the old paddle tug Moselle on the Tyne.

SHE plied a coaly North East river, but bore the name of a more picturesque continental one. Or did she?

This smashing snap of the old paddle tug Moselle on the Tyne is from Kevin Blair.

She was built by Hepple and Landells, Low Walker, and was launched in February 1861.

Her name, though, intrigued me, until I discovered that there is also a River Moselle – the Moselle brook – which runs through North London.

It derives from the name, Mossehill, and is from where Muswell Hill also comes. Could it have been another one of those nods to the coal trade with London?

The Moselle spent all her working life on the Tyne: not without drama, as it turns out, as there is a note from about 20 years into her career of her colliding with the Newcastle steamer Kingmoor, off the New Quay at North Shields, and having her stem knocked off.

She was eventually broken up in 1936.

To the right, notes Kevin, is the bow of the Homefire, which was built by SP Austin & Son, Wear Dock, in 1925.

She ended her days bombed and sunk by aircraft in the summer of 1941, off the coast of Norfolk, with the loss of two crew.