Schooner ran aground in heavy seas and gales

HALF SEAS OVER ... a wintry view of the schooner Alphonse aground on the South Foreshore.
HALF SEAS OVER ... a wintry view of the schooner Alphonse aground on the South Foreshore.

WINTER has arrived, for me, when I turn the corner into our street and the salty blast coming off the sea is like a slap in the face.

It’s like that at the time of writing and you can imagine similar weather when this dramatic photograph was taken.

This was a spectacular scene, when the schooner Alphonse ran aground on the South Foreshore at Shields a few years before the First World War.

The picture is another kind loan from Alan Rogers, who found it among papers belonging to his late father Stanley.

The Alphonse had been built in Norway in 1902. On January 28, 1910, she was driven ashore in heavy seas and gales about 100 yards north of Trow Rocks.

Happily, all 29 members of her crew were rescued by the lifeboat Willie Wouldhave. South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade also assisted.

The ship herself also survived, to go on to become, in 1917, the HB Linneman, still under Norwegian ownership.

A couple of years ago, when she cropped up in the column, I traced her to having been sold to UK owners a couple of years after the end of the Great War.

The last record of her seemed to be in 1921, when she was described as “now a lighter.”