Tyne Tugs, 1956

It seems just like the other day, When the river Tyne was all a go, About a score of steam tugs, Would be pulling ships to and fro

Photograph of a tug on the River Tyne

Tug on the River Tyne

It seems just like the other day
When the river Tyne was all a go
About a score of steam tugs
Would be pulling ships to and fro

The smoke belching from their funnels
While moving vessels in and out of docks
They would ease the ships in any direction
Just like keys fitting into their locks

The tug’s toots you would hear
Right through the night and all day
A steam tug going flat out
Is a lovely sight I would say

Just to do a simple ship’s docking
Eight tugs or more they would need
Juggling the different ships around on the tides
Had to be done with safety and speed

No fancy wheelhouse hardware
Just good timing with lots of skill
On a sunny day you can just sit and dream
Of those wonderful steam tug days still

Sadly the steam tug days are now numbered
The time clock is now ticking on
I think it will be a very sad day
When on the river Tyne we have none

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