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David James, Trinity House London (North Channels) Pilot 1965 - 1989.

David James, quite recently ...

A very interesting photo dated 1975. It was taken in the Library of Trinity House at Tower Hill, London. The occasion was the signing of an agreement between the two groups of pilots to share their common purses.

It shows Sir Miles Wingate, Deputy Master of T.H. (seated) with, from left to right, Tony Lewis, Deputy Principal of the Pilotage Department. David James, representing the North Channels Pilots.  D. Barrow Chairman of London Sea Pilots Committee. Tim Hughes representing Cinque Ports pilots.

Here is a message from David:

THPV Bembridge was the first Trinity House pilot vessel I boarded when I started training as a London (North Channels) pilot in 1965. I came across your web site when searching for information on the Woodbridge pilotage district for the Woodbridge Town Museum. It just happened that we had friends to visit us yesterday with no connection to Trinity House. I mentioned Bembridge to them and it turns out that they spent many happy hours on board when she was the Yacht Clubhouse. There is much to read in this thread but I will come back to you when I have done so and have considered whether there are any photos I have that could be of interest. Regards David James.

Now very interesting document: the London, North Channels Pilots' Roster for October 1968.

The outside of the folded card

The outside of the folded card shows a few phone numbers. Fowler, Masters and Pratley were self employed Taxi drivers who returned Pilots to Harwich from Tilbury when they had handed over the ships to a River Thames Pilot. The term " * No Hooks"  refers to the pilots who opted not to pilot the Harwich - Hook Van Holland Ferry which would mean being overcarried to Holland.

The inside of the card

The inside of the card showing a complete list of the North Channels Pilots at that date with their phone numbers. 14 ft. means that the pilot concerned was in his first three years of being licensed and only allowed to pilot ships up to 14 feet draft. M/C stands for Middle Cut. These were pilots in their middle years who piloted the larger tankers then becoming common.  

The roster was continuous so it rotated at the speed at which ships arrived at the Sunk Light Ship requiring a pilot. Pilots dropped off the list for holidays but only a certain number were allowed to be off at any one time.

Next thing...

We received from David these nice lists of Pilots, too. We hope that nobody mentioned on these lists will be angry for us for publishing it on our web site.

The first list from David: London Pilots seniority list from the 1970's. We can see that the oldest pilot, Alan Ramshaw, was licensed shortly after Bembridge was launched.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

And now second list. It is a Seniority Lists for the Channel Pilots (Gravesend outwards).

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

To be continued ...

We hope still will come many interesting details from David.
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