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The Journey Home

This is the story behind the 1907 Humber sloop that was to help fight two wars and join the search for the Loch Ness monster.

Phyllis 1907. Loa 68ft, Beam16ft.4, Draft 7ft.4, Official Number 124785. Yard Number 60. Sail Number 26148.

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Updated: April 2016

Sailing at South Ferriby

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The Journey Home.

Phyillis 2

Benbola tows Phyllis out of Buckie Harbour to start her journey home to the Humber after 24 years away.

We couldn't be there to see her off but Kath was in constant contact with Benbola's skipper Karl, the MCA left it until the last minute in the tidal window to release her from Buckie (very helpful) but Benbola made good time from Scotland to the Humber and then had to wait outside Spurn Point in a force 7 to pick up not one but two pilots. Bear in mind this is in the middle of the then well reported Humber Pilots dispute and our two seemed to be just out of training school.

 Kath and I had borrowed a friends 40ft trawler yacht "Golden Whiskas" to meet Benbola and Phyllis at Spurn intending to take over the tow up river to Barton Haven. The two (very young) pilots were a bit windy of that idea and insisted that Benbola towed her up river were we would then swap the tow onto Golden Whiskas. However, neither of our pilots knew were Barton Haven was so I explained over the radio were to go and how to get there, "main channel up to Paull and through Hull Roads, across the river from Fish Dock wall end and Barton Haven is about 1/4 mile east of the south bridge towers, over". A short pause, "we don't go there, over". My reply, " you do tonight, over", long pause, "OK we've found it on the chart, out".

 With no lights to mark the entrance at Barton and not being confident our intrepid new pilots knew were they were let alone were they were going I took a short cut over Skitter Ness and past New Holland pier to get there before them and mark the position with the boat, much to the pilots suprise at beating them there. It proved difficult to snatch the tow in the flow of the river past Barton, one reason why I wanted to take the tow in the lower Humber, plus Phyllis was completely black and so was the night. Another problem seemed to be that the pilots couldn't keep the tow on a static course head to tide and when we went to approach Phyllis she was coming at us from the other direction so had to keep backing away. After a few attempts with Kath on the helm of Whiskas and leaning on Phyllis we had her breasted up along side although not in an ideal position for manoeuvrability. We had passed fresh provisions over to Karl and his crew on Benbola and so wished them well as they headed back down river to drop the aspiring pilots off at Hull and head back to Scotland.


Site created May 2009

By Kath Jones & Alan Gardiner.

If anyone has any memories of working for James Barraclough or have a story about working on Phyllis or any of the Barraclough barges we would like to hear from you.
If you have any comments or questions on the content of the site or would like to add something to it regarding any of the sloops we would also like to hear from you.


Interesting Links

Humber Keel & Sloop Preservation Society.

National Historic Ships Reg.

Thames Barges

Goole Waterways Museum.
Dutch Barge Association.
In The Boat Shed.
Humber Packet Boats.
Leicester Trader.
Humber Yawl Club.
Brilliant Star

Rodney Clapson

Richlow Books

Sailing Barge Research

West Country Keels

Waterways of the Humber
By Christine Richardson.

Barges and Docks

Sheffield Ships.

 Sloop "Amy Howson"

 Sloop "Spider T.

 Keel "Comrade".

 Keel "Daybreak".

 Keel "Southcliffe".

 Keel "Hope".

 Keel "Eden".


The Barton Regatta

Leeboards Explained

Telling The Differance


Contact Us Here

Phyillis 3

Phyllis and Benbola out in the Moray Firth heading for the North Sea and home.

With the tide now ebbing strongly we had to get both vessels into Barton Haven or spend the night on the mud near the entrance. The fact that Phyllis was 30 foot longer and 40 ton heavier than Whiskas made it difficult to turn Phyllis with any accuracy against the strong ebb and get both vessels into the entrance of the Haven. It took three goes to get us both in and with the tide now falling fast Whiskas was paddling mud as we grounded to a halt alongside the east wall inside the Haven.                                 Phyllis was home at last.

[Home Page] [A Short History] [The Building] [Documents] [Sloop Plans] [The Rescue] [Phyllis at Work] [The Journey Home] [The Restoration.] [Square Rigged Sloops] [Gravel Sloops] [Barton Regatta] [Water Colour Sloop] [Back Under Sail] [The Clippers] [Picture Gallery]