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Not a clue! looks like the old river Mersey but I know it's not, judging by the fact that the ships wheel is still on board (that's if it is an up to date photo) she must be in a fairly inaccessible place, certainly don't recognise anywhere east and fairly close to Warrington and can't be in the River Weaver as that's south to south east of Warrington and not really that close, anyhow arty what's with the "maybe". :blink:

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Photos taken 1971..your guess at the river mersey was pretty good .....but where! the ships wheel was seen intact 1990...but over grown with weed.she has sunk further in the river bed .she is now completly over grown with plants and weed ..the last time I saw her was last year.. maybe near to a hole in one!

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Yes your spot on... She was a Royal Navy gunboat called ELK she had 12 guns..she was bought by the MSC company and converted into a Hopper/Dredger she was later fitted with a crane..after she had done her duties with the MSC she was taken to the the river known as the Old river mersey and scuttled..But infact it is the (River Bollin)..opposite the River Mersey Butchersfield Bollin Piont...so there you go! cheers art.

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:shock::shock: Blummin' heck it was only a guess as you gave a 'golf' clue... however, I did remember Algy talking about some old wooden barges on the mersey ages ago and he uploaded some photo's of them too at the time after he went for a wander.


Algy.... you should have known the answer and how come you didn't notice the gunboat :P but at least it shows I remember what you talk about :D

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:shock::shock: Blummin' heck it was only a guess as you gave a 'golf' clue... however, I did remember Algy talking about some old wooden barges on the mersey ages ago and he uploaded some photo's of them too at the time after he went for a wander.


Algy.... you should have known the answer and how come you didn't notice the gunboat :P but at least it shows I remember what you talk about :D


Dizz, your not doing your homework tuppence, it's not the same place as where I took the photos of the CONCRETE barges not wooden ones, and that was in the old river Mersey bed at Statham cutting, where the hulk that arty is talking about half a mile a further east on the other side of Lymm golf course and as he says is actually the River Bollin inlet to the canal, I honestly searched there on a 1970 aerial map but couldn't make anything out.

Well done Dizz. :shock:

Well done arty matey. :wink:



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arty, I'm sure you are aware of this information, however I think as a reward for guessing the correct answer I think Dizz should write an essay on the life of the sailors aboard the vessel. :wink:

How sad to think that a vessel so proud as the HMS Elk should finish her days as a rotting hulk in some little backwater with no recognition whatsoever.

Hstory of HMS Elk

Elk, 1868

Type: Composite Gunvessel ; Armament 4

Launched : 10 Jan 1868 ; Disposal date or year : 1905

BM: 465 tons ; Displacement: 584 tons

Propulsion: Double Screw

Machinery notes: 472 120 hp



Portsmouth 10 Jan 1868 launched or christened by Miss Cree, d/o Dr. Cree.


Portsmouth 25 Jan 1868 being fitted out in the basin.


Portsmouth 4 May 1868 taken into No. 7 Dock to have her screws fitted.


13 May 1868 in the steam basin.


Portsmouth 10 Jun 1868 went out of harbour to carry out trials on her machinery over the measured mile at Stokes Bay, manned by officers and men from the Portsmouth Steam Reserve, which were reported to be satisfactory, at slightly over 10 knots.


Portsmouth 17 Jun 1868 went out of harbour to carry out trials on the measured mile at Stokes Bay.


27 Jun 1868 in the ship basin.


Portsmouth 7 Aug 1868 visited by the Board of the Admiralty during their visit to Portsmouth Dockyard.


Portsmouth 20 Oct 1868 reported to be in No. 4 Dock.


Portsmouth 4 Dec 1868 taken out of the Ship Basin to be docked.


Portsmouth 9 Dec 1868 is reported to have been commissioned by Commander Algernon G. Wootton and Lt John Eliott, Sub Lt Fred. Maitland and Asst Paymaster E.H. Jago apptd. Is reported to have been removed from her dock into the harbour.


Portsmouth 10 Dec 1868 Nav Sub Lt F Rowlatt, Engineers Wm Barclay, J.R. Harvey and J Lilley apptd.


Portsmouth 23 Dec 1868 carried out further speed trials at Stokes Bay and returned into harbour.


Portsmouth 31 Dec 1868 swung her compasses.


Portsmouth 13 Jan 1869 in harbour.


19 Jan 1869 went out to Spithead to receive her ammunition &c. prior to sailing for the East Indies and China.


Spithead 20 Jan 1869 sailed for Plymouth and China.


15 Feb 1869 at Madeira with the Fly and Hornet.


15 Apr 1869 arrived at the Cape of Good Hope.


Simon's Bay 1 May 1869 sailed for the East with the Hornet and Cossack.


Circa 5 Sep 1869 arrived on the East Indies station.


Portsmouth 20 Sep 1869 died Annie Eliza, 21 yrs., at 7, Cecil Grove, Southsea, w/o Stoker Henry Moody of HMS Elk.


Singapore 13 Oct 1869 arrived from Sarawak with the captain, passengers and crew of the Devonport, which became a wreck on 27 Sep. Was then to sail to Labuan, with the captain the Inarime, which was wrecked on the London Reef and search for a boat's crew from the ship who are reported missing and to assess whether any of her cargo is recoverable.



The Officers and Crew of HMS Elk


1870 no news, but the various navy lists printed during the year suggest she was probably off the coast of China.



HMS Elk in Dockyard Creek at Malta



16 Jan 1871 at Nagasaki.


6 Feb 1871 arrived at Yokohama from Hiogo.


2 Apr 1871 night of the census : moored in Yokohama Harbour.


14 Jun 1871 departed Osaka for Foo-chow-foo.


1 Apr - 30 Jun 1871 consumed 129 tons of coal during this period, but most of her open sea cruising would probably have been carried out under sail, weather and operational requirements permitting.


1871 some members of the crew are reported to have contracted Smallpox whilst the Elk was in Japanese waters, including a Frederick Sheppard.


3 Nov 1871 Commander N. Osborn is reported to have been appointed to the Elk and will re-commission the vessel in China.


Hong Kong 7 Nov 1871 has been paid off and recommissioned. The former crews of the Hornet and Elk will sail the ship Ocean, which brought out the replacement crews, back to England.


6th and 13th April, 1872 salvage services rendered to the steam ship Hai-Loong by the Elk. Payment due 20 Nov 1874.


5 Jun 1872 the Ocean arrived at Plymouth with the crews of the Elk and Hornet.


13 Sep 1872 arrived at Amoy.


2 Apr 1873 commanding officer reported to be Commander J. B. Barnett.


4 Sep 1873 arrived at Yokohama from Hakodadi.


27 May 1874 Commander R.H. Harris appointed to the Elk vice Commander Barnett.


Aug 1874 Shanghai.


26 Nov 1874 at Hong Kong with the Curlew, Thistle and Avon. The Elk and the Avon are under orders to proceed home to England.


2 Jan 1875 departed Hong Kong for Singapore and England.


Port Said 21 Apr 1875 departed for Malta.


Malta 7 May 1875 sailed for England.


9 Jun 1875 arrived Spithead, from China, having called at Plymouth.


Portsmouth 10 Jun 1875 came into harbour from Spithead.


18 Jun 1875 had her guns and masts removed whilst under the sheers.


Portsmouth 22 Jun 1875 paid off.


Portsmouth Jun-Jul 1876 undergoing a refit in preparation for being brought forward to be commissioned. Her old boilers are being replaced.


Portsmouth 18 Apr 1877 Commissioned by Commander Tupman at Portsmouth for service on the South East Coast of America.


Portsmouth 16 May 1877 moved out to Spithead to carry out trials of her machinery.


Spithead 20 May 1877 sailed for the South East Coast of America.


Oct-Nov 1878 reported to be at Montevideo.


Feb 1879 reported to be at Montevideo.


Apr 1879 reported to be at Montevideo.


River Plate 9 Jul 1879 sails for Santos.


1 Aug 1879 Commander Clanchy apptd. to the Elk.


Santos 2 Aug 1879 sails for Rio de Janeiro.


3-23 Sep 1879 reported to be at Rio de Janeiro and was expected to sail for Montevideo in October.


21 Oct 1879 arrived at Montevideo with the Garnet and Avon.


Montevideo 29 Nov 1879 sailed for Colonia.


Colonia 28 Dec 1879 reported to be departing for Buenos Ayres shortly.


27 Feb 1880 at Buenos Ayres.


22 Mar 1880 reported to be at Buenos Ayres.


16 Jun 1880 reported to be at Buenos Ayres.


15 Oct 1880 en route from Cape Frio to Montevideo via Santos and Catharina.


26 Oct 1880 arrived Montevideo, and shortly due to sail to Colonia to carry out rifle practice.


12 Jan 1881 at Montevideo as Senior Officer of the Station, the remainder of the squadron being at the Falkland Isles.


22 Feb 1881 at Montevideo as Senior Officer of the Station again, following the departure of the Swallow for England.


15 April 1881, the London Gazette reported that information had been received from the Elk of the existence of a cluster of rocks, lying one mile westward of Marambaya Rock, approach to Sapetiba Bay (reported by the commander of the French steamvessel "Savaie"). Position as given, lat. 23° 6' 50" S., long. 43° 50' 50" W.


May 1881 at Buenos Ayres awaiting her relief, the Rifleman.


14 Jun 1881 arrived Ascension, from Montevideo.


30 Jun 1881 arrived St. Vincent, Cape Verde.


26 Jul 1881 arrived at Spithead.


Portsmouth 27 Jul 1881 came into harbour.


11 Feb 1882 Engineer Thomas Carter of HMS Elk to be declared bankrupt. 30 Jan 1883 a 6th dividend of 2s. 6d. payable.


13 Jun 1882 having had her engines refitted by the engineers of the Marlborough Training School carried out satisfactory trials in the Solent.


23 Nov 1882 is to be re-commissioned by Lt Cdr Smythies to relieve the Netley as tender to the coast guard ship Lord Warden, at Queensferry, for coast guard duties.


22 Feb 1883 departed Portsmouth for Sheerness and Queensferry, having carried out full power trials.


9 Jan 1884 returns to Queensferry having been refitted.


1 Sep 1884 is reported to have been earmarked as a fishery protection vessel in the North Sea, based at Heligoland.


Oct 1885 Elk's parent ship now the Devastation.


7 Aug 1886 returns to Queensferry, from Sheerness, having undergone a further refit.


29 Aug 1887 one of a number of vessels involved in fishery protection duties, which also includes the Redwing, Hearty, Firm, Seamew, Firefly, and 5 sailing cruisers attached as tenders to the Rupert, Devastation and Hotspur, although I have the feeling that some of these vessels share their fishery protection duties with their coast guard duties ?


23 Jul 1889 has been taken into the steam basin to undergo repairs following her contact with a lightship and she will no longer be present at the review of the fleet.


24 Jul 1889 her officers were exonerated from blame, the accident having been caused by a surging of the currents.


1 Aug 1889 a question was asked in the House of Commons regarding a collision which took place between the North Goodwin Lightship and the Elk, which was stated to have been caused by an error of judgment in not making sufficient allowance for the strength of the tide. No pilot was on board, the vessel being navigated by her own officers. The damage done to the light vessel was slight, and to the Elk, did not extend below the upper deck.


1890 for Coast Guard Service. Tender to "Rupert" at Hull. Officers borne in Rupert.


1890 Tug.


Sheerness 2 May 1893 being unfit for further service is to be paid off and will be used as a store ship.


1905 Sold as dredger.


With thanks to Peter K. for the photographs and some of the movements.

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Appolgies for my error Algy... of course they were concrete as that was what the old topic was about, no idea why I typed wooden DURH.


Thanks for the location map and all the other info you posted is really interesting but like you say very sad that a ship with such a history should finish up where it has. Sad but at least it had more of a life and future than the likes of HMS Ark Royal.


Hard to believe your photo is of the same ship though as it looks huge on there compared to Arty's photo's.


For my essay can I do modern day life on Navy Vessels instead and am I allowed to 'phone a friend' if I get stuck 8)

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