Tuesday, 11 November 2008
The "Tartar" Botany Bay wreck- the sequel
This faded newspaper cutting is of the section of the "Tartar" in the council yard at Hartsdown. Once exposed to the elements the wreck deteriorated rapidly, some pieces could have been conserved, but as in most cases with conserving anything remotely historically it is a matter of working against time. So I was only able to save a few pieces.
In my left hand is a dead eye from the rigging of a old sailing ship I found in Palm Bay at the time, in my right hand is a 9 pound cannon ball found a Foreness point.The dead eye was in the Margate museum maritime cabinet for many years and has recently been returned to me.
In the foreground of the picture is a ships plank which is about 20 feet long, it is very distinctive by the holes to fasten it to the timber frame. These holes are perhaps the only identification when finding timber on the beach that identify the timber to a shipwreck. Many lengths about 20 feet long were washed up at the time, some had recently been badly damaged and I have reason to believe this was caused by the ship "Argus" running aground near the Lido and running through the wreck in shallow water.
All the long lengths were heavily iron stained and I believe the cargo may have been iron. At the same time as the "Tartar" going down another vessel called the "Faithlie" was lost and the cargo was scrap iron. During the summer of 1996 many planks in this condition came ashore at Cliftonville, but any links to the "Faithlie" wreck are hard to prove.