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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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The Recorder – cable repair ship.

Image courtesy of David Griffiths,


Aug 28 1954            NEW CABLE SHIP DAMAGED THAMES ESTUARY COLLISION MAIDEN VOYAGE TO BE POSTPONED From Our Correspondent GRAVESEND, AUG. 27 The new cable ship Recorder, 3,300 tons, which is owned by Cable and Wireless, Ltd., and was launched on May 3, was badly holed on her starboard side when she was in collision with the Danish motor vessel Uruguay, 4,625 tons, near the mid-Barrow Light in the Thames Estuary this afternoon. There was fog at the time, but although damage to both vessels was considerable there were no casualties. The Recorder was bound for Charlton Buoys from the Tyne to load cable before making her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean next month. A Cable and Wireless spokesman said to-night that the voyage would have to be postponed. PRINCIPAL UNIT After the collision the Recorder, under the command of - Captain Charles Muckleston, proceeded under her own steam at 'reduced speed up the river and anchored to-night in the lower reaches of the Thames. The Uruguay is understood to have proceeded on her way to Copenhagen. The Recorder, which was launched by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson at Walker- on-Tyne, is a twin-screw, 12-knot steam vessel, and has an operating range of 10,000 miles. She is the largest and fastest vessel of the Cable and Wireless fleet, and is the first British cable repair ship designed to handle the new deep-sea submarine telegraph repeaters. She was planned as the principal unit in maintaining the company's 20,000 miles of cable in Far Eastern waters. Her operational area, stretching from Colombo eastward to Vancouver, includes the world's longest section of submarine cable, the 3,466 miles between Bamfield, Vancouver Island, and Fanning Island, in the Pacific. On her maiden voyage she was to sail to Singapore to relieve the cable ship Stanley Angwin, which is to be transferred to Gibraltar. Most of the Recorder's crew are Spanish. Among those on board was Mr. J. Armstrong of Berwick-on-Tweed, who is the owners consultant during her construction.


Charles is Charles Christian Muckleston and he was born on 24 Dec 1903 in Anderby Lincolnshire. This is not far from the sea - just a few miles north of Skegness.


His father was Thomas Muckleston who was born at Harlington and brought up first to farm work and was afterwards in service at The Manor House. Later he went to Fettes near Edinburgh. He served in the South African War of 1899 -1902 in the Imperial yeomanry. On his return he took a post as gardener-groom to a clergyman in Lincolnshire and went out to the Great War in the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was killed early in May 1915 when Charles was just 11 years old and his younger brother Harold was just 5 years old. Their mother Janet (nee Osbourne) never married and it must have been hard for her bringing up two young boys without a husband, although she did live to the grand age of 90. Janet had been trained at Goldsmiths and became a prep school matron and was therefore likely to have found work and certainly would have ensured her sons had a good education.



                                    A photograph of 17 years old Charles from his identity card.



Being close to the sea it is hardly surprising that at the age of 14 Charles joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice. Gradually moving through the ranks. When war broke out he could be found in the fighting for his country and was Appointed Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy on 26 March 1941.


Charles married twice firstly to Beatrice Jones in 1934, (she was 13 years older than 30 year old Charles) and secondly to Jane Alexander in 1974 when he had retired and had settled near the New Forest in Hampshire. He had no children.


Despite their poor start to life his brother also did well becoming a quantity surveyor and company director.




Ooops Again !!

Dec 23 1958




FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT TUNBRIDGE WELLS, DEC. 22 The driver of a diesel electric train had a remarkable escape from serious injury when his train collided with the rear of a stationary diesel electric train in Tunbridge Wells Central station shortly after 1 p.m. to-day. Eighteen people were admitted to hospital. The stationary train, which had travelled slowly from Hastings, was waiting to link up with the second train, also from Hastings, to form a fast train to Charing Cross when the collision occurred. The main Hastings-London line was still blocked at midnight. Railway workers used crowbars to free the driver of the second train, Mr. Charles Giles, aged 62, of Church Down, Bromley, from his wrecked cab. He escaped with lacerations of the scalp and left cheek. With two passengers he was detained in hospital. The others were Mr. William Cross, aged 75. of Ashley Gardens. Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, who had minor injuries and Mrs. Janet Burr, aged 61, of Croft Road, Hastings, who suffered concussion. The condition of all three was described as comfortable. Another passenger, Mrs. Mildred Muckleston, aged 70, of Hill Street, Hastings, who had fractured ribs, was discharged from hospital to the care of her daughter. The others taken to hospital were discharged after treatment for cuts and bruises. Many other passengers were given first aid for minor cuts and shock on the platform


Mildred was the widow of Frederick Rowland Muckleston who died in 1944 aged 64 a Linen Collar Manufacturer. Mildred made a full recovery and died in 1967 aged 84. As do many women, she obviously knocked a few years off her age for the reporter. Her daughter was Gertrude Annie Plugge (nee Muckleston) wife of the television executive and MP.


More information on this train crash including pictures can be found on John Vaughan's forum at