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The Invergordon Archive

The tug MT Kent
The Invergordon Archive
The tug MT Kent

MT Kent, the first of many Knight tugs to work in the Cromarty Firth, arrived at Invergordon in 1969 to support Mears Bros. Dredging (MBD) operations during construction of the smelter pier.
She was built in 1948 by Richards Ironworks Ltd of Lowestoft for J P Knight of Rochester, to become the first diesel tug on the Medway. Length 27M, Beam 6.7 M Draught 2.8M . British Polar 5 cylinder diesel, 850bhp
On completion of the smelter pier, Kent stayed on at Invergordon, and J P Knight formed the Caledonian Towage Co. to manage their affairs in Scotland. Many "Knight" tugs have been in service at Invergordon since 1969, all with the familiar black funnels with two white bands over the white K. By 1988 the Kent had returned south and was laid up at Chatham before being taken over by S.E.T.S., The South Eastern Tug Society in 1995. They maintain her in running order and make occasional trips up the Thames and over to mainland Europe. Visitors are welcome on board by prior arrangement, as would any photographs or reminiscences of her time in Scotland.
Picture added on 31 December 2005
Comments:
The Tug Kent was a familiar sight around Scapa Flow in the mid seventies. She was on hire to Costains when the LPG jetty was under construction at the Flotta oil terminal. The Kent performed all aspects of towage but mostly barge work. I served on her for some time and have fond memories of the old tug and the boys who came up from Invergordon to man her. Its very fitting that she has been all done up to look so nice.
Added by Allan S Besant on 05 February 2006
My memories of the 'Tug Kent' and you Allan are still very vivid in my mind when in Scapa Flow for Costains. Remember well when the 'landlubbers' were in control of construction! I was 'Base2' controller during the construction period. We lived on Hoy and travelled each day to and fro by boat to Flotta. Happy days and memories.
Added by Donald MacLeman on 22 March 2009
A real treat to see any photos of her.
Added by Paul Hunt on 16 October 2010
Her bhp is 880 with a bollard pull of 9.5.
Added by Paul Hunt on 29 April 2011
She did a little known short stint in gazelee colours at Felixtowe 1966.
Anonymous comment added on 17 June 2012
Does anyone know if this was the Motor Tug Kent in the Jubilee Pageant?
Added by George Mackay on 18 June 2012
Yes I think it was the "Kent", I got a brief glimpse of her as the singers went past on the barge.
Added by Dod Ross on 20 June 2012
Yes she was at the Jubilee Pageant - I was on her. If anyone wishes to see some photos in gazelee colours go to the s.e.t.s website - the photos are copyright.
Added by Paul Hunt on 21 June 2012
Thanks to Dod and Paul for the info. Cracking experience for Paul.
Added by George Mackay on 21 June 2012
I have been working on her the day we got her and love every time we take her out. She is in Chatham dockyard next to the Ship and Trades pub - were there Tuesdays and Saterdays come down and have a look if you wish lads.
Added by Paul Hunt on 22 June 2012
I remember the Kent from when M.B.Dredging chartered her to tow split barges from the dredging site at Pigeon House B to sea dump in 1967. I was MBD agent. Steve Parsons was the skipper. I also recall MBD chartering her for dredging at Invergordon.
Added by Doug Ramsay on 10 December 2012
Hi Douglas yes remember Dublin very well and the Kent performed well during the 10 months we were there. I did the Invergordon job as well with the Kent and finished up staying there for 4 years. Hope you and Jerry are well. Please get in touch if you feel like it.
Best Wishes Steve
Added by Steve Parsons on 22 November 2015
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