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Historic England Research Records

Creteblock

Hob Uid: 909208
Location :
North Yorkshire
Scarborough
Whitby
Grid Ref : NZ9084811413
Summary : Remains of mid-20th century wreck of English tug on the western side of the scar at Whitby, the date of loss being variously described as either pre-World War II, in 1935, or post-World War II, in 1947 or 1948. On her last journey she was towed out of Whitby harbour to be scuttled at sea, but started to take in water and had to be beached. Constructed of concrete in 1919-20, she was a steam-powered vessel. This site was formerly identified as the CHARLES (see 938442), but her identity as the CRETEBLOCK is confirmed.
More information : Wreck Event and Documentary Evidence:

Ran aground on Saltwick Nab while on passage from the Tyne to Bruges, 1940. (2)

Ordered as CT 35, 1917; dismantled 1934. (4)

Seen by informant John Dryden as a child and published in "The Dalesman" magazine in June 1973 with photographs. Local opinion quoted by Mr Dryden stated that the vessel was brought to Whitby and intended for a harbour blockade in case of invasion during World War II. One of Mr Dryden's informants stated that the vessel was built at Shoreham, and brought to Whitby from Scotland:

"It was towed out of Whitby harbour, as far as the harbour mouth, by two fishing boats. At the harbour mouth a tug boat took over and hauled it the mile or so to its final resting place." (5)

Part of Mr Dryden's correspondence published in Mike Amos' column. (6)

Correspondent Harry Mead to Mike Amos' column:

'...the CRETEBLOCK began her days in Essex.

'After a short and unspectacular military career, she was bought by Smith's Dock and used as a tug on Teesside until about 1935, when the company moved to Whitby.

'Used briefly as a fishermen's store, she became an eyesore. Ordered to move the concrete cadaver, Smith's Dock patched her up and arranged for her to be scuttled in deep water. She began taking in water and was beached off the Scaur.

'Chip off the old block, the wreck is still visible at low tide - forlorn, says Harry - amid a big bed of mussels.' (7)

1935 wreck of English tug which was beached on the Scar at Whitby; a concrete steam-powered vessel. (8)

Tugs built at Shoreham (like the CRETEBLOCK) had dimensions of 271 tonnes [sic], 38.1m long x 8.4m beam x 4.3m moulded depth, draught 4.1m. Scrapped in 1934 and in 1947 ran aground at Whitby while being towed out to sea for sinking, and had to be blown up. (9)

Towed out to sea on 22 August 1948 (consistent with (2).) (10)

Built 1920, dimensions 267 tons, 38.1m x 8.5m; no disposal data quoted. (13)

Wreck Site and Archaeological Remains:

Wreck Site and Archaeological Remains:

Method of Fix: PHOT (1)
Vertical Datum: LAT (1)

CHARLES - Ran aground on Saltwick Nab while on passage Tyne for Bruges, 1940. (C in C Rosyth).

29-FEB-1940: Ashore and broken in two in 54 29 24.0N, 000 35 00.0W. No danger to shipping.

22-JAN-1979: Stranded wreck in 54 29 23.0N, 000 35 51.0W (Air
Photograph, Hydrographic Index No. 1279/171, Print 43)

20-JAN-1989: Not located on side scan sonar (Land and Marine).

14-JAN-1992: Shown as stranded wreck (dries 4.8m) with debris close SW on Photoplot PG 2041 - LP1.

The wrecks of at least 3 20th-century vessels are visible at approximately NZ9084 1141. (3) [This appears to relate to the flight path, showing CAPE COMORIN to the west and ROHILLA to the east.]

Remains shown as well broken and scattered, name CRETEBLOCK visible on one image. Said to be centred on NZ 908114 OSGB, or 54 29.3893N 000 35.9873W, WGS. Seen to be located in the inter-tidal zone. (10)

Remains shown on satellite image centred on NZ 908114 consistent with photographs taken of the wreck site, and seen to lie in the inter-tidal zone. (11)

Named as the CHARLES (see 938442 for the wreck event for that vessel.) (12)

The trail went cold between 1940 and the report of the air photograph in 1979 when the wreck was assumed to be that of the CHARLES. The record for CHARLES has been amended to 'filing only' in that position and a new record for CRETEBLOCK has been created in the charted position. (14)

Wreck reported in 54 29.17N 000 35.17W located during aerial surveys, also named as the CHARLES in this 1988 publication. (15)

Built: 1919-20 (1)(10)
Builder: John ver Mehr (1)(10)
Where Built: Shoreham-by-Sea (1)(2)(10); Essex (4)
Propulsion: 3 cylinder triple expansion engine (1)
Machinery: Newton, Bean and Mitchell, Bradford; also reported as Harland Engineering Co. Ltd., Manchester (1)
Official No. 144666 (1)(10)
Owner: 1920, The Shipping Controller; 1921 Board of Trade; 1922 Crete Shipping Co. Ltd. London (Stelp & Leighton Ltd.) (1); 1935 Smith's Dock Co. (4)

Date of Loss Qualifier: Actual date of loss

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Hydrographic Office wreck index
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Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NZ 9111/7 (30375PO-0083/PO-0083) 01-MAY-1964
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Source Number : 11
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm > accessed on 30-NOV-2010
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Source Number : 12
Source : Digital marine geographic information derived from SeaZone Hydrospatial
Source details : Examination of EH deskGIS SeaZone layer, 30-NOV-2010
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Source Number : 13
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show?nameid=67140&shipid=77015 > accessed on 30-NOV-2010, subscription service
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Information from Nelson Mceachan, UKHO Wrecks Officer, per e-mail correspondence, 02-DEC-2010
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Source Number : 15
Source : Dive Yorkshire : a diver guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 48
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Source Number : 3
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Gazetteer Reference WH15, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment
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Source Number : 4
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.mareud.mine.nu/Ferro-Concrete/john_ver_mehr1.html > [Accessed 22-JAN-2004]
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Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : E-mail correspondence with John Dryden, 21 & 24-NOV-2003
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Source Number : 6
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/the_north_east/archive/2003/11/27/A93rpk.featby.html > [Accessed 22-JAN-2004]
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.thisisthenortheast.co.uk/the_north_east/archive/2003/12/04/A94s8v.featby.html > [Accessed 22-JAN-2004]
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Source Number : 8
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Gazetteer Reference, WH7, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment
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Source Number : 9
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=1159 > accessed on 30-NOV-2010
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Source Number : 10
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=17269481> accessed on 30-NOV-2010
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Built 1919-20
Monument End Date : 1920
Monument Start Date : 1919
Monument Type : Tug
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Lost 1935-1948
Monument End Date : 1948
Monument Start Date : 1935
Monument Type : Tug
Evidence : Scattered Vessel Structure, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Hydrographic Office Number
External Cross Reference Number : 8202230
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 129 14-03-75
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 134 12-12-75
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 1191b 07-10-77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 1612d 03-01-75
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hydrographic Office Number
External Cross Reference Number : 6000
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hydrographic Office Number
External Cross Reference Number : 66453
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 91 SW 74
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : Charles
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, THE YORKSHIRE COAST AND HUMBER ESTUARY RCZAS NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2006-05-12
End Date : 2007-05-31