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Family’s fond memories of the Wincham

28 November 2007 by stepheng

Five people in front of boat in the docks

Ian Cooke, Doris Cooke-Smith, Chris Cooke, Malcolm Cooke and Arthur Smith in front of the Wincham

One of the boats in the Merseyside Maritime Museum’s collection had a special visitor recently. Doris Cooke-Smith is the daughter of John Siddal, who was the first captain of the weaver packet Wincham back in 1948. She remembers travelling on the Wincham when it was a working ship, and can recall her father first collecting the boat when it was brand new.

Doris brought her family to the Albert Dock to see the Wincham while her eldest son Ian was visiting from Canada, where he now lives. Ian was taken on board the boat when he was young and remembers sleeping on board on an improvised bunk.

The Wincham is now owned and looked after by the Wincham Preservation Trust. Members of the trust who were working on the boat at the time spoke to the family and showed some of them around below decks. The family enjoyed the visit which brought back many memories and Doris has kindly agreed to be interviewed by museum curators for an oral history of her time on the working steam packet.

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