The stories below appeared in a series of articles by Forrest Frank in 1920 in the Scarborough Daily Post. This article concerns stories told by Captain Wyrill
It used to be said of our North-East Coast shipbuilders that they would either build you a ship or "mak" you one. That the Berean was BUILT, and well built, may be inferred from the remarkable fact that during the twenty years she was under my command her topaides (that is, from the copper upwards) were never caulked, and after carrying heavy ice loads for the Norwegian owners for some years, I was on board of her, and found her seams had not been touched. She was a 19 years A1 ship. When 18 years old she was due to be remettled, and it was advisable to 'continue' her as far as all below the metal was concerned. Mr Spencer, Lloyd's senior surveyor, superintended. He was met in the city by a friend, who said:
"I'm told that the Berean has never been caulked; is that so?"
Mr Spencer replied surely not; she must have been caulked several times. Next morning I was asked by the surveyor the date of the last caulking, and when I replied
"On the stocks before launching,"
Mr Spencer expressed great surprise. When the reclassing was finished, the surveyor requested that the seams of topsides should be tried, and when being put to the most severest test, admitted they could not be improved; the master caulker gave the same verdict.
When Walkers sold her in 1896, after 27 years service under their flag, she was bought by the Norwegians, and for 14 years later carried heavy ice cargoes from Norway to London. In 1910 she was cut down whilst at anchor off Gravesend, and sank, but was raised, and after-wards sold to shipbreakers at Falmouth. I journeyed down from Scarborough to see my old vessel, in which I had spent so large a slice of my life, and of which I was not a little proud, for her name is still a household one in Tasmanian families, and a historic one in London shipping circles. The Berean made a great reputation for herself. The late Lieut-Col Hastings Fowler also paid her a visit on her deathbed at Falmouth, and secured her little brass poop-ball, which Mrs Hastings Fowler still has.
It was in the cabin of the Berean, as a new ship, that the complimentary dinner at which Mr John Glover referred to the Velocidade beating his his Jungfrow and the rest of the China tea clippers on my last voyage, took place.
My affection for the Berean was shared by many an old seaman who had sailed in her with me, and I remember when I commanded the Eden Holme passing the Berean coming into dock. An old 'Berean' who had followed my fortunes in the Edenholme looked at her lovingly but critically, and turning to me said, with a sigh:
"The old barque, Sir; but she looks sadly different to when we had her."