Rosedale wrecked Porthminster

Clambering over the wreck of the steam ship Rosedale must have been very exciting for the 16-year-old Gordon. It crops up in his second diary entry (16th December 1893) when he climbs all over her with his friend, John Hodge. His last mention of going to look at the wreck is on 5th March 1894.  Read the transcript of Gordon Heywood’s shorthand diary here.

Five steamers were wrecked as a result of hurricane force gales which raged off the north Cornish coast from Friday, 17th November 1893, moderating slightly towards Sunday morning. The Rosedale was driven ashore on Porthminster beach, St Ives; the crew rescued by rocket apparatus. Visitors came from far and wide to view the wreck.

The Royal Cornwall Gazette, 23rd November 1893 had the following headline:

newspaper headlines storm


  1. We stayed at the Portminster Harbour Hotel three years ago in the October half term holiday and very good it was. A wreck like the S S Rosedale on Porthminster beach would add an exotic ‘Zante’ feel to the bay. The beach cafe is rather superior aswell. It’s striking how ‘matter of fact’ the contemporary accounts of the shipwrecks and the significant loss of life were.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Richard Hosking · · Reply

    Hi Kathryn,

    Fascinating diary!

    Gordon’s friend John Hodge is probably my great-grandfather, who was born around 1879 and brought up in St Ives, Cornwall UK. His father – also John Hodge – was a sea Captain who sailed for the Hain Line steam ship company. This included the ’Trewidden’ which Gordon records under ‘Boats I have seen the names of in the Bay, Off St Ives’ (link to photos below).

    My mum (born 1946) can just about remember her grandfather (John junior) after WWII. His chemist’s shop was bombed during the Blitz in Plymouth, UK, after which they moved in with her own parents.

    I’m planning to name my new house after my great-great-grandfather’s ship (the Trewidden) and Google brought up your blog.

    Good luck with any further research!
    All the best,

    Photo of John Hodge (father and son) here:
    Captain John Hodge (Eric Curnow's grandfather and a captain with Hains Shipping), Bessey Hodge (daughter of john hodge), John Hodge, grandma Hodge (nee Gyles).

    Photo of the SS Trewidden:

    Gordon’s sighting of the Trewidden on 8th March 1894:

    A possible brief entry for a Captain J. Hodge in The Brisbane Courier for Friday 26 January 1866 (under ‘Clearances’):

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for the additional information. I thought the diary would be useful to family historians as well as being generally interesting. All the best in your new home.


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