All posts by Ian Whitehead

About Ian Whitehead

Ian Whitehead
Keeper of Maritime History

Hi, I look after the maritime collections of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. I’ve been Keeper of Maritime History for the last 13 years and have worked in museums for 25 years. Mostly I am interested in things that float and not in things that run on rails. I have a particular interest in the history of rowing in the North East.

“Turbinia” at speed – but who’s on the conning tower?

This iconic image of Turbinia conveys an impression of speed like no other. The rearing stem, the massive bow wave and the foaming ‘rooster’s tail’ wake all play their part, but perhaps the most unusual element for a maritime photograph… Read more

P boats of the First World War – William Bartram and P23

Recently I’ve been researching a class of naval vessels that doesn’t usually attract much attention. Since there were 44 of them they weren’t exclusive or unique, although they were very special to the shipyards that built them. I’m talking about… Read more

barque Lota 1891 (2)

It is time for me to post again about the Sunderland-built barque Lota. There has been a surprising volume of traffic in response to the original posting. I am amazed at how our shared knowledge of the ship, her voyages… Read more

The Tyne Regatta of August 1843

  A few months back TWAM acquired an interesting group of items relating to one of the early Tyne Regattas, held in August 1843.     For a modest sum we purchased a silver cup that was awarded to the… Read more

Why put a compass up a pole?

Not to help the dancers find their way! Over the past year I’ve been working with the Sunderland ship model and ship portrait collections. In that time I’ve become unnaturally interested in a feature of some Sunderland-built ships from the… Read more