Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Back in the olden days, before iPods, before computer games, even before television, dinosaurs roamed the earth sorry, kids used to READ for entertainment! Hard to believe, I know. I remember a series of children's books called Little Golden Books - they had cute stories for kids like "The Little Engine that Could"; and "Dr Dan the Bandage Man'. That one featured the universal remedy, the Band-Aid, and for ages after I read it, any time I scratched myself I had to have two Band-Aids applied in the shape of a cross to make sure I healed properly. What my mother had to put up with! There was also a story about a tugboat called Scuffy who felt that he was destined for bigger things, much like the hero of today's blog. I give you the mighty tug "Forceful", built in Scotland in 1925 and destined for bigger things right here in Brisbane, where she arrived in March 1926. Here is a picture taken some time after that, as she manoeuvres the passenger liner Orion in the Brisbane River.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland & John Oxley Library; #7708-0001-0024)

Forceful (what a great name for a tug!), a coal-burning steam vessel, plied the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay through until World War II, when she got called up by the Royal Australian Navy to work out of Darwin for a couple of years. She then returned to her tugly duties in the Brisbane River until retirement in 1970. Wait - did I say retirement? Look, dear reader - here is a picture of Forceful in the Brisbane River taken only recently. Click on the picture if you want to see the climbers on the Story Bridge (oh! - and a closer view of Forceful). :-)
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

Yes, Forceful was saved from the dreaded "R" word (no Jimmy - not Recession. We still have to have that!) by the lovely people at the Queensland Maritime Museum, who have carefully maintained her since 1971. She now lives at the old dry-dock at Southbank, and takes people on tourist trips up and down the river and around Moreton Bay. And I think that's a perfect way for her to grow old.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Bath time


  1. is Forceful nudging that Liner metal on metal?

  2. Looks that way!

    Perhaps there are a few car tyres down there that are not visible in the photo.


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