Ship became a local landmark

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YOUR recent article on the three colliers named Birtley (News Guardian, January 19) was most interesting because when living in Whitburn I remember in 1936 when number three went aground in thick fog on Whitburn Steel.

At low tide it was possible to walk round the ship.

She was very much a landmark at that point and attracted many onlookers, myself included, over the months she was aground.

She appeared to be an unlucky ship as she went aground again in January 1941, this time on Tynemouth Long Sands. Later that year she was sunk by a mine in the North Sea.

EILEEN McCONNELL

Tynemouth