I AM often asked why, in the 1960s, all of the Falmouth Towage Company tugs were given the names of Cornish saints with the exception of the Lynch which retained her name for the duration of her service in the port.

Silley Cox and Company chairman, Jack Silley, once said: “The start of what could be called the “modern Falmouth Docks and Shiprepair Undertaking” really dates from about 1918 when the late Mr Alan Hughes, chairman of the Federal Steam Navigation Company, agreed to support my father with what could be termed “financial aid."

“Lynch was the name of Mr Hughes’ beautiful home in Somerset, and although tugs have come and gone, and in my time as chairman I had all the tugs names changed to Cornish saints, I felt that the old Lynch should be allowed to keep her name, reminding us of a man who was our friend and supporter in the early days.”

Mr Hughes, who had Lynch Country House built in 1911, was one of the last great independently minded 19th Century shipping owners. On leaving school he worked in a shipping office and later established the Federal Steam Navigation Company that eventually took over the New Zealand Shipping Company. Both companies were engaged in the meat trade with Australia and New Zealand with the ships frequently docking in Falmouth for lay-up or repairs.

The Lynch, built at Zaltbommel, Holland, as the Foremost 23, came to Falmouth in 1925 when she was purchased by the Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company and renamed. Her first skipper was George Parkes.

The Falmouth Towage Company bought the Lynch in 1931 and she remained in service until 1967.

Whilst aiding the BP tanker British Sailor to berth on the Eastern Wharf in 1953, the Lynch, skippered by my late father Cyril, came into contact with the tanker’s propeller and sank in the docks basin. The Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company raised the tug within weeks.

On that calm January day in 1957 when the German barque Pamir sailed from the port for the last time, the Lynch helped tow the Cape Horner to sea. The Lynch left Falmouth in tow of the tug Warrior in October 1968 for the breaker’s yard at Cork in Ireland after having given 43 years of sterling service. Her last skippers were Roy Coote and Harry Davis.