South Shields Local History Group is pleased to announce a talk by their member, Barry Hails, on Monday, 15th October. Barry also regularly attends the Western Front Association in Durham and for many years has researched the story of HMS Viknor. The vessel was serving as a passenger cruise ship, Viking, enroute to the Norwegian fjords when the First World War was declared. She was called back to the Tyne where the passengers disembarked and the ship was hastily adapted to serve as an armed merchant cruiser and given the appropriate new name of HMS Vik(ing)nor(way). The crew were recruited locally with most of them coming from South Shields. Unfortunately her service ended suddenly when she was ‘lost with all hands’ in January 1915. Families of the crew congregated at the Mill Dam to hear news of what had happened but she sank so quickly that the question arose – was she mined or torpedoed?
To hear more about her story and find out what really happened visitors are always welcome at a charge of £1. The meeting is held between 5.15 – 6.45pm upstairs in Room A, in Cleadon Park Library at the end of Prince Edward Road.