A ship built for speed

The Smiling Morn, which was built in Blyth by Hodgson and Soulsby.
The Smiling Morn, which was built in Blyth by Hodgson and Soulsby.

As the Tall Ships arrive in Blyth the town can show that it is well used to such vessels.

For this oil painting shows the three-masted barquentine ship the Smiling Morn, which was built in Blyth in 1870 by Hodgson and Soulsby.

The ship held the record for a trip from the Baltic to the Northumberland port, travelling at a speed of 12 knots against the usual eight knots.

It is also thought to have held a record from the British Isles to Sydney, Australia, where it was sold.

The painting was owned by Sydney Soulsby, a headmaster in Blyth, whose grandfather Robert designed the ship with his brother John. It is now owned by Sydney’s nephew Ken Soulsby, of Jesmond.