The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1918 to 1939 THE MILLER - Yard No 194 - Motor Coaster - F.E.Marriage & Son - Built 1932

Leith Shipyards

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THE MILLER - Yard No 194 - Motor Coaster - F.E.Marriage & Son - Built 1932


The MILLER Ship No 194

Coaster built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb

 THE MILLER underway working as a coaster

(photo credit unknown)

Owners    F.E.Marriage & Son
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Motor Coaster Launched    05/07/1932
       Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    85' 0" Weather    
Beam    19' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld      8' 3"      
G.R.T.    118      
Other known names        
Current Status        
Content on will be added as and when available. 

THE MILLER seen here in Portsmouth

(photo credit unknown)


Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.

To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.

Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.

THE MILLER was a typical small Motor Coaster of her day, the kind of ship that was used at the time to transport the majority of all the goods required by a country in the days before containers and heavy road freight.

This vessel built for E. Marriage & Son, Limited was pressed into service early in the war and took part in many of the stirring events of the South East Coast of England.

She became a tender to the Thames balloon barrage, and later to the balloon barrage in Harwich Harbour. When this work was concluded, she served the Churchill forts erected on the sandbanks off the east coast, her hold accommodation having been fitted with large water tanks and other supply facilities for the men stationed on the forts.

This grand old historical vessel is believed to be one of the few preserved ships of her time and we hope to find out if she is still around as the last photo/news we have is from 2007

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.



THE MILLER seen here in 2007 at Fowley

(Photo credit Alan Faulkner)


Tales from the Ship


Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #6 Anthony Wright 2015-07-20 10:08
I am so sorry that my terminology of calling The Miller as being a 'HOUSEBOAT' has offended some here!! I see any boat where it is lived on as a HOUSEBOAT ! Whether is moves or not, under it's own 'Steam' or not, does not take away that it was being lived on at the time I visited it in Restronguet Creek, Cornwall, where I also had a boat. I was shown all over the 'craft', showing the bathroom, galley and bedroom below in the hold !! These owners then purchased a bungalow alongside which 'THE MILLER' was moored. I even signed their visitors book !! So sorry again for calling her a HOUSEBOAT. I have duly reprimanded myself! Anthony Wright, Philippines
0 #5 Mrs jeancowan 2015-07-17 16:22
Well I don't know about Miller maid but I did live on the Miller for about 6 years in which time she was painted black and red ,and the hold was unconverted , I am not sure of the nautical terms but I think we used the bow end as our bedroom , we had two dogs and had to carry them down and up a ladder ,it had a sea toilet and a tarpaulin over the hold we used to run the gardiner engine once a week to keep it ok it had a lister stationary engine for the power and a gas geyser over the sink we renovated a trinity house lifeboat in the hold I did lots of caulking !! And also a small sailing boat called wind song both of these were lifted in on davits my x husband owned it then Mr selby Cowan
I beleive the person who bought it was going to enclose the hold I have no idea where she went once she was sold But we did live aboard and I must say I loved the Miller and hope she is still afloat she was made when this country still made things properly built to last
-1 #4 MillerMaid 2015-07-16 21:57
Interesting ! Anthony Wright is entirely wrong in reporting that it was EVER a Houseboat ..... her engine is Up and Running !!! and has been the entire time I have owned her ...some 23 YEARS !!! and have cruised on her for thousands of miles ....
Suggest if he did indeed meet us, then he should have his facts right .....
0 #3 Mrs jean Cowan 2014-03-23 09:56
Great boat I lived on her for about 5 years in Barry graving dock South Wales I spent many hours chipping rust of the deck and painting it
I also kept chickens and a cockerel in the hold she was black and red then we bought her in Worcester and sailed her down the Severn we had a pilot aboard but hit a glass fibre boat on a bend and squashed it we took a few very large boughs of some trees to and broke the flagpole off what a journey wonderfully boat though massive iron rivets built to last happy days
+2 #2 Richard Irving 2012-12-24 13:10
I spent many school holidays on board her with George Cooper (my uncle and her skipper) George was with her from I think the early 50,s until the end of her commercial life in the early 70,s? She was sold by her original owners (E. Marriage &co of Felixstowe) to Marine Transport Services of Cobh Eire in 1961 for general harbour work.
The Miller was always kept smart looking and it comes as no surprise to me that as far as i can see from photographs of recent years that she still retains her 'good looks' that Henry Robb gave her back in 1932
Living now in Australia I lost touch with her and am pleased to see once again .
+2 #1 Anthony Wright 2011-11-08 23:34
I so love this boat and have been fortunate to go aboard it when I had a yacht in the same Creek in Cornwall where it was used as Houseboat. The owners did get a land based home and 'The Miller' was moored alongside. I used to go and chat to the owners dreamed of owning it myself one day. Now I live abroad but wish I could make a Scale Model of it if I could get the plans.

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