MEMORY LANE: Solving mystery of the Crocodile Room

Flashback to the original story on the ship's panelling found in a house in Seaton Carew
Flashback to the original story on the ship's panelling found in a house in Seaton Carew

WHAT a response we got when we asked people about their memories of the ship’s interior which was discovered inside a Hartlepool house.

Derek Hinds, Susan Scott and Arthur Glendenning all got in touch after we told of the discovery made by William Hugill in February 1966.

We always knew it as the Crocodile Room and always believed that it was from HMS Crocodile, which was a troop ship.

Arthur Glendenning

Seaton Carew property owner William was probably more than a little surprised when he found the entire dark-brown panelling of a ship in a house on The Green.

It was, according to our Northern Daily Mail reporter at the time, more than a passing resemblance to the inside of a liner.

And when William then found four doors, including a main swing door, as well as an inscription on a light switch in reference to the good ship Crocodile, he knew he was on to something unusual.

When we asked for help to find out more, plenty of people got in touch.

Arthur Glendenning remembered visiting the house in times gone by, as he was friends with the family who lived there.

He said: “We always knew it as the Crocodile Room and always believed that it was from HMS Crocodile, which was a troop ship.”

Derek Hinds, the editor of the monthly maritime journal the Tees Packet, told Family Roots: “The ship was a troopship built in 1867 on the River Thames.

“She was one of five ‘Euphrates’ class vessels that were built and operated by the Royal Navy. Her main duties were shipping troops between India and the UK.”

And Susan Scott told us that on July 25, 1894, and on the high tide, HM troopship Crocodile was towed into Hartlepool to be dismantled and broken up.”

It was understood that a company called Messrs. Loveridge and Co of West Hartlepool were commissioned to do the work.

Our thanks go to everyone who replied on this topic.