The Good Ship Crocodile

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ALL sorts of hidden relics often emerge from attics.

But they don’t usually include a large section of a ship.

However, they did in William Hugill’s case in February 1966.

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.

Trouble was, he needed to investigate to find out more.

He made enquiries at the Port and Harbour Commissioners but they had no trace of a wreck by that name.

And when he asked a prominent local historian, that didn’t yield any results either.

But William was undaunted. He was sure the wood was from a ship, especially as the floral wording on the swing doors read: “Heaven, light our guide.”

William told us at the time: “Rumour has it that a ship was wrecked somewhere along the coast.”

There was another intriguing aspect to the story which lay behind the doors.

One of the doors led to narrow steps which dropped steeply down to a tiny passageway with small rooms on either side.

“My guess is that the attic was used by some sort of society and the rooms leading off the passageway were used as changing rooms,” said William in 1966.

Does anyone remember the mystery and, more importantly, what the answer was.

Get in touch by contacting Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email