The Tug Dispatch

William Henry Phillips Jnr was one of the original proprietors and operators of the Tug Dispatch in the 1860's.

Some articles:

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT, GREYMOUTH. This was an action to recover ....


MONDAY MAY 5, 1879

On Saturday there was a grand display of bunting from the vessels alongside the wharf on the occasion of Mr A. Franer, the mate of the tug steamer Dispatch, entering the married state. A new signal was hoisted on board one of the cargo boats (which created a great deal of amusement) in the shape of a banner of peculiar design mounted crosswise. We wish the fair bride and bridegroom the usual compliments.



The new winch for winding in the tow rope on board the tug Dispatch was tried yesterday and answered very well. As fast as the rope is wound in it goes down a hatchway. The winch is a great improvement and will lead to a great economy of time.



Later a local company Dispatch & Garlick was named after this boat.

The foundry got its name from a small but powerful paddle wheel tug Dispatch which arrived in Greymouth to the order of a local company in 1869. The engineer who brought the newly-built tug out from England was John Sewell, a native of Scotland, and an engineer of considerable ability. Sewell decided he liked the town and accepted the position as permanent engineer to the tug.

His job on the Dispatch, however, did not always involve long hours and it was not long before Sewell was working at his trade in a shed in the backyard of his home in Mount Street.
He was assisted with these odd jobs by a fireman on the Dispatch, Charles Jeffard. Before leaving Scotland, Sewell and a friend, A. B. Hughes, a pattern maker, made an agreement that at some future time they would meet in the colonies and start their own business.

In 1872, Sewell wrote to his friend and told him of his plan to start an iron and brass foundry in Greymouth. Hughes arrived in Greymouth the following year and with the assistance of William Rae, who held the leasehold of the land chosen as the site for the foundry, the venture began.