The Logs of Cochy and Fairway - 1938-1939

George and Josephine Russell

These are transcripts and original images of the logs kept by George and Josephine Russell of the fitting-out of Cochybondhu (1) and the voyages of Fairway and Fairway X (the Northern River Pirates) in 1938 and 1939.

Hugh Brogan, in The Life of Arthur Ransome, touches on the Russells and the Northern River Pirates (pages 359-361) and offers pictures of George Russell, and of the fleet of Northern River Pirates under Jolly Rogers (after page 368).

Roger Wardale, in Nancy Blackett: Under Sail with Arthur Ransome, describes the voyages of the Northern River Pirates in 1938 (pages 129-131) and 1939 (page 153) in more detail, and quotes extensively from the logs of Fairway and Fairway X kept by George Russell. Wardale also covers the fitting-out of Cochybondhu in the Summer of 1938 (pages 131-132). Wardale's book has pictures of Josephine and George Russell (after page 112).

The original logs were scanned into PDFs by Dave Thewlis for Josephine Russell in 1998, and transcripts were made from the PDFs by Jill Goulder. At the time, Josephine Russell was not interested in having the logs, either the originals or in transcript, made public. Following Josephine Russell's death in 2008, her niece, Mrs. Griselda Cuthbert, has given permission on behalf of the Heirs of Josephine Russell for these logs and the transcripts to be placed on All Things Ransome. Our thanks to Mrs. Cuthbert, and to Jill Goulder, for arranging for and allowing us to make the logs available to Ransome enthusiasts.

The Transcripts

Log of Cochybondhu Summer 1938
Log of Cochybondhu Easter 1939
Log of Fairway 7-14 April 1938
Log of Fairway X 15-22 April 1939 (2)

The PDFs of the Logs

Log of Cochybondhu Summer 1938 (3.1MB PDF)
Log of Cochybondhu Easter 1939 (427KB PDF)
Log of Fairway 7-14 April 1938 (11.7MB PDF)
Log of Fairway X 15-22 April 1939 (8.825MB PDF) (2)

(1) The spelling "Cochybondhu" is as it appears in the log books, although other sources give the name as "Coch-y-bondhhu".
(2) While the log does not indicate the year, Magnus Smith points out that April 15th was a Saturday in that year, and there was an eclipse on the 19th, which all ties in with the log entries.

The transcripts of the logs are ©2008 by Jill Goulder. The PDF images of the original logs, and the logs themselves, are ©2008 by Mrs. Grizelda Cuthbert and The Heirs of Josephine Russell.

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