Family link to the Lovely Nelly

We have been contacted by William Kirby, who’s great grandfather was aboard the Lovely Nelly when it was wrecked in 1861! How amazing! He is happy for us to share his story….


Hello Bill,
I have been looking at your web-site concerning the range of beers you brew. I was particularly interested in the beer called “Lovely Nelly”. My great great grandfather, George Kirby was mate on the “Lovely Nelly” when she foundered on that fateful day on New Years’s Day, 1861. Through my family history research I have a good insight into his life as a mariner.

 He attempted to save the life of the only casualty, the cabin boy, Thomas Brown Thompson. From a newspaper account: “He had the boy in his arms endeavouring to save him when a terrible sea struck the ship, and separated them”. George was lost at sea in December, 1863.

 I hope that may be of some interest to you. I look forward to trying your ales.

Kind regards, William Henry Kirby.

William is from County Durham and also has a ship in a bottle, the Lovely Nelly, made for him by Captain Kinghorn of Cullercoats Lifeboat.And here it is!

Lovely Nelly in the bottle, made by Captain Kinghorn, Cullercoats RNLI

We’d love to hear from anyone else who has a connection withe the shipwreck Lovely Nelly



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