The premise of Marks and Spencer in the High Street was where a man called Samuel Plimsoll stayed regularly. The site was once a well known chemists shop trading under the name of Crow’s.

A past time of Samuel Plimsoll was walking along the beach each day. He took a great interest in the amount of shipping that was being wrecked, and some ships actually turning over. These ships turning over became know as the ‘Coffin Ships.

He turned his interest in these ships as to the way in which they were loaded i.e. sometimes to high/low in the water thus losing stability when sailing. He was of the opinion that a line along the ship ‘loading line’ would prevent some of these accidents and the loss of life.

This line today is known world wide as the ‘Plimsoll Line’ and can still be seen on modern day ships.

14/02/1873. It was reported that a large central committee is being formed in London, with branches in all the provincial towns, for the purpose of pressing Government to accept Mr. Plimsoll’s bill to prevent the overloading of vessels, and the sending of unworthy vessels to sea. The committee will furthermore urge that the work of the commission shall be thorough and effective. The first of a series of great meetings in support of this will be held in Exeter Hall on Saturday, 22nd, February, 1873 at which Lord Shaftesbury will preside; Mr. Plimsoll will be one of the speakers.


dean February 5, 2010 People & Characters