William Gardner worked on the wherries on and off until about 1926.
The wherries delivered direct from coal staithes, brickyards and factories to the ships leaving the Tyne for Holland, Norway and many other parts of the world.
After the wherries were loaded, they had to leave either Cowan's brick quay or Stella Staithes coal depot, and from other parts of the Tyne, at three or four o'clock in the morning, and head for the buoys at Shields, Tyne Dock, Jarrow, or any area up to Newcastle.
To reach the ships, the wherries had to be taken by tug.
The tugboats sailed up to wherries where keelmen threw a rope.
It was a wonderful sight to stand on Blaydon Chain Bridge, and elsewhere, and see the paddle-steamer towing eight or more wherries.
The captain of each tugboat knew the locality where each craft had to unload its cargo - some at Newcastle, some at Tyne Dock, some at Jarrow, etc, so he knew that the rear wherries were the first to be cast-off for unloading.
The wherries berthed on both sides of the ships lying at the buoys, sometimes six or more at each side, all unloading at once.
In the performance rowing category, there are single or tandem sliding-seat designs called wherries
- including one of CLC's newest designs, a coastal cruiser with strong rough-water ability, the Expedition Wherry.