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Rix Merlin

Inland Waterways, DVD Production

Rix Merlin
Inland Waterways, DVD Production

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Rix Merlin in Alexandra DockBackground

The J.R. Rix Maritime Bunkering Ltd. tanker barge "Rix Merlin" left Immingham on a sunny August morning in 2000 and travelled up the Humber to Kingston upon Hull, where it waited to share the lock into the historic Alexandra Dock.

Wheelhouse controls That morning, the three ships to be bunkered by Rix Merlin all happened to belong to Rix. The first was the seagoing bunkering tanker Rix Harrier which regularly took heavy oil to ships around the coast to places like Dundee and Scapa Flow.

Bunkering Rix Harrix

The other two were Harrix and Lerrix, large Rix Shipping cargo vessels both bringing timber to unload in Alexandra Dock.

Industry on the estuary The Merlin then left Hull with 296 tonnes of gas oil remaining and headed for Grimsby Royal Dock. As the tide was high, the route could be fairly direct and there was another chance to see the impressive industrial landscape either side of the estuary, including BP chemical works at Salt End.

Number 1 tank At Grimsby, the Merlin bunkered the Lapthorne ship Hoo Beech moored in Royal Dock, with 20,000 litres of oil - ‘20 cubes’. They would then have to wait until 21:30 before the tide allowed them out of the lock again.

Short excerpt from the DVD

A few example shots from "Rix Merlin", but without the commentary.

Captain Lez Middleton The crew’s working day had started at 01:00 that morning and wouldn’t finish until they reached an overnight mooring in Immingham dock ready for another job at 02:00 the next morning!

Late afternoon at GrimsbyThe captain, Lez Middleton gives a running commentary throughout the trip and the crew contribute their own insights about the bunkering job and their lives on the ships and barges.

Key Locations & National Grid References:

  Immingham Dock  TA 199 165
  Hull Alexandra Dock  TA 124 288
  Grimsby Royal Dock  TA 278 114

Rix Merlin DVD case


  • Narrated by Lez Middlton & crew.
  • © IAR 2000, 2021
  • Total running time: 53 mins.
  • Digitally re-mastered from original camera tapes
  • £13.45 - DVD
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • ' PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.


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The images on this page are taken from the video.

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Copyright © 2018 I.A.Recordings, Last modified: 8 December, 2021