Newcastle’s Keelmen

Newcastle's Keelmen, Jesmond's Subway Mosaics
Newcastle’s Keelmen, Jesmond’s Subway Mosaics

Keelmen operated shallow draughted wooden boats used to transport coal on shallow River Tyne to large Collier ships waiting in deeper water. Keelmen wore a distinctive costume of blue jacket, yellow waistcoat, bell-bottom trousers and blue bonnet. The Keelman’s Hospital, pictured, still standing, was built in 1699.