Fond farewell to Captain Mick

IPSWICH: One of the last few sailors who traded from Ipswich and Essex ports under no power other than the wind and their own muscles has died.

Four days before his admission to hospital last month Capt Mick Lungley manoeuvred the Pudge in Ipswich Dock for an open day that marked the role played in the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation by sailing barges such as her.

That was his last day at the wheel after nearly 60 years.

The chapel at Ipswich Crematorium is set to be filled for the 75-year-old’s funeral today by people including veteran sailors from the coast between Lowestoft and Kentish ports.

The service is due to be conducted by Waldringfield rector the Rev John Waller, himself a former sailing barge man who shared with Mr Lungley the hard times that ended many centuries of wind-borne cargoes on the North Sea.


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Mr Lungley spent a year in Tunisia rigging a big newly-built galleon, Neptune, for Roman Polanski’s film Pirates. He returned to spend 20 years running The Limeburners Inn, at Offton, but still sailed whenever he could.

Mr Lungley was born in a Tendring workhouse, youngest of eight children who at that time could not all be accommodated at home. The family lived at Bradfield, near Mistley.

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At 15 he went to live in Ipswich with his brother-in-law, a port boatman. At just 19 he was master of the Venture, carrying grain and flour between Ipswich and London.

Mr Lungley and Margie, his wife for 40 years, became licensees of The Limeburners and worked hard to build up the business. They bought the freehold in 1993, retiring eight years ago to Claydon. Mrs Lungley is still a part-time medical secretary,

“It was Mick’s pleasant and laid-back disposition, his warmth and friendliness towards everyone, which made him so popular,” she said. “He will be missed especially by his friends and old skippers in the barging world.”

He also leaves two sons, Nigel and Richard, by his first wife Sheila. Mr Lungley was a member of Felixstowe Master Mariners Club, Ipswich Maritime Trust, Thames Barge Sailing Trust and Pin Mill Sailing Club.

His talents extended to music. He sang and played a rhythm stick with the High Watermark sea shanty group. They gave their first performance without him at Monewden on Saturday night.

n Do you have fond memories of Mick Lungley? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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