The coal shovel from SS Vesteraalen
Alf Nordby (1908-1985) mustered in on the steamship SS Vesteraalen in the interwar period. He was a stoker on board. The steam engine needed a lot of coal to keep going, and strong arms and a strong back were needed to provide the very first Coastal express ship with propulsion.
He used the coal shovel in the picture on board the SS Vesteraalen during the years he worked there. His initials had been clearly etched into the handle.
When the war began to creep into Norwegian ports, Alf chose to sign off. He had heard rumours of minelaying, and managed to leave before the home sailors were denied land.
After the war, diesel engines became more common in ships along the coast. There was no longer a need for stokers on board, so Alf trained to become an electrician. He kept the coal shovel, and in 2018 his son handed in the shovel at the Hurtigruten Museum.