This piece of Teak wood is the end of a baulk (a roughly squared beam) that was cut from the forest of Myanmar (then Burma) at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was part of a shipment of timber that was travelling on the SS Pegu from Yangon (then Rangoon) to Liverpool in 1917. The SS Pegu was sunk by a German U-boat off the coast of Galway where she and her shipment of teak remained until 2011. Working from German war records, a salvage company was able to locate the SS Pegu and reclaim the wood that had spent almost one hundred years on the bottom of the sea and another hundred years growing in the Burmese forests.
The baulks were in excellent condition, except for the last 30cm or so that you see here which has been burrowed into and occupied by gribble worms – 56 species of crustacean in the Limnoriidae family. The rest of this baulk was used in the construction of our Bethnal Green Memorial project.