Fleetwood Motor Trawlers
Fleetwood Motor Trawlers

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All information and pictures on this site © Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust except where stated differently. In these cases the copyright is vested in the named person / persons.

Tommy Morrissey was a Cornish fisherman, working the fish market as a boy and working his own boat as an inshore fisherman until his retirement. From the 1920s until the late 1940s boats from Scotland and Yarmouth fished off Padstow and brought in their catch to be transported by rail to London – during the January to May season. He worked on the boats and brought their catch to fish market in Padstow; some of the boats appear in the photos of the harbour during this period.

More information and a view of the cover HERE

A limited print edition of 200 is being sold at…
Padstow Museum
Falmouth Maritime Museum
Cornish Studies Library, Redruth
Penlee Art Gallery, Penzance

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Additional information courtesy of Peter Bell


Official Number: 108463
Yard Number: 142
Completed: 1897
Gross Tonnage: 161
Net Tonnage: 55
Length: 104.2 ft
Breadth: 20.5 ft
Depth: 10.7 ft
Built: Mackie & Thomson Ltd, Govan
Engine: T.3-cyl by Muir & Houston Ltd, Glasgow


13.3.1897: Launched by Mackie & Thomson Ltd, Govan (Yd.No.142) for Hagerup, Doughty & Co Ltd, Grimsby as WALTHAM.
4.1897: Completed.
11.5.1897: Registered at Grimsby (GY303). Frederick Emil Hagerup appointed manager.
4.1906: Sold to Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice Co (Grimsby) Ltd, Grimsby. John Denton Marsden appointed manager. Fishing out of Fleetwood.
30.5.1910: Arrested for suspected illegal trawling off north coast of Co. Mayo.
12.7.1910: At Ballina, Co. Mayo, Petty Sessions, The Dept of Agriculture in Ireland brought charges against the skipper of illegal trawling. The magistrates did not accept the defence that the trawler was sheltering and imposed a fine of £100 with £28 cost.
1.1.1914: Tonnage altered to 63 net under provision of Merchant Shipping Act 1907.
12.1914: Requisitioned for war services as a minesweeper (1-12pdr) (Ad.No.689).
10.12.1914: Arrived Larne as part of Unit 69.
28.1. – 13.2.1915: Detached to Morecambe Bay with minesweeping trawlers CERESIA (Ad.No.194) (FD26) and ROSE II ((Ad.No.592)(GY312).
4.1915: Detached.
28.5. – 8.6.1915: At Belfast, refit and repairs. Ty/Sk. Alfred C. Cable RNR appointed CO.
9.8.- 18.8.1916: At Dublin, refit and repairs.
6.2. – 16.2.1917: At Dublin, refit and repairs.
3.1917: At Larne fitting out as decoy vessel.
3.1917: Detached. 4.7. – 13.7.1917: At Dublin, repairs. Ty/Sk. James Mair RNR appointed CO. Possibly operating as a ‘Q’ ship.
10.10.1917: Missing off the Isle of Man. May have been mined by mines laid on 4.10.1917 by U.boat (UC75). (Loss is not recorded in ADM137).
16.4.1919: Grimsby registry closed “Vessel lost”.

Lost: Ty/Sk. James Mair RNR; William Webster, 2nd Hand; Robert Strachan, Engineman; Campbell Duncan, Michael Holland, Edmund Richardson, Peter S. Stephen, James Stewart, David Wilson, deckhands; Charles F. Fewster, Robert W. Marsh, John Smith, William Tolan, trimmers.

08/08/2016: Page published.

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Official Number: 110868
Yard Number: 232
Completed: 1899
Gross Tonnage: 227
Net Tonnage: 86
Length: 114.0 ft
Breadth: 21.6 ft
Depth: 12.0 ft
Built: Cochrane & Cooper Ltd, Selby
T.3-cyl and boiler by Amos & Smith Ltd, Hull


27.2.1899: Launched by Cochrane & Cooper Ltd, Selby (Y.No.232) as a liner for The Viking Steam Fishing Co Ltd (64/64), Grimsby as KING HARALD.
28.4.1899: Registered at Grimsby (GY1097). John E. Rushworth appointed manager.
29.4. 1899: Completed.
9.1903: Sold to Frank Barrett (64/64), Grimsby. Frank Barrett designated managing owner.
2.2.1911: Arrived Grimsby and reported that trimmer, Frank Hadfield was drowned in Icelandic waters. In stormy weather, with the ship rolling he was on deck, slipped, lost his balance and pitched overboard. Every effort was made to recover him but he sank and was not seen again.
1.1912: Sold to G. E. Forum (64/64) (Anglo Danish principals), Esbjerg, Denmark.
26.1.1912: Grimsby registry closed. Registered at Fanö (F??). George William Margarson appointed manager.
9.1912: New boiler.
1914: Fishing out of Fleetwood (Sk. Hans Sorenson Hansen).
9.1.1915: Put into Killybegs, Co. Donegal but told by the authorities to leave as UK ports were closed to foreign vessels. Ordered by telegram sent by Frank Barrett to proceed to Fleetwood to land and coal.
13.1.1915: On arrival at Fleetwood landed 30 boxes and vessel arrested.
22.1.1915: At Grimsby Magistrates Court, Frank Barrett and George William Margarson were charged with an offence under sections 37 & 38 of the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, namely entering a prohibited area, Fleetwood, and aiding and abetting Hans Sorenson Hansen to commit an offence contrary to section 48 of the same Act. The Stipendiary Magistrate dismissed the case against all defendants but concluded that the authorities were, however, justified in bringing the proceedings.
4.1915: Sold to Frank Barrett (64/64), Grimsby.
4.1915: Fanö registry closed.
6.4.1915: Registered at Grimsby (GY479). George William Margarson appointed manager.
29.5.1917: Requisitioned for Fishery Reserve (1-6pdr).
12.10.1917: At Grimsby a 1cwt (50kg) drum of carbide was delivered on board and left abaft the foc’sle hatch to be out of the way of the working of the ship. At 3.00pm. sailed for the fishing grounds (Sk. J. Maguire); nine crew all told. Shortly after sailing the 2nd engineer, George Henderson, found the drum and proceeded to move it to the engine room. Rather than use the arrangement provided for lowering the drum he attempted to go down the ladder backwards balancing the drum lengthwise in his arms so as to leave his hands free for the ladder. About halfway down the drum slipped off his arms and instead of landing on the plates fell over the guard rail into the crankcase where it was crushed with the next revolution of the crank spilling the contents into the bilge. The bilge contained about 10” of water and reacting with the carbide released a huge volume of acetylene gas which was ignited by the oil lamp suspended on the guard rail. The 2nd engineer was killed instantly along with the chief engineer, Charles Lambert and the cook Pethbridge, who was standing at the door of the engineroom. The skipper and mate, A. Johnson, the trimmer, two other crew members were severely injured and the bodies of two other crewmen were never found, possibly having been blown into the water or floated away when beaching. The whole of the superstructure was blown upwards and outwards, deck beam connections to frames were severed, cabin entirely wrecked and the boat smashed. The effect was felt half way along the length forward and about 180 rivets were started in the hold and shell plating sprung. The vessel was making water and taken in tow by another trawler was beached in shoal water. With pumps onboard, salved and towed into the dock basin at Grimsby were she grounded by the stern.
13.10.1917: At low water search began for bodies of the engineers. Repair costs estimated to be £6,000.
24.1.1918: At the Inquiry held at Grimsby by H.M. Chief Inspector of Explosives (No.187), the inspector, Major A. Cooperkey CB concluded that “The explosion was not an unavoidable accident and would not have occurred (a) if the carbide had been removed below before the engine was started, or (b) if proper means had been adopted to remove it below.
1919: Released.
1.1920: Sold to Direct Fish Supplies Ltd (64/64), London.
23.3.1922: Company in voluntary liquidation.
10.8.1922: Placed in compulsory liquidation.
9.1922: Sold to Thomas Baskcomb (64/64), Grimsby.
9.1935: Sold to shipbreakers.
17.9.1935: Grimsby registry closed.

22/06/2016: Page published.
30/06/2016: Information updated.

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