S.T. Harry Melling FD397


Admiralty Number: 4219
Official Number: 144512
Yard Number: 204
Completed: 1920
As built: 360disp 125.6 x 23.5 x 12.8 feet
Gross Tonnage: 275
Net Tonnage: 113
Length: 125.3 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.6 ft
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, Middlesbrough

29.5.1919: Launched by C. Rennoldson & Co, South Shields (Yd.No.204)(“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as JOHN LEWIS (Ad.No.4219).
11.1919: Completed. Laid up.
04.1919: Offered for sale by tender, to be completed as a fishing vessel.
10.04.1919: Tenders closed at 12.00 noon. Not sold.
1. 1920: Renamed JOHN EVANS.
30.3.1920: Completed as a fishing vessel.
20.4.1920: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I & IV) as JOHN EVANS O.N.144512 (LO348).
1920: Allocated to the National Fishery Scheme for the setting up of the Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London.
1920: Fitted out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and classed 100 A1 Stm Trawler. Laid up.
13.08.1920: Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London registered.
11.1921: Sold to Melling Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood (Henry Melling, manager).
26.11.1921: London registry closed.
29.11.1921: Registered at Fleetwood (FD397).
24.12.1921: Registered at Fleetwood as HARRY MELLING (FD397).
18/19.2.1929: Stood by KUMU (FD176) stranded in North Bay, St. Kilda. Connected and attempted to tow clear but unsuccessful and vessel sank in about 20fms, 42 hours after striking the rocks. Twelve crew taken off along with over £200 of fishing gear and crew returned to Fleetwood.
9.10.1931: Sold to William Melling, Penwortham & Joseph Melling, Preston.
24.8.1932: Sold to Mellings Ltd, Fleetwood (William Melling, Penwortham, manager).
30.7.1935: Sold to Iago Steam Trawler Co Ltd, Fleetwood (Edward D. W. Lawford, manager).
4.10.1935: Fleetwood registry closed.
9.10.1935: Registered at London (LO55).
8.1939: Requisitioned for war service on examination service, later fitted out on the Tyne as a minesweeper (P.No. FY.538) (Hire rate £89.7.6d/month) (Ty/Sk. B. Godfrey RNR). Based Stornoway.
26.1.1943: A/Capt Edward Douglas Wyndham Lawford RN awarded DSO for service in HMS POZARICA (P.No.4.261) A/A ship on Russian convoys.
7.1945: Returned and re-classed at Port Glasgow.
1945: Sold to Messrs Yolland & Llewellin, Milford Haven. Fishing from Fleetwood.
1.1.1946: Messrs Yolland & Llewellin partnership dissolved.
9.1.1946: Sold to J. C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd, Milford Haven (John C. Llewellin, manager).
1948: Sold to Deep Sea Fisheries Ltd, London (Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, managers).
1951: The Hewett Fishing Co Ltd, London & Fleetwood appointed managers.
1955: Sold to Belgian shipbreakers for breaking up.
3.11.1955: Sailed Fleetwood for Ghent.
(John Lewis, OS (prest), age 29, b. Baltimore, America – VICTORY (SB272))

Whilst the trawler “THOMAS LEEDS” of which I am Skipper was fishing at the St. Kilda fishing grounds, in a position approximately forty five miles West by South of St. Kilda, and towing on a South South West course, the steam trawler “HARRY MELLING” of the port of Fleetwood, towing in a South South East direction passed astern of the “THOMAS LEEDS” fouling her fishing gear. While the two ships were heaving in their trawl warps in the process of clearing fishing gear, the steam trawler “PHRONTIS” from Fleetwood, FD142, apparently not knowing that the two ships’ fishing gear were foul, towed between the “THOMAS LEEDS” and “HARRY MELLING” and by doing so caused the three ships’ fishing gear to be fouled.
The “HARRY MELLING” was the first ship to heave the three ships’ gears up alongside his starboard side and he was plainly seen by myself and my crew to use a hatchet and deliberately chop the fishing gear of the “THOMAS LEEDS” away, causing one trawling board, one hundred fathoms of trawl warp, one set of bridles and full trawl to be lost.
The fouling of the gear was caused by the bad judgment on the part of the Skipper of the “HARRY MELLING”.
( Sgnd) Harry Gue, Skipper of the S/T “Thomas Leeds”.
Note (John Lewis, OS (prest), age 29, b. Baltimore, America – VICTORY (SB272))

Click to enlarge image

S.T. Harry Melling FD397

S.T. Harry Melling LO55
Picture courtesy of The David Slinger Collection

S.T. Harry Melling FD397

S.T. Harry Melling LO55
Picture courtesy of The Fred Baker Collection

S.T. Harry Melling FD397

S.T. Harry Melling FD397
Picture from the Internet

Harry and Lizzie Melling

Harry and Lizzie Melling
Picture courtesy of The Osta Collection

18/01/2009: Page published. 6 updates since then.
26/02/2021: Updated history and technical details.