The End of The Steam Age

Article from unknown source and date supplied by Les Howard

The age of steam which revolutionised the fishing industry has fizzled out at Fleetwood. It’s death knell sounded of Friday when Wyre Trawlers Ltd. officially announced that the Wyre Mariner, once the pride of the Fleetwood fleet, is going to end her days sailing from the Humber.

Wyre announced that the Mariner, commaned by Skipper Percy Bedford, will dock at Grimsby to land there on Monday and be transferred to Northern Trawlers Ltd which, like the Wyre firm, is a subsidiary of Associated Fisheries Ltd.

Built in 1956, the 656 ton Mariner was the biggest conventional trawler at the port. She was the first ship built by Associated when they took over the fleet run by Fleetwood Fish Merchants’ Association.

Part of the agreement was that Associated would build a fleet of new ships, and this they did, but the others were faster, more economical, diesel powered trawlers. The Mariner is steam powered and burns oil.

Her owners said today, “The cost of fuel oil makes this kind of ship uneconomical for Fleetwood type fishing, although there are many of them sailing from the Humber ports.”

All Fleetwood’s fishing fleet is now diesel powered although there are still two oil burning steam trawlers at the port. They are Loch Moidart, which belongs to Wyre, and Samuel Hewett, which belongs to Hewett Fishing Co. Ltd.

Both are laid up in the dock’s “graveyard corner,” and the scrapyard looks like being their last port of call.