S.T. Fishtoft – BN94

Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm


Official Number: 113742
Yard Number: 648
Completed: 1901
Gross Tonnage: 187.60g
Net Tonnage: 75n
Length: 116.00 ft
Breadth: 21.1 ft
Depth: 10.9 ft
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, North Shields
Engine: 400ihp T.3-cyl by MacColl & Pollock Ltd, Sunderland


19.2.1901: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, North Shields (Yd.No.648) for Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, Boston as FISHTOFT.
3.1901: Completed.
12.4.1901: Registered at Boston (BN94). Fred Donnison designated manager.
26.8.1902: Sailed Boston with fish merchants and others for day trip.
17.3.1903: Disabled with broken tail shaft some 200 miles NE of Spurn Point. Picked up and towed into port.
19.4.1908: Fishing off Iceland (Sk. Eggers), caught in a gale, deckhand Alfred Lowe (19) who was on the wheel when the wheelhouse was stove in, was washed overboard and drowned.
1909: Thomas D. Donaldson designated manager.
11.6.1910: At Aberdeen landed 60 boxes and 111/2 tons of side fish (Messrs Irvin, agents).
7.1910: Fishing out of Fleetwood (Fred Dennison, Fleetwood managing agent).
17.8.1910: Typical landing at Fleetwood – 200 boxes.
23.9.1911: At Boston (Sk.George Smalley) landed 208 kits of haddock and other fish realising £247.
1912: Daniel Walker designated manager.
11.1914: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (1-6pdr) (Ad.No.522).
By 1918: Based at Buncrana, Co. Donegal.
By 12.3.1919: Returned to owners at Grimsby.
21.10.1919: Offered for sale by auction at the Baltic Exchange, London by Messrs Kellocks, the steam trawlers, FISHTOFT, HUNGARIAN, ETRURIAN and CAMBRIAN.
11.1919: Sold to John Reynolds & Arthur Lunn, Boston. Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd remained managers (Arthur Lunn designated manager). Vessel completed three trips but Ch Eng was concerned that there was a knocking in the engine and it was decided to put her on the slip to determine the cause.
10.12.1919: In the morning, being ready for sea, she was being hauled out and when suing, side blocks, which it was said were properly pulled in, slipped away and she fell on her starboard side causing some damage and considerable damage to the cradle.
15.1.1920: Refloated. Prior to this date vessel hauled upright. Repairs carried out at an estimated cost of £100 and occupation of the slip for 37 days at a cost of £5 10s per day. It was agreed that £1,250 was a reasonable sum for raising the vessel and this would be claimed by the slipway owners from the Grimsby Steam Fishing Vessel Mutual Insurance and Protecting Co Ltd. with which the vessel was insured.
1.1020: Arthur Lunn designated manager.
14.9.1920: Arrived Ostend with a disabled vessel in tow, picked up in the North Sea.
7.12.1920: At Boston Borough Police Court, Alfred George Farman, South Norfolk Place; John Westmoreland, James Street and John William Handley, Caroline Street, all Boston, were summoned for disobeying a lawful command, in that they failed to join the trawler on 3rd December resulting in delay of sixty-four hours and loss of earnings for the owners. They were each fined 20s and 10s costs.
21.10.1921: In the Commercial Court of the King’s Bench, Mr Justice Greer presiding, John Reynolds, Market-place, Boston brought an action against the Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd claiming damages for alleged negligence in hauling plaintiff’s trawler FISHTOFT on to the slipway on 10th December
1919. The trawler fell on her starboard side and was damaged taking about a month to right her. Reynolds also claimed for demurrage of £950.
24.10.1921: Mr Justice Greer found that the accident was due to want of care on the part of the defendants, but the finding of negligence did not dispose of the case, because in his judgement the regulation made by the defendants with regard to the use of their apparatus by persons and firms, applied in this case. They were regulations which the defendants intended to be the terms on which they would accept vessels coming on their slipway and plaintiff’s representative knew all about them. The clause in question was that persons using the slipway did so at their own risk. In his judgement defendants were protected by the regulations and there must be judgement for them accordingly.
3.3.1922: The Court of Appeal dismissed with costs an appeal by Mr John Johnson, part owner of the trawler FISHTOFT, from a judgement by Mr Justice Greer dismissing his action against the Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd.
By 1923: John Reynolds designated managing owner.
24.3.1923: Sailed Boston for the North Sea fishing grounds (Sk. James Bartholomew).
31.3.1923: Fishing. At about 8.00am. it was found that they had picked up the boom of a smack about 25ft long. Owing to the length they had to lift it as high as possible up to the mast head, but despite that it still hung over the side and foul of the net. John Peters England (49), third hand, Napoleon Terrace, Skirbeck was holding on to a rope attached to the boom and an attempt was made to get the boom onboard by heaving it aft. The boom sprang into the ship, striking the barrel of the winch. The force of the impact caused the top end of the boom to snap off and in falling struck England and knocked him down; he died within ten minutes of the incident.
3.4.1923: At the Coroner’s Court a verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded.
12.2.1924: At Boston County Court, His Honour Judge H. E. Chapman sitting, Mrs Charlotte England sued John Reynolds, trawler owner; this was an application for arbitration under the Workmens’ Compensation Act. His Honour said this was a most unfortunate case, he was bound by an iniquitous decision of a previous case. The Act said that it should not apply to men remunerated by a share of the profits. Eventually a case went to the House of Lords and their decision was binding. It was particularly unfortunate, because if this incident had happened later the new Act would have come into force and Mrs England would have been entitled to have received compensation.
6.2.1924: At Boston landed “and made a good price”.
24.3.1924: On return to Boston, Sk.Royal reported that when 120 miles out they sighted a vessel floating bottom uppermost which they believed was the Canadian built wooden steam drifter LUSBY (BN196) belonging to the Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd. LUSBY had sailed Grimsby on 12th February for the fishing grounds with a crew of eight and was not seen or heard from again.
1924: Sold to Martial Pinselle, Arcachon. Numa Laurie et Cie, managers. Boston registry closed. Registered at Arcachon.
10.1925: Stranded at Arcachon. Total loss. Arcachon registry closed.

19/06/2021: Page published.