Additional information courtesy of Andy Hall
Admiralty Number: 3521
Official Number: 143903
Yard Number: 700
Gross Tonnage: 275
Net Tonnage: 112
Length: 125.5 ft
Breadth: 23.4 ft
Depth: 12.8 ft
Engine: 480ihp T.3-cyl and boiler by Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd, Newcastle
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, Middlesbrough
5.3.1917: Laid down.
19.6.1917: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.700) (“Castle” class) for The Admiralty as WILLIAM SPENCER (Ad.No.3521).
25.7.1917: Completed (1 – 12pdr and W/T).
1919: Registered by The Admiralty at London (Part I) O.N.143903.
1919: Allocated to Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and engaged in commercial trawling.
1920: Allocated to the National Fishery Scheme for the setting up of the Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society Ltd, London.
1.1921: At Brightlingsea fitted out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and classed 100A1 Stm Trawler at Brightlingsea.
1.1922. Scheme abandoned, the necessary working capital of £100,000 having not been subscribed. Laid up at Brightlingsea. Advertised for sale several times.
11.1924: Sold to Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, Boston (Fred Parkes, Wyberton, Boston, manager).
14.11.1924: London registry closed.
21.11.1924: Registered at Fleetwood as NORMANBY (FD31).
1926: Company registered office transferred to Fleetwood (Fred Parkes, Blackpool, manager).
19.9.1935: Completed some structural alterations to enable better look-out and sailed Fleetwood for Azores chartered by relatives to try and locate auxiliary yacht ALTAIR,(14grt/1909) (Lieutenant Colonel Noel Meredith Vibart DSO), four crew all told*, which had left Flores Island, Azores for Plymouth on 1 August and overdue. Apart from a message given by a Portuguese vessel that a craft which may have been the ALTAIR had been sighted south-east off the Azores on 29 August, there has been no further information concerning the yacht. Search was unsuccessful.
1.1936: Sold to Liston Carnie, William Carnie Jnr & Thomas Young Carnie, Glasgow. (William Carnie Jnr, Glasgow managing owner).
31.1.1936: Fleetwood registry closed.
2.1936: Registered at Granton as ASTROS (GN48).
18.12.1939: Attacked by German aircraft 115 miles E by N of May Island; superficial damage.
28.12.1939: Requisitioned for war service as a boom defence vessel (P.No.Z.130) (Hire rate £80.4.2d/month).
3.12.1943: Compulsorily acquired by M.O.W.T. Granton registry closed.
7.1945: Based at Portsmouth (Fraser & White Ltd, Portsmouth, agents).
11.1945: For disposal.
3.1946: Sold to Joseph Croan, Newhaven, Edinburgh.
1.1947: Registered at Granton (GN31).
11.9.1948: Sailed Granton for Faroe fishing grounds (Sk. Carnie Seaton).
21.9.1948: Arrived Aberdeen with storm damage sustained off the Faroes; funnel damaged, bent over and fractured. In gale, wind entering the damaged funnel had fanned the fires in the boiler room, and at one stage there was a danger of a flash back igniting the bunker coal. The skipper, foreseeing the danger, had turned the ship’s head into the wind until a tarpaulin could be thrown around the funnel. Finding it difficult to raise steam, the skipper radioed for the steam trawlers THOMAS L. DEVLIN (GN58) and META PATON (GW14) to standby. With difficulty the fireman managed to maintain enough steam to proceed at slow speed to Aberdeen, escorted by the META PATON. Met by the owner, Joe Croan, and arrangements made to send her catch of 450 boxes to Newhaven by road.
1960: Sold to BISCO (£2800) and allocated to Shipbreaking Industries Ltd, Charlestown, Fife for breaking up (Contract No.62E).
15.3.1960: Delivered Charlestown from Granton under own power.
26.5.1960: Breaking up commenced.
(William Spencer, Yeoman of the Powder Room (prest), age 28, b. Newcastle – VICTORY (SB392))
* Crew of yacht (cutter) ALTAIR – Lieutenant Colonel Noel Meredith Vibart DSO, London, owner; Ian Macdonald, Glasgow, Cambridge university undergraduate; Patrick Richardson, Long Ashton, Bristol, Oxford university undergraduate and Basil Jefferies (18), Talywain, Monmouthshire, ships boy.
Click to enlarge image
S.T. Normanby FD31
Picture courtesy of Fred Baker
21/01/2009: Page published. 5 updates since then.
26/02/2016: Information updated