Tag Archives: Thomas Fairclough

sv Elizabeth Ann FD130

Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm


Official Number: 56682
Completed: 1867
Gross tonnage: 39.38
Net tonnage: 24.42
Length: 54.6 ft
Breadth: 16.5 ft
Draught: 8.0 ft
Jigger smack – trawling
Aka ‘Black Jack’
Built: George Rigby & Robert Rawstorne, Freckleton


1867: Completed by George Rigby & Robert Rawstorne, Freckleton for William Robinson, Southport as ELIZABETH ANN.
27.3.1867: Appropriated.
27.3.1867: Registered at Preston. Fishing out of Hoylake.
1.1.1880: Owned by William Hudson, Fleetwood.
24.12.1886: Sold to Mrs Margaret Hudson,
42 Warren Street, Fleetwood.
12.1886: Preston registry closed.
24.12.1886: Registered at Fleetwood (FD130).
7.12.1896: Sold to Thomas Fairclough, 4 Blakiston Street East, Fleetwood. Thomas Fairclough, skipper.
23.4.1907: At Fleetwood Police Court, Thomas Andrews was charged with stealing a quantity of foot rope. Sk David Herbert said that he left the foot rope on the quay side and when he returned it was missing. Thomas Brecknell, marine store dealer, said that the defendant brought the rope into the store and said two men had given it to him. Defendant denied the offence but was bound over for three months in the sum of £5.
25.9.1908: At Fleetwood Police Court, two youths, Edward Lyons and John Shields, who were remanded on the 21st on the charges of stealing articles, valued at 27s from the smack, faced further charges against them. Two charges of breaking into the flat DIANA and breaking into the shop of Mr Haworth, photographer. Both youths were committed for trial at the next Preston Sessions.
8.1.1910: Returning from the fishing grounds (Sk, David Herbert). Lying about three quarters of a mile SE of the Lune Light ship, with regulation lights burning, awaiting the turn of the tide to proceed into Fleetwood. The weather had been foggy but this had cleared and it was very dark. Fleetwood registered L&Y and L&NW railway steamer DUKE of CORNWALL (Capt McBrown) (1540grt/1898) bore in sight and Sk. Herbert lighted a torch and shouted, alerting the crew who came on deck. Seeing a vessel ahead the steamer turned to starboard but was unable to clear the trawler, striking her in the jigger mast rigging cutting the stern completely off. With the trawler settling, the punt was launched but the bung was missing along with the oars, one of the crew putting his thumb in the bung hole to prevent the boat filling. A shovel was found in the bottom of the boat and this was used as an oar. The DUKE of CORNWALL hove to and launched two boats, but in the darkness failed to find the punt. Using the shovel the trawler’s crew managed to get alongside the steamer and were taken onboard.
14.1.1910: Fleetwood registry closed “Vessel totally lost 8th January 1910. Advice received from owner ”.

27/05/2009: Page published.
03/03/2022: Major information update.

s.v. Merry Lass FD146

Additional information courtesy of Christine Simm and Maurice Voss


Official Number: 106596
Gross Tonnage: 49.37
Net Tonnage: 40.65
Length: 67.4 ft
Breadth: 18.2 ft
Depth: 8.45 ft
Rig: Ketch – trawling
Auxilliary oil engine by Laval


1897: Completed by R. Jackman & Sons, Brixham for John Berry James, King Street, Brixham as MERRY LASS. Registered at Dartmouth & Brixham O.N.106596 (16/97). Registered at Dartmouth (DH437). John Berry James designated managing owner.
14.12.1897: At 11.30am. in Plymouth Sound, in collision with steamer LADY WOLSELEY (1450grt/1894), from London, which was making for the docks. Bowsprit carried away and damage to stem.
30.11.1898: Arrived Brixham having lost her trawling gear valued between £30 and £40, caused by shooting the trawl without shackling on to the trawl warp.
15.2.1900: In a very strong gale and heavy rain in the Channel, many of the trawlers caught at sea with their trawls down either lost gear or sustained damage to it and all returned to harbour under double reefed canvas. Along with the smack had bowsprit carried away.
7.1.1901: The Brixham Fishing Smack Insurance Co Ltd received tenders for repair of the damage caused by the recent gale. MERRY LASS, J. W. & A. Upham £25; R. Jackman £27.10s. The tender of Messrs Upham was accepted.
26.5.1902: Registered at Brixham (BM29).
1907: Sold to Thomas Nicks, 61 Rotterdam Rd, Lowestoft.
5.10.1907: Brixham registry closed.
14.10.1907: Registered at Lowestoft (LT1091).
10.11.1907: Arrived Lowestoft in the afternoon with the crew of the London registered, Hartlepool owned, schooner JOHN SHELLEY (175nrt/1875) (Capt J. Storm) Hartlepool for London cargo coals, transferred from the fish carrier SPEEDWELL (H481). In dense fog in the North Sea the JOHN SHELLEY was run down by the SPEEDWELL although both vessels heard the fog signals from each other. SPEEDWELL took the crew onboard and then, on account of the weather, drifted until 10.00am, when some 12 miles off Lowestoft, she fell in with the smack.
21.11.1907: In South Bay, off Pakefield with thick fog, in collision the Banff steam drifter SUCCEED (BF1399) sustaining considerable damage. Went to anchor as not considered prudent to try and enter harbour in the weather conditions.
23.8.1910: Proceeding to sea from the former Herring Dock at Lowestoft (Sk. Thomas Vicks), in collision off the South Pier with the smack WHITE HEATHER (LT1013) which had left the Trawl Dock. Sk. Vicks who was bending over at the time, completed a somersault over the rail and into the water. Some of the crew of the WHITE HEATHER got hold of him until a boat came out, picked him up and put him back onboard his own vessel, apparently little the worse for his immersion.
10.9.1910: FOR SALE at once, ready for Sea, the SMACK “MERRY LASS”. Apply owner, T. Nicks, 61 Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft.
1911: Sold to John N. Ward, 114 Dock St, Fleetwood.
5.5.1911: Lowestoft registry closed.
11.5.1911: Arrived Fleetwood. Reported sold along with the smack SUNRISE (LT432) to a Fleetwood syndicate for the purpose of fishing in Morecambe Bay.
1911: Sold to Thomas Fairclough, 107 Mount Street, Fleetwood 7 others (The Sunrise Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood). John N. Ward designated manager.
18.5.1911: Registered at Fleetwood (FD146). Richard Wilson skipper.
1912: Magnus B.J. Wedum, Dock St, Fleetwood designated manager.
1.3.1912: At Fleetwood Police Court, Alfred Richardson, ship’s fireman, was charged with stealing an oil frock from the cabin of the smack. William Slinger, one of the crew of the smack, said the oil-skin belonged to the skipper and was seen hanging up in the cabin at noon on 28th February and was missing in the evening. Richard Wright, a broker, said that he bought a pair of sea clogs from the prisoner who asked if he would buy an oil frock. The prisoner returned with the oil frock and he was given 5s 6d for it. He afterwards heard that the oil frock was stolen from the MERRY LASS. He went in search of Richardson and kept him in conversation until P.C. Campsie arrived and arrested the prisoner. Sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.
3.10.1913: Tonnage altered to 24.94net as per Surveyor’s Certificate dated Liverpool 2nd October 1913.
27.1.1914. In a light fog, fishing some 20 miles WSW of Morecambe Bay Lightship (Sk. Peter Leadbetter). Sighted what appeared to be a submarine. Further ahead the skipper saw two small boats and a steamer to the westward with her bows in the air. Trawl was recovered and started for home, when some ten miles north of Lune Buoy met several steam trawlers that had left Fleetwood on the morning tide. Signalled to them that a hostile submarine was in the area and they returned to port. (The submarine proved to be U-boat (U21) and the steamer the BEN CRUACHAN (3092grt/1903), the survivors in the two boats were picked up by the smack MARGARET (FD208) and brought into Fleetwood.)
18.1.1919: Sold to Henry Boyden Hornby, Dock Road, Birkenhead & others. Henry B Hornby designated managing owner.
18.1.1919: Fleetwood registry closed.
3.2.1919: Registered at Liverpool (LL15).
1920: Sold to Henry Utting, 188 Denmark Road, Lowestoft & others. Henry Utting designated managing owner.
9.2.1920: Liverpool registry closed.
1920?: Remeasured 52.11g. 25.68n.
12.2.1920: Registered at Lowestoft (LT897).
8.1921: Sold to Engel Lycke, Oostende.
20.8.1921: Lowestoft registry closed. “Sold to Belgians”. Registered at Oostende as MERRY LASS (O146).
19??: Registered at Oostende as ANTONIA ISABELLE (O65).
1930: Re-registered at Oostende as HERMINA (O177).
25.1.1937: Sold to Henri Vanhoutte & F. Calcoen, Nieuwpoort. Oostende registry closed. Registered at Nieuwpoort as JAN BART (N55).
9.1937: Owner became Henri Vanhoutte.
19??: Fitted with 96hp oil engine by Laval
5.1940: German troops entered Belgium. Sailed Nieupoort for St.Vaast-La-Hougue. Returned and impounded by German authorities in ‘de Creek of Lombardsijde’, Nieupoort harbour.
8.1940: Capsized and total wreck.

Click to enlarge image

sv Merry Lass O146

sv Merry Lass O146
Picture courtesy of The Maurice Voss Collection

22/02/2009: Page published.
15/02/2023: Major information update.
06/06/2023: Updated information and added an image.

s.v. Sunrise FD147


Official Number: 97926
Completed: 1891
Gross tonnage : 56
Net Tonnage: 56n
Length: 69.3 ft
Breadth: 18.7 ft
Depth: 9.05 ft
Rig: Ketch – trawling
Built: ??, Galhampton


1891: Completed by ??, Galhampton for Edward J. Wren, 77 Bevan St, Lowestoft, as SUNRISE.
16.9.1891: Registered at Lowestoft (LT432).
1911: Sold to Thomas Fairclough, 107 Mount Street, Fleetwood (The Sunrise Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood) (John N. Ward, manager).
5.5.1911: Lowestoft registry closed.
18.5.1911: Registered at Fleetwood (FD147).
1912: Magnus B.J. Wedum appointed manager.
3.10.1913: Tonnage altered to 24.46net. New Fishing Certificate issued.
10.3.1918: Fishing 18 miles SE from Maughold Head, stopped by U-boat (UC75) and sunk by bombs. Crew took to boat.
13.3.1918: Fleetwood registry closed.

Additional information courtesy of Adrian Corkill (Dictionary of Shipwrecks off the Isle of Man)

The Manx fishing smack Marguerite, under Skipper Tommy Lee, was bound from Bangor for Douglas. At 5 pm on 9th March 1918, she encountered a German submarine when she was about midway between Anglesey and the Isle of Man. On seeing Marguerite the submarine began shelling her, taking her to be a decoy, as at the time the smack had no registration number and was carrying all her sail. After a couple of shots Marguerite stayed and made towards the submarine, but still the shelling continued. One of the crewmen, Dicky Lee, held up a truce signal, but was dismayed to find that the German’s fired a bullet clean through it.
Tommy Lee, meanwhile, ordered all the canvas to be lowered, and as the submarine came closer, he held up his hand and the shelling stopped. When the submarine was alongside the smack two German officers boarded her and stripped off some of the sails taking it to the submarine. This was intended to be makeshift bedding for the prisoners. They then placed a bomb on the smack and took off her three crew. Marguerite foundered 25 miles N 1/4 E of Beaumaris.
The submarine submerged and lay on the seabed for several hours before cruising off in search of its next victim. The submarine commander then asked to see Tommy Lee and proceeded to conduct a lengthy interrogation through the use of an interpreter. When the commander discovered the smack was not being used for military purposes and was from the Isle of Man (home to many thousands of German prisoners of war), he was much more sympathetic to the crew.
When again the submarine surfaced the fishing smack Sunrise, of Fleetwood, was halted and went the same way as Marguerite, by use of a bomb 18 miles southeast of Maughold Head. This was twenty three hours after the Marguerite had been sunk. Together, the crews of Sunrise and Marguerite, seven in number, were bundled into Sunrise’s small boat, and were set off in the direction of St Bee’s Head, 14 miles distant. The Germans had given the seamen some food and a compass to ease the journey and the unfortunate seamen eventually landed at Whitehaven.

07/01/2009: Page published. 3 updates since then.