John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  143462     Port and Year:  Grimsby, 1922 (GY81) 

                                                                  London, 1928  (LO81) 

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; coal fired.  Ketch rigged

Crew: 12 men

Built: by Smiths Docks Co., Middlesborough, in 1917.  (Yard no. 697)

Tonnage:   275 grt  107 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.5 / 23.4 / 12.8                                                         

Engine: T 3-Cyl; 87 rhp = 10.5 kts.; by builders




Renamed FERMO

Jul 1922: W. J. Allen, Grimsby & W. Lambert, Cleethorpes

Manager: H. A. Jeffries


Aug 1926: TEALBY

Jan 1927: W. Lambert, Grimsby


Dec 1927?: Iago Steam Trawler Co., Docks, Milford

Manager: Edward D. W. Lawford, 'Havenhurst', The Rath, Milford


Renamed DAMITO LO81

1929: T. J. Jenkerson & Jones, Docks, Milford

Manager: Tom. J. Jenkerson

(Later: Leslie F. Jenkerson, 'Homeland', Marble Hall Rd., Milford)


Landed at Milford:  As TEALBY 18 Dec 1927 - 28 Sep 1929;

As DAMITO 25 Nov 1929 - 23 Jun 1956

Skippers: Reg High (1929); J. McLelland (1930); T. R. Owston (1932); George Coe (1955).

Notes: 21 May 1917: Launched  for the Admiralty as OLIVER PICKIN (Admy. No. 3518) 1 x 12 pdr.

1922: Sold to mercantile.

Aug 1939: Requisitioned as DAMITO (P.No. FY 521) and converted to a minesweeper.

1943: Converted to an Esso (P.No. Y7.9).

Jan 1946: Returned to owners.

Aug 1956: Broken up at Cork.

Accidents and Incidents:

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 31st May 1929:



Alleged Racing into Dock

Magistrates and Conflicting Evidence


    Two Milford skippers, Albert Riby, of the s.t. "R. Croft" [sic, passim], and Reg High, of the s.t. "Tealby", were summoned by Capt. W. R. Marrs, at Milford Sessions on Wednesday, before Ald. Robert Cole and other magistrates, for refusing to obey his orders when entering Milford Docks on May 8th.

    Mr. G. T. Kelway (Messrs. Price and Kelway, solicitors), appeared on behalf of the Docks Company.

    Mr. G. T. Kelway, for the Docks Company, said that at the early morning tide of May 8th, about 4.23, when it was still dark - when the dock gates were opened, there were four vessels outside ready to come in.  The signal for vessels to approach the dock during the hours of darkness was the hoisting of two green lights on the Pier Head.  This was done, and the nearest vessel, the s.t. "Surmount" proceeded towards the lock, followed by another vessel.  The other two trawlers, the R. Croft and the Tealby, instead of coming on in single line, came in abreast and raced for the dock entrance.  The Dock Master at once saw there was the imminent likelihood of a collision, and switched off the lights as a signal for the ships to stop, but instead of stopping the two trawlers continued to proceed towards the Dock entrance..  The dock master hailed them and told them to stop racing.  However, they continued to come ahead, and only stopped when actually in the dock.  The vessels did not actually charge into the dock gates.  The defendants violated two bye-laws of the Dock Company.

    Mr. Kelway explained that these prosecutions were not brought in a spirit of vindictiveness.  It was in the very best interests of the trawlers themselves.  There were two great dangers; firstly, damage might be done to the dock gates, and secondly there might be a collision at the dock entrance which would probably cause one or more trawlers to sink.

    Capt. Marrs, the dock master, and Capt. Hurry, assistant dock master, bore out the solicitor's statement.

    High pleaded not guilty, and added that on this particular night there was a strong westerly wind blowing and visibility was bad.  The dock master allowed them to get in too close before putting on the lights, which was an error on his part.  "It is the easiest thing in the world," concluded the skipper, "to stand on the pier head and shout 'Go astern', but a ship is not like a horse and cart.  I carried out his orders as best as I possibly could."

    Riby, the other defendant, also pleaded not guilty, and stated that the lights went out when he was abreast of the buoys, and his engines had stopped.  If they were in the wrong the "Sialese" [ sic - probably CYELSE, which also landed on 8th May ] was also in the wrong.

    Mr. Kelway: There was a further incident with the "Sialese" when she got into the dock and she was punished for it.

    Asked why the "Sialese" was punished, punished, Capt. Hurry stated that whilst they were dealing with these two vessels, they told the skipper not to move from his position.  After attending to the two vessels they found the "Sialese" had gone ahead, and as a result they ordered it to go at the foot of the market.  The reason why this ship was not summoned was because it was not to blame in the first place.

    Mr. L. J. Meyler:  By doing that haven't you given this boat preference?

    Capt. Hurry:  I have given no preference at all.

    After retiring, the chairman of the Bench (Ald. Robert Cole) announced that they had considered the case very carefully and had come to the conclusion that the evidence was very conflicting, and they, therefore, dismissed the case.




From an unknown local newspaper of 2nd January 1930:  


    Sad news reached the port  of Milford on Sunday.  It came by wireless from the steam trawler "Damito", far out on the Atlantic fishing grounds below the Bull, to the effect that the mate of the trawler, named Chris Edwards, had been washed overboard and drowned.  The trawler had been at sea for nine days, and the skipper, Mr. J. McLelland, soon after made for home, and arrived arrived at Milford for Monday's market.

    The skipper said that a huge sea struck the vessel and carried the mate over the side.  His shipmates threw out a gaff in an effort to save him, but this too was carried away.

    The mate was a young fellow who had recently taken his mate's certificate, and had not long been married.  He was a native of the district, and his home at the time of the mishap was in Neyland.  His parents reside nearby at Hazelbeach.


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 3rd January 1930:


    A wireless message was received at Milford on Sunday last by Mr. Tom Jenkerson, owner of the steam trawler "Damito", stating that the mate, Christopher Edwards, age 24 years, had been swept overboard by a tremendous sea at 4.30 p.m. on the previous day, Saturday December 28th.  The "Damito" landed on Monday afternoon tide, and the skipper (J. McLelland) gave the following account of the tragedy.

    At the timed named, a deckhand and the mate were on deck, the mate at the winch.  There was a great westerly breeze blowing, and a tremendous wave swept over the trawler's stern, which for a time hid everything else.  When it had passed the deckhand could be seen at the winch but the mate was not there.  A search was made for him, but he could not be found.  Subsequently his body was seen about 30 feet from the ship, practically under water, and from appearances it looked as if he was stunned.  Before anything could be done to reach him the body  was swept away.  Every effort was made to pick him up but he was not seen again.

    Edwards was only 24 years old, and had been with the firm of Mr. Tom Jenkerson for the last three years, and held a Mate's Certificate.  His home was at Hazelbeach, Neyland, and he was married about six months ago





 Back Row L-R, Deckies Harry Sheldrick, Reg Nodd And Chester Neuman, Cook Jim Watts, Fireman Nigel Malony.

Front  Row: Deckie Tom King, Fireman Leslie Thomas, Mate Harry Dodd, Skipper George Coe,
Chief Eng Alfie Boast, Bosun Herbert Reynolds, 2nd Eng Alec Holowozicki

Taken for the West Wales Guardian "Ships and Men" series, in the issue of 25th February 1955

John Stevenson Collection



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th May 1956:


    A staggering blow to the depressed Milford fishing industry is the news that the old established trawling firm of Messrs. T. J. Jenkerson and Sons is going out of business.  The decision means that five Castle class trawlers and the only oil-fired post-war vessel in port will be withdrawn from fishing, throwing another 70 trawlermen out of work.  In addition, the firm has a considerable administration and maintenance staff, and is principally concerned in the Milford Engineering Company, Ltd., which will also be seriously affected.

    Two weeks ago Messrs. Jenkerson, whose principals are the brothers Leslie and Kenneth, scrapped two Castle boats, the Hatano and Alexander Scott. 

    The present fleet consists of the coal burners Lephreto, Damito, William Bunce, Our Bairns, Their Merit, and the oil burner David Ogilvie, which was built in Aberdeen in 1949. 

    It is expected that all the ships with the exception of the David Ogilvie will go to the scrap yard.





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