John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  141951     Port and Year:  Fleetwood, 1919 (FD350)

                                                                 London, 1928 (LO126)    

Description: Steel side trawler; coal fired, steam screw.  Castle Class. Ketch rigged

Crew: 11 men

Built: by George Brown & Co., Greenock, in 1919  (Yard no. 121)

Tonnage:   280 grt  113 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.5 / 23.5 / 12.7

Engine: T.3-Cyl; 83 rhp; by Gauldie, Gilles & Co., Glasgow




10 Oct 1919: Victory Steam Fishing Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, Fleetwood

Manager: W. Morley, manager).

24 Sep1922: Renamed CICELY BLANCHE



May 1928: Dept of Scientific & Industrial Research, London for trials. [On charter.]


By 1930: Iago Steam Trawler Co., Docks, Milford.

Manager: E. D. W. Lawford.


1945: Milford Fisheries, Docks, Milford

Manager: Owen Willie Limbrick


Landed at Milford: 15 May 1928 - 1 Apr 1930; 27 Sep 1945 - 3 Jan 1951; 25 Dec 1952 - 18 Jul 1958

Skippers: George Medway (1928); Reg High (1929);

Notes: 25 Jun1919: Launched for the Admiralty as PETER CAREY ( 4445)

Aug 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty   and converted for minesweeping duties (P.No. FY.537).

Sep 1945: Returned to owners.

May 1950:  Laid up at Milford.

Jan 1951: Transferred to Aberdeen.

Dec 1952: Returned to Milford, and laid up.

May1959: Broken up at Hemixen, Belgium.

[Information from the Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust and The Bosun's Watch.]

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 13th April 1928:


    In the House of Commons on Thursday, Major C. W. M. Price, (U. Pembroke), asked the Minister of Agriculture if he would state when he expected the two new research ships would be ready for their work; what were the names of the ships and what were the amounts being spent on each ship to fit them out for their research work.

    Mr. Guinness: the two ships chartered by the department for researches on fish are the commercial steam trawlers "Cicely Blanche", of Milford Haven, and "Ben Meidie", of Aberdeen.  They are expected to be ready to commence work about the end of May; the expenditure on experimental plant will be approximately 1,500 for each ship.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 29th June 1928:




    The first practical result of the experiment introduced into the fishing industry was witnessed at Milford Haven Wholesale Fishmarket on Tuesday morning.  It will be remembered that a few months ago, under the auspices of the Government department of Scientific and Industrial Research, a project for the furtherance of research regarding fish was launched. Aberdeen for the North Sea and Milford for the Western Fisheries were the selected centres.  The steam trawler Cicely Blanche, since renamed, was chartered for the purpose from Commander E. W. D. Lawford, chairman of the Milford Haven Trawler Owners' Association. The vessel had been for some time undergoing preparation, and fitted out with a specially designed fish holds or ponds.  Experts from the department have superintended these arrangements, and they have a committee of local trawler owners and fish merchants. viz.:― Commander Lawford, Captain J. H. Dove, Mr Charles Curzon, Mr H. E. Rees, Mr A. J. Howell and Mr E. Wood, who will join in conference from time to time as the vessel arrives in port, examine the fish, and compare it with fish caught and stocked by the ordinary methods on the trawler,

    The Peter Carey landed the first catch of fish on Tuesday, and much interest was centred both in the operation and the quality of the fish. The object is, of course, to devise a method of preserving fish to make it marketable after fairly long voyages and prevent waste.  The vessel had only three days fishing, a very short voyage.  It appears that instead of icing the fish in the usual way, direct contact of the fish with ice is prevented by corrugated shelves, the ice being placed on top of these, whilst other fish ponds were being chilled.

    The catch consisted of about 100 boxes of mixed classes of fish, such as hake, whiting, plaice, cod, ling etc., and certainly appeared in superior condition.


[ Note: The steam trawler CICELY BLANCHE  reverted back to her original name of PETER CAREY during this operation. ]


[Undated, with no crew names.]

John Stevenson Collection

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 3rd August 1928:



The "Peter Carey" at Milford


    The steam trawler "Peter Carey", under charter by the Government Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, landed her third catch since the inauguration of the experimental campaign, on Milford Fish Market on Monday morning.  This trip was a full one of sixteen days.  Various tests were made by the expert observer aboard at various stages of the voyage, both with hake and other kinds of fish.  Special attention was given to the cleansing f the fish when caught, and comparisons made with that placed in pounds in the ordinary way, and also in the refrigerating chambers.  The catch consisted of 240 kits of which about half consisted of hake of various sizes.  During the week further additions will be made in connection with the cleansing and preservative experiments for the detection and prevention of bacteria.  The department experts will take some time before definite conclusions can be arrived at respecting the experiments and the data thus being collected and their value to the fishing industry.  Meanwhile the skipper of the vessel, Capt.. George Medway, and the crew are gaining valuable experience from the work each succeeding voyage.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 29th November 1929:



And Never Seen Again



    Mr. William Rees, a deck-hand on the s.t. Peter Carey (Commander Lawford) was washed overboard by a big wave on Friday evening, November 22nd, while on the fishing grounds some 180 miles out of Milford Haven.  He is the youngest son of Mrs. Adams (formerly Mrs. Rees), of 47, Robert Street, Milford Haven.  He was 21 years of age, and began his career at sea in March last.  About 6 p.m. on Friday last the skipper, Reg. High, was on the bridge, and the mate, Charles Lindley, and Rees, were on the deck alone, the rest of the crew being below.  The mate and Rees were busy gutting fish in the pound.  They were carrying out a log line to see if it were necessary to change their fishing ground when the mate saw a nig wave coming on the port quarter, and he shouted to Rees "Look out."  Rees ran forward past the galley and the engine-room casement, and the mate ran into the galley way.  However they did not ship as much sea as the mate expected, and when the water had cleared away he came out of the galley way, and shouted out to Rees "Are you all right?"  He got no answer and Rees was not to be seen.  When the ship was struck by the wave she gave a heavy lurch, and the mate surmised that, as Rees from the course he took would have the wave at his back, this, with the sudden lurch, would throw him on the rail.  Being a very tall lad - over 6ft - the rail would not protect him as it would one who was shorter, and he would go overboard.  That is the mate's surmise as to what happened, but, of course, no one saw what did actually happen.  Poor Rees was missing and the mate gave the alarm.  The ship was put about, and the searchlight swept the water all around for over an hour, but nothing was seen of him again.  They had to give up the search, and a wireless was sent, which was received by Mr. Kelway and Commander Lawford, and the latter decided to delay until morning before informing the mother and relatives.  The sad accident occurred so far from the land that the body may never be recovered.

    Young Rees was well known, and liked by all who knew him.  He was a cheerful, light-hearted young fellow, and he entered upon a sea-faring life with great zest, for he was for a long time only occasionally employed, and getting a regular job meant a great deal to him.  Sincere sorrow and sympathy for the mother and family is general, and we join in the expression of regret for the untimely end of a young life.


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th May 1950:




    Four trawlers, half the Milford Fisheries fleet, has been laid up this week because of prevailing uneconomic conditions.  They are the Thomas Booth, Craig an Eran, Cloughstone, and Peter Carey.

    The total number of trawlers now laid up at Milford is 24, or a third of the port's fleet.  Some are undergoing repairs, but most have been tied up because it has been found uneconomical to run them.

    In this connection, here is an extract from a letter received at Milford this week from a London firm of merchants: "Our market at the moment is loaded with Danish plaice at the prices quoted above, and it is selling very slowly."  The prices given were well below control prices.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 12th January 1951:


    The Milford Fisheries trawler Peter Carey is on her way to Aberdeen to join another of the firm's trawlers, the William Brady, now fishing from the Scottish port.  She is being taken round by Skipper Marr.

    Asked on Thursday if there were any special reasons for the move, Mr. O. W. Limbrick, FICS, Managing Director of Milford Fisheries, commented, "The departure of the Peter Carey will not affect employment locally, because we are now failing to get ships to sea and losing a lot of time owing to a shortage of crews.  We have been scouting the country for men to man the trawlers, and this boat will not be missed."




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 28th November 1952:


    We understand that the trawler Peter Carey may be returning to the port.  Mr. Owen Limbrick said on Thursday that, in view of the present conditions at the port, and the recent increase granted to workmen in the repair shops, the boat would probably be laid up on her return.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th March 1959:


    With the Merchants Ltd. trawler Merchant Valour being tied up this week, the number of trawler skippers now unemployed at Milford has risen to a score.  In recent months the trawlers Merchant Victor and Merchant Valour, the Lorraine, Peter Carey, Night Hawk and One Accord have all gone to the wall.



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