CONSTANT STAR M133
Courtesy of Robert Kettle
Official No: 303252 Port Number and Year: 3rd in Milford, 1962
- in Peterhead, 1975 (PD172)
Description: Steel side / drifter trawler. Diesel electric motor vessel.
Registered at Milford: 10 Jul 1962
Built: by James & Stone, Brightlingsea, in 1962. (Yard no. 412)
Tonnage: 139.59 gross 48.19 net
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 93.30 / 22.05 / 9.55
Engine: One internal combustion engine, by Bergen Mekaniske Verksted AS. 490 Bhp. 10.5 kts.
10 Jul 1962: Norrard Trawlers, Docks, Milford. (64/64)
Manager: Fred Ingram
29 Aug 1974: James Brian Taylor, King St., Peterhead (16/64)
George Forman, Morven Cres., Peterhead (12/64)
Alexander Caw, West Rd., Peterhead (8/64)
Managing owner: Francis John Wood, Foreman Drive, Peterhead (28/64)
28 Apr 1975: As PD172.
Landed at Milford: 8 Jul 1962 - [c. Jul 1974]
Skippers: Jack Chenery; Cliff Saunders.
Aug 1987: Lost in a gale after striking Skerry Rocks, south of the entrance to Peterhead Bay. All crew members saved by helicopter.
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 28 Apr 1975.
Registry transferred to the port of Peterhead.
Accidents and Incidents:
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th May 1962:
New Trawlers' Progress
Two more new trawlers are due to join the local fleet in the next few months. The first to arrive will be Norrard Trawlers' latest drifter trawler, the Constant Star, which is expected to be ready to sail in about a month. She is being built at the Brightlingsea yard of James and Stone, who recently completed the 130ft. Argo of Pembroke. Mr. Fred W. Ingram (senior) inspected progress on the new ship at the weekend and was pleased with what he saw. The Constant Star will be commanded by Skipper Jack Chenery, acknowledged "king" of the drifter trawler fleet.
Due to go of final trials at the end of June is the Hector Gull, a 135ft. trawler being built for modern stern fishing at the Appledore yard. She too will fish out of Milford under the management of Mr. W. H. Kerr's company, and commanded by Skipper Alfred Beckett. A sister ship, the Hector Gannet, will follow.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 13th July 1962:
STAR TRIP FOR NEW TRAWLER
"King Jack's" Success
The Constant Star was the name of the first trawler bought by Mr. Fred Ingram, principal of Norrard Trawlers, Ltd., and it was in this ship that Skipper Jack Chenery established his reputation as "King" of Milford's drifter-trawler fleet.
Since those post-war days Norrard Trawlers have become a leading trawler company at Milford.
On Sunday a sixth diesel vessel joined the firm's present fleet. She was a brand new £70,000 ship.
Her name? Constant Star.
Her master? Skipper Chenery.
And her first trip? Excellent!
Built at Brightlingsea, Essex, by James and Stone, Ltd., ....., the new 100 feet long Constant Star is a big advance on her old namesake. Her streamlining, first-class accommodation and up-to-date technical equipment give her crew every possible advantage.
Skipper Chenery can control every revolution of the engines directly from the bridge, the windlass is hydraulically operated and the fishroom insulated.
NO TEETHING TROUBLES
The Constant Star "fished a trip" round from the East Coast and Skipper Chenery was delighted with the performance of his new command.
"We had no teething troubles at all. We were very lucky and I am very pleased with the ship, he told the "Guardian."
Docking on Sunday, colourfully dressed overall, this latest addition to Milford's fishing fleet attracted much attention and interest. Her first catch, 134 kits, was landed for Monday's market and grossed £1,210 for 12 days — and excellent result.
Her owners, too, were very pleased with the Constant Star's first trip. The company now owns a fleet of six modern trawlers, the Constant Star, Norrard Star, Ascona, Lord Suffolk, Latania, and Dawn Waters. They also manage the Lord Collingwood, the Atlantic Seal and the Heather George, and the owner of Milford's latest "hake" class ship, the Argo of Pembroke, is Mr. Fred Ingram, junior.
The Constant Star sailed on Wednesday on her second trip. She will fish the area from Lands End in the south, north to the Clyde and off the east coast of Ireland. With Skipper Chenery as mate is Mr. J. Beamish.
From The Irish Times of Thursday 6th January 1966, p.4:
Gales keep fleets in port
During the day a man had to be taken from a British trawler to hospital in Wexford, and a Dutch coaster was forced to put into Fishguard to have her cargo secured.
When the Constant Star sent out a radio message that a member of her crew was seriously ill, her call was answered by the Isolda. The Isolda lowered a motor launch which took off the sick man, Mr. John Spinks, of Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. He was landed at Rosslare Harbour and after medical attention he was taken by car to Wexford, where his condition was said last night to be satisfactory.
[The ISOLDA (later SETANTA) was an Irish lights tender, 1173 tons, built by Liffey Dockyard, Dublin, and commissioned in 1953.]
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th February 1966:
FOUR OF TRAWLER CREW REFUSED TO SAIL
"Weather Forecast Too Bad"
Four members of the crew of the drifter trawler Constant Star who refused to join the ship because the weather was bad on Tuesday morning, appeared at a special court at Milford on Wednesday and admitted wilfully disobeying a lawful command to go to sea.
The defendants were:
Charles Henry Westcott, 78 Glen View, Merlins Bridge, Haverfordwest, the Chief Engineer;
Douglas Thomas Weatherall, 19 Riga Avenue, Neyland, the Second Engineer;
Raymond G.F. Manning, 85 John Lewis Street, Hakin, the Bo'sun, and
John William Spinks, 85 Milton Crescent, Milford Haven, a deckhand.
ATTEMPTED TO UNDERMINE SKIPPER'S AUTHORITY
Prosecuting on behalf of the owners, Norrard Trawlers, Ltd., Mr. John F. Johnson, solicitor, said it was a serious case. All four of the men were signed on as crew of the Constant Star and were ordered to report at 8 a.m. on Tuesday to join the trawler which was out in the harbour. At 10 a.m. the whole crew was available and was ordered by Mr. Fred Ingram (junior), a director of the firm, to get into the T.O.A. small boat and join their ship.
Apart from the Skipper and Mate, the whole crew then said that they did not intend to go because the weather was too rough. They claimed that there was no point in going out and laying-to in Dale Roads and their attitude was that an order should be given that the ship was to be brought back if the weather remained bad.
Each one of them refused to sail and Mr. Ingram asked them to return to the office. The Superintendent of Mercantile Marine at the port was sent for and he investigated the position not only with Mr. Ingram but with each member of the crew. The Superintendent warned each man that they were committing an offence and ordered them to go aboard their ship. Defendants informed him that they would go, but after the Superintendent left, one of the men said he would not go that day in any case and the others then said that they would also not go.
"In essence the conduct of these men is very serious," said Mr. Johnson. "They attempted to undermine the authority of the Skipper on shore after being warned about their attitude. All concerned take a very serious view of this case. It was blowing a bit that morning but the weather fined away that afternoon and by late evening it was flat calm."
Mr. Johnson said the Constant Star's last trip had averaged £130 a day, and because the trawler was delayed for 24 hours through the actions of defendants, the company had lost at least that amount.
FORCE NINE GALE FORECAST
Weatherall told the magistrates (Mr. T. W. H. Byard, presiding, and Mr. Emlyn Young), "When I refused, Mr. Ingram said, 'You're sacked,' and I walked away."
Manning claimed that when they came down to the ship the weather forecast was very bad and gave Force 9 gale.
"When we left last trip," he said, "four ships went out when it was blowing. Three came back into dock but we didn't. I stressed this point all that morning. I asked Mr. Ingram to agree that if the weather was too bad then Capt. Chenery would bring the ship back — he doesn't bring it back, this is the point of contention. I also suggested that we could listen to the shipping forecast at five to two and if it was reasonable we would be quite prepared to go. But they wouldn't have this."
The Chairman asked if any other ships had sailed that morning.
Mr. Johnson: No, sir, because the attitude of these men influenced the other men and two other ships came back!
Defendants protested that this was not so and claimed that the two other ships were short of full crews.
The Chairman told the four trawlermen: "This is very serious. We intend to stop this kind of thing but because this is your first offence we will not send you to prison."
All four were each fined £2 with £3 costs.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 3rd October 1969:
The drifter trawler Constant Star (Norrard Trawlers) has returned from a three week charter trip, and is expected to resume fishing this weekend. On charter she was in charge of Skipper Clifford Saunders and Jeff James.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 9th August 1974:
TRAWLERS CHANGE HANDS
Two Milford Haven trawlers this week changed hands at a time when the Milford fishing industry is struggling to put trawlers to sea, due to spiralling costs.
After weeks of rumour, Norrard Trawlers, the largest trawler owners in the town, confirmed that they have sold their trawler Constant Star to a Scottish firm in Peterhead.
The "Star" has been fishing out of the port since the early 60's. A crew from Peterhead arrived in Milford on Wednesday to take her to her new mooring.
Another trawler, the Lord Rodney, has been sold by Mr. Pino Antoniazzi to one of Milford's top skippers, Mr. Bruno Linke, who has left a shore-based job to go back to sea.
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