Courtesy of Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust and The Bosun's Watch

Official No:  143818   Port Number and Year: 585th in London, 1920 (LO288)

                                                                                   1st in Milford, 1922

                                                                                     -  in Fleetwood, 1948 (FD284)

                                                                                     -  in Aberdeen, 1952 (A703)

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: foresail and mizzen.

Crew:  12 men, 1 boy. (1922)

Registered at Milford: 4 Jan 1922

Built: 1917 by Smith's Dock, Middlesborough as THOMAS GOBLE, for Admiralty.  (Yard no. 718)

Tonnage: 275.13 grt  107.43 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  125.5  / 23.4 / 12.85

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 61 hp.10 kts.  Engine: 1917, by builders.  Boiler: 1917, by Hawthorne, Leslie, Newcastle on Tyne.




3 Feb 1920: The Admiralty, London.

Manager: The Secretary, Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1.


21 Feb 1920: Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries.


13 Aug 1920: Minesweepers’ Cooperative Trawling Society, Ltd., London.


12 Jun 1921: David Pettit, Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: David Pettit, 'Westcliffe', Wellington Rd., Hakin.

4 Jan 1922: As COTSMUIR M244.


9 Nov 1934: Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., Dock St., Fleetwood.

Manager: Basil Arthur Parkes, 'Clydesdale', Whiteside Way, Cleveleys.


28 Dec 1945: John Charles Llewellin, 'Fenton', Crundale, Haverfordwest.

Joseph Leslie Yolland, 'Trevigan', Croesgoch, Letterston.

John Yolland, Jnr., 'Colby', Wiston, Haverfordwest.

Betty Yolland, 'St.Annes', Sketty Green, Swansea.

Managing owner: J. C. Llewellin, Docks, Milford.


9 Jan 1946: John Charles Llewellin, Docks, Milford.

Managing owner.


18 Apr 1946: John Charles Llewellin (Trawlers), Docks, Milford.

Managing owner: J. C. Llewellin.


29 Sep 1948: J. Marr & Sons, 228, Dock St., Fleetwood.

Oct 1948: As FD284


As A703

2 Feb 1952: David Wood, Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford:

THOMAS GOBLE: 31 Jul 1919;  LO288: 21 Feb 1920 - 7 Mar 1921; 13, 27 Dec 1921.

8 Mar - 12 Dec 1921; 1 Jan 1922 - 10 Dec 1923 (Laid up at Milford)

COTSMUIR M244: 11 Dec 1923 - 17 Aug 1934; 24 Jan - 9 Feb 1946.

Skippers: Wm. G. Davies (1924-25)


Thomas Goble, born Arundel, Sussex; age 23, Master's mate, HMS VICTORY at Trafalgar.

Cotsmuir was a surname listed on the original roster of settlers placed on Roanoke Island in 1587.
1917-19: Completed and served as minesweeper THOMAS GOBLE for RN service (Admy no. 3539)

Feb 1920:  At HM Dockyard, Pembroke fitted out for fishing under Special Survey of Lloyd’s Register and classed 100A1 Stm Trawler at Milford.

3 May 1925: Taken in tow by CAPSTONE after engine trouble. (See below.)

Feb 1940: Requisitioned for war service and converted for minesweeping duties, 1x12 pdr. (P.No.:  FY 550)

12 Nov 1945: Returned to owners.

11 Oct 1959: Delivered to Atlantic Reederei F. & W. Joch, Hamburg, with ERIC STROUD A9 in tow also, for breaking up. 

[ The Bosun's Watch website, and further information thanks to Gil Mayes.  ]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 6 Oct 1948.

 Accidents and Incidents

Statement by William George Davies:

    I live at Havenshead, Milford Haven, and am skipper of the 'Cotsmuir', belonging to D. Pettit Ltd.  I have been skipper of her for 13 months. I have had a skipper's certificate for 18 months.

    We left Milford on Thursday, 23rd April 1925 by the morning tide, intending to proceed to the fishing grounds off the west coast of Ireland. We first of all shot on the Saturday afternoon somewhere about 45 miles north east of the Bull. Finding no fish there we proceeded to 90 miles north north west of the Bull and shot there on the following Sunday morning. As fishing was slack we towed from there to 140 miles N.W. by N of the Bull. We found fish here and continued fishing in this neighbourhood until the following Sunday. We were due to make our last haul at 9 o'clock on the Sunday night, May 3rd. At about 6.30 that evening the engines (stationary) commenced to race at a terrific pace. The Engineer informed me that the tail end shaft was broken. I then hauled in my gear, at the same time using signals of distress, namely, two baskets.

    When the tail end broke I could see the 'Capstone' and the 'Calydavia'. The 'Capstone' was about 5 miles or 6 miles S.E. of me. The 'Calydavia' was about 8 to 10 miles S.S.W. of us. There had been earlier in the day 10 or 12 trawlers in the vicinity of us. The 'Cotsmuir' has wireless, the 'Calydavia' has wireless, but it is out of order, The 'Capstone' has no wireless.

    We were in a position out of the ordinary route of traffic for passenger and cargo boats. As soon as I got my trawl I blew my steam whistle in order to attract the 'Capstone'. The 'Capstone' and the 'Calydavia' were both fishing at the time. The 'Capstone' then came towards us and as he approached I semaphored that my tail end was broken and that I wanted towing home. He then hauled in his gear and came alongside of us about 9.30 pm, and commenced towing us at 9.45 pm with two warps supplied by him.

    All went well until we got to a spot about 80 miles W by N of St.Ann's Head when a strong south east wind, half a gale in force, sprang up. That would be about 6 p.m. on Tuesday night. The gale caused the 'Capstone' to make a wide detour round the Smalls so as to avoid the spring tide running in the direction of Skomer. We arrived in Harbour at 10 a.m. on the Wednesday and came into Dock about five p.m. that evening. When the 'Capstone' dropped his anchor we hove alongside of him and tied up to him.

    In coming into Dock we parted our bridles twice carrying away the fairlead on the port bow and whilst passing a messenger we carried away the shroud of the starboard rigging. I had 350 kits catch on board before the last haul and that had determined me to leave the fishing grounds that night reaching Milford Haven on the following Tuesday dinner time in time for the following day's market. Our ship was full up with fish. The cargo in fact was sold on the Thursday when the prices were very much below what they had been on the Wednesday. We made £540 gross.

    When we were taken in tow the weather was moderate but showery. There was no immediate fear of any danger from the weather. The weather remained fair until the Tuesday night. We had the gale warning by wireless on the Monday night and again on the Tuesday. The weather and sea on Tuesday night was such as to render it dangerous for us if we had been alone, at the mercy of the weather. When we broke down there was no immediate danger of our going ashore anywhere. On the Tuesday night we got into proximity with the Smalls. The force of wind and tide would at one time have taken us up to the Islands if we had been helpless.

    On the Wednesday morning we had been driven up towards Skokholm which was ENE of us about 3 miles. This was about 4 o'clock in the morning. We had been unable to withstand the force of wind and tide during that night, Tuesday to Wednesday. The tide turned and the wind moderated and we came down south again.  That was the nearest we had been to any land.

    The 'Capstone' strained one of his warps in the course of the towing. Both warps belonged to him. Neither warp parted at any time. He had no difficulty in getting his warps on board of us. When we broke down we were about 340 miles from St. Ann's Head and about 140 from the Bull Rock. We were helpless as far as our engines were concerned. We carry only a small mizzen that would not have been of any use to us for the purpose of sailing her in. We were fishing in 160 fathoms.

    If the wind had not moderated during the night of Tuesday, we might conceivably have been driven on to Skomer notwithstanding the turn of the tide. We did not come in to the track of shipping until we were between the Bull and the Fastnets.  We took much longer than if we had been under our own steam. We were in a recognised fishing area.



The Times, Wednesday, May 31, 1933; pg. 26; Issue 46458; col A 


From Lloyds


TALLY HO.— Valentia Radio Station, May 30.— Following received from British trawler Cobmuir times 6.25 a.m. G.M.T.— Trawler Tally Ho foundered 5.30 a.m.  Cobmuir landing crew, all safe, Berehaven.  Position lat. 51.30 N., long. 10.10 W.


[COTSMUIR M244, no such vessel as COBMUIR.]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 4th January 1946:


    Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin, joint owners of the biggest trawling fleet sailing out of Milford, have dissolved the partnership after ten years of highly successful working, during which time the fleet has increased from one to twenty-two trawlers.  The dissolution took effect from January 1st, and in future Messrs. Yolland will trade under the name Messrs. Yolland Brothers, while Mr. J. C. Llewellin takes a number of trawlers under his own name.

    Yolland Bros.:

Castle Class:  Tenedos, Mikasa, Lorraine, William Mannell, Montano and George Adgell.

Strath Class: Craigmillar and Anne Melville.

Drifters: Allochy, Overfall, Poseidon, Invercairn, Primevere, Mint, Furze, Lichen, Calliopsis and Cassiopeia.

    The Montano left Milford on Thursday (yesterday) for Fleetwood, while the George Adgell arrives in Milford within the next fortnight from Aberdeen.  Both Strath boats are at Milford, but the drifters will fish from Lowestoft during the North Sea season, and will come round to Milford for the summer season.

    John Charles Llewellin:

Castle trawlers: Cotsmuir, Lady Stanley, T.R. Ferens and Harry Melling.

    All the trawlers are away at the moment, the Lady Stanley at Hull and the others at Fleetwood, but they are expected to sail out of Milford in the near future.


    The fish merchants' business belonging to the firm in Fleetwood, Swansea and Milford will now be carried on by Yolland Brothers, while the merchants' business at Aberdeen has been taken over by Mr. Llewellin.

    Naturally interested to ascertain why such a profitable partnership should be dissolved, the "Guardian" made enquiries on Thursday.  We learned that Mr. Llewellin has suffered ill health for a number of years and wishes to cut down on his responsibilities.

    The sensational rise of Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin has provided one of the romances of the fishing Industry of Milford, starting as fish exporters in 1935, with Mr. J. C. Llewellin as their representative in Paris.  The firm had to turn their attention in 1937 to building up their fish merchants business in England because of the devaluation of the franc. 

    In 1936 Messrs. Yolland & Llewellin purchased their first trawler and not long afterwards embarked on an experiment which at the time was considered more than daring - "foolhardy", said the old hands.  They fitted out two trawlers to fish as a pair - the pareja - a Spanish method of fishing.  The earliest voyages, doubtless due to the inexperience of the crews in this type of netting, brought thin returns, but by-and-by these pairs began to make news, big news, for they started to smash fishing records.  What was then the youngest firm of owners had scored a big success, and confounded their critics.  Before the war started, the company had five pairs operating on the Irish grounds.  During the war the company worked with two old ships, the Gozo and Cairo, but disposed of these when their fleet of twenty-two trawlers were de-requisitioned in their turn after Government service.

    The partners in the firm of Yolland Brothers are Messrs. John J. Leslie and T. Stuart Yolland.



See also CAPSTONE  and FLECK


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