John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  146933   Port Number and Year: 20th in Boston, 1922 (BN187)

                                                                                7th in Milford, 1929 (M19)

                                                                              12th in Milford, 1948 (M301)

                                                                                   -  in Aberdeen, 1951 (A691)

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

Crew:  11 men (1948: 12)

Registered at Milford: As LILY MCRAE: 28 Jun 1929.  As MANOR: 6 Sep 1948.

Built: Delivered 29 May 1918 by Bow McLachlan & Co., as JAMES DINTON.  (Yard no. 358).

Tonnage: 276.81 grt 108.74 net. (1948: 277.45 grt 107.79 net)

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  125.7  / 23.45 / 12.85

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 61 rhp.10 kts.  Engine: 1918, by Frazer & Chambers, Erith.

Boiler: 1918, by James Neilson, Glasgow.




1922: Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., Boston.

Manager: Frederick Parkes, Wyberton, Boston.


1926: Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., Murray St., Fish Docks, Grimsby.

Manager: Frederick Parkes, Blackpool. (Fishing out of Fleetwood.)



May 1929: McRae Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford

Managing owner: John McRae Knight, 'Cunjic House', Cunjic, Hakin.  (Died 10 Sep 1936.)

28 Jun 1929: As M19.

22 Jul 1929: As LILY MCRAE M19



25 Nov 1936: Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford

Manager: Harry Eastoe Rees. (25 Nov 1936 - 18 Sep 1938)

Manager: James Carpenter Ward (19 Sep 1938)



6 Sep 1948: Manor Steamship Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford.

Manager: Reginald L. Hancock, 'Beachways',  Picton Rd., Hakin



8 Nov 1951: Ashley Fishing Co., 20 Belmont Rd., Aberdeen.

Manager: John Wood, 46 Ashley Gardens, Aberdeen.


Landed at Milford:

LILY MCRAE:  21 Jul 1929 - 16 Dec 1936

MILFORD DUKE: 10 Jan 1937 - 24 Aug 1939.

HMS MILFORD DUKE: 21 Sep 1939.

As MANOR: 17 Sep 1948 - 18 Nov 1949; 29 Apr 195029 Sep 1951

Skippers:  Ernie Robson (1948-51)


James Dinton, age 24, born in London; O.S., HMS VICTORY, at Trafalgar.

Scawby is a village in north Lincolnshire.

29 May 1918: Delivered to the Admiralty (No. 3675) as JAMES DINTON.  1x12 pdr. Fitted with listening hydrophones.

1922: Sold to mercantile, and renamed SCAWBY.

29 Aug 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to boom defence vessel, as MILFORD DUKE  (P.No.Z.125).

23 Nov 1943: Compulsorily acquired by M.O.W.T.
3 Apr 1945: Milford registry closed.
Nov 1945: Returned to owners.

23 Jul 1957: Broken up at Granton.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed:

As MILFORD DUKE: 3 Apr 1945.

As MANOR: 8 Nov 1951.  Vessel transferred to the port of Aberdeen.

 Accidents and Incidents 

From an unknown local newspaper from the week beginning 27th September 1936:


    The Relief Fund amounts to a total of 84 for the widow of Mr. Frank Hastings, the mate of the steam trawler "Lily Mcrae", who was drowned two months ago.  The widow has seven children to bring up.


From an unknown local newspaper from the week beginning 25th October 1936:


    The Nuevo Caldas and Nuevo Mataro returned to Milford on Thursday night and landed their first trip on Friday morning.  .................

    The fish was sold by Mr. Alan Hancock of the firm of Messrs. Peter Hancock and Sons, and the catch realised the satisfactory sum of 251.  The first kit of hake sold was purchased by Mr. Bert Tully for the sum of 7 5s, and this was generously given by the new owners to the public fund in aid of the widow and family of the late Skipper F. Hastings who was recently lost overboard at sea from the s.t. Lily McRae, and being a share fisherman was unfortunately uninsured.


From an unknown local newspaper of the week beginning 1st November 1936:


    The four steam trawlers of the McRae Steam Trawling Company, which were recently purchased by the Milford Steam Trawling Company Limited, will be renamed shortly.  We are informed by the new owners that the names will be Milford Duke, Milford Duchess, Milford Count and Milford Countess.  It is evident that a royal and regal line is being followed.

    It is rumoured in the port that a number of further additions to the port's fleet is contemplated.  Three boats for Charles H. Brand and Company are being subjected to survey.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th February 1947:


    There is a likelihood that at least two of the four trawlers used as boom defence ships during the war, and recently returned to the port, may never fish again.  Asked on Thursday about the conversion of two of the vessels, the Caliban and Bardolph (Milford Fisheries), Mr. O. W. Limbrick declared, "We have no intention of paying the prices demanded by one section of the port.  The figures they want make the cost of reconversion prohibitive."

    The two other boom defence boats awaiting reconversion are the Milford Duke (Milford Steam Trawlers) and the Kuroki (Messrs. E. E. Carter).


Back to Trawlers 1915-39


From  the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th September 1948:


    A sturdy vessel which served throughout the war on boom defence has been reconverted in Messrs. Hancock Ship Building Yard to join the Company's fishing fleet sailing from Milford.  Some 40 local tradesmen have been employed on her, removing the boom defence gear.  Her forecastle has been raised and redesigned while her stern has been rebuilt and redesigned.  At present receiving her final touches at the Basin at Hobb's Point, the vessel will sail down-river this weekend for chandling and crewing.  She has been renamed Manor.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th December 1948:


    Skipper Ernie Robson, 8 Marble Hall Road, master of the steam trawler Manor, left with his ship last Friday, but a few hours later the boat was back in port.  The skipper had slipped on the deck and damaged a cartilage.  He was fetched ashore at midnight and taken home to receive medical attention.



From the West Wales Guardian, possibly of  Friday 16th February 1951:


    With a makeshift canvas structure where her wheelhouse should have been and all her gear and equipment badly damaged, the Milford trawler "Manor" (Messrs Peter Hancock and Sons) limped into her home port on Sunday evening, a week after being pounded and beaten in the gales which local seamen have described as the worse they have ever known.

    The "Manor" was the second Milford trawler within a few days to come back from an ordeal in the Atlantic, the first being the steam trawler "Our Bairns".   By a coincidence, both trawlers left Milford on the same tide on Wednesday, January 31st.  The "Manor" was in command of Skipper Ernie Robson, 8, Marble Hall Road, and steamed to the South-West Irish fishing grounds. Her Mate, Mr Alfred Davies, 20, Starbuck Road, told a Guardian reporter what happened.

    "We were "dodging" the weather about 40 miles west of the Bull on the Sunday," he said.  "We had only made three hauls before the gale started.  I am 56 years old and had my 15th birthday at sea, but I've never seen anything like that before. At twenty to seven in the evening a terrible sea came over our bow and dropped on to us, washing away the wheelhouse and compasses and putting our wireless right out of order. We were left in complete darkness and more waves were pounding over us, smashing up everything on deck."

    Skipper Robson got her back into the wind.  "We had to keep steaming and dodging again. We were in a bad way and the coal had shifted, giving her a list to port, but there was no panic on board at all. The whole crew stuck it well and worked like Trojans to get her back on an even keel. At 10-30 that night I decided to lay till the morning since we had no lights and could not send or receive any radio messages. We laid her for most of the night.  The gale was still blowing at a terrific height. We saw the lights of another trawler not far away but we had no lights, so she could not see us. We sent up flares and rockets and started dodging towards her.  We hailed her and found she was the Swansea trawler "Grosmont Castle", which came alongside and escorted us back into Berehaven.  We had to dodge the weather all the way."    

    Mr Davies paid tribute to the work of Skipper Robson. "He did a fine job keeping our head in wind and bringing us back through that lot," he said.  Mr Davies added "It's a good job she's a good ship or we would have gone. She stood up to a terrible battering".

    Skipper Robson was too reticent to add much to the story. "It's the same thing as happened to the 'Our Bairns'," he said, "but we were luckier and were found quicker." 

    He would not comment on the trip from Berehaven to Milford after the "Manor" had had temporary repairs. "It wasn't too bad," he added. "But it did take us twenty seven hours!"  He was too modest to mention that although unwell, the skipper insisted on remaining on the bridge for the whole of this time. When the "Manor" arrived at Berehaven, Skipper Robson contacted the owners, who arranged for their Engineering Superintendent to go to Ireland to organise temporary repairs in order to get the trawler home.  Mr McLean, the local compass adjuster, also proceeded to Berehaven with a standard compass.

    After these two gentlemen had arranged the necessary repairs and adjustments, the vessel was able to leave Berehaven in a seaworthy condition on Saturday morning. On the way home they ran into another severe gale and had to lay-to for seven hours. Both Mr McLean, and Mr Nightingale came home in the "Manor" and credit is due to them for the expeditious manner in which they carried out their duties. The assistance given by Messrs O'Shea, Shipping Agents, and by Lloyd's Agents at Bantry Bay is also greatly appreciated by the owners.

    The damage sustained by the "Manor" is extensive, and this incident clearly proves what fine sea ships these Castle Class are.  She landed 30 kits of fish at Milford market on Monday morning, and is now lying in dock near the other battered trawler, the "Our Bairns".



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