As minesweeper FY.665, 1939-45
John Stevenson Collection
Official No: 148232 Port and Year: Fleetwood, 1929 (FD45)
Description: Steel side trawler, steam, coal fired, single screw. Ketch rigged.
Built: 1929, by Cochrane & Sons, Selby. (Yard no. 1046)
Tonnage: 350 grt 136 net.
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 135.4 / 25.0 / 13.4
Engine: T.3-Cyl., 97 rhp.; by Amos & Smith, Hull
4 Jun 1929: J. Marr & Son, Ltd., 228 Dock St., Fleetwood.
Manager: Geoffrey E. Marr, 'Melrose', Esplanade, Fleetwood.
1944: Iago Steam Trawling Co., London & Fleetwood.
Manager: Cdr. E. D. W. Lawford, DSO.
1946: Pair Fishing Co. Ltd., (M. Laboa & H. J. Horwood), Docks, Milford.
c.1948: United Trawlers, Docks, Milford
Manager: Henry J. Horwood
Sep 1953: Dinas Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Fleetwood
Manager: Frank Marr.
1 Jun 1959: J. Marr & Son, Ltd., Fleetwood.
Landed at Milford: 4 Sep 1946 - 4 Sep 1953
Skippers: A. Hayworth (1947); Charles Hyatt (1947); W. Burgoyne (1950-52)
Notes:Maretta: a French variant of Marietta, a diminutive of Mary, the "star of the sea".
8 Jul 1930: Grounded on Tiger’s Tail, approach to Wyre Dock. Refloated and proceeded into dock.
1934: Fished out of Hull.
2 Sep 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper. (P.no. FY.665).
20-26 May 1940: Evacuation from Boulogne, Calais & Dunkirk; ‘Operation Dynamo’.
Oct 1945: Surveyed and restored at Port Glasgow.
Nov 1945: Returned to owners.
4 Aug 1959: Broken up. Fleetwood registry closed.
[ Thanks to the The Bosun's Watch and Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust. ]
Accidents and Incidents
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 19th April 1946:
Two more super-castle trawlers will join the fleet when the Iceland fishing season ends. They are the "Maretta" (Iago Steam Trawling Co., Fleetwood), and the "James Barrie" of Hull. Both boats have been purchased by the Pair Fishing Company to join the "Ijuin" and the "Sir Thomas Lister".
The "Maretta", 135 feet long, was built in 1929, and the "James Barrie", launched in 1928, is owned by the Newington Steam Company, Hull, for whom she has fished since her commissioning. Both are coal burners, and their purchase is another proof of the Milford trend towards a bigger class of fishing vessel.
[ The vessel named as SIR THOMAS LISTER is the SIR JOHN LISTER. The JAMES BARRIE H460, built 1928, 338 grt, did not fish out of Milford. ]
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th May 1947:
The steam trawler "Maretta" (Pair Fishing Company) will sail on Saturday morning on a experimental trip to Icelandic waters. This is only the third time such a voyage has been tried from this port, the last being in 1942. The general shortage of hake in the normal fishing grounds has forced the company to take new steps. The trawler is ten feet bigger than the normal Castle trawlers, and she has had installed special equipment, including boilers for the fish livers which will produce valuable oil products.
Skipper A. Hayworth, of Fleetwood, an experienced Icelandic trawlerman, will command the vessel on this trip, and a local man, Skipper Charles Hyatt, will accompany him in order to gain experience of the grounds with a view to taking trawlers on the same trip himself. The "Maretta" will carry a crew of eighteen and it is expected she will be away about twenty four to twenty eight days. Cod and Haddock are the chief Icelandic supplies. Incidentally, the trawler is going far enough to be authorised to carry "Bond" in the form of cigs and spirits.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th June 1947:
The Pair Fishing trawler "Maretta", which left Milford on 17th April for experimental fishing trip to Icelandic waters, is on her way home. [The] catch of 1,400 kit is regarded as fairly satisfactory and first hand reports on the "Maretta's" experiences are awaited with interest.
Her trip netted £3,420. All the fish was sold and the owners are very pleased. "There is no reason why Milford should not compete with Hull, Grimsby and Fleetwood on the Icelandic fishing grounds," declared Skipper Charles Hyatt.
In addition to the normal catch, the "Maretta" brought back nearly 400 gallons of cod liver oil, rendered from the livers of the fish, processed by the special machinery fitted on board.
Mr. H. J. Richards, managing Director of the go-ahead Pair Fishing Co., was pleased with the result of the experiment. "The landing of the Maretta," he said, "is the biggest, both in quantity and money since the Gunner's trip of June last year."
In fact, the trip of the Gunner was the only higher trip from the point of view of money which has been sold at Milford since the Government withdrew the winter prices for fish at the end of 1945/6. The fish received a good reception and it has been generally agreed that the condition was everything that could be expected. About ¾ of the fish sold at control price, none was condemned or unsaleable.
The Maretta took 4 days to steam from Milford to Iceland, and returned in just under 41 days. The weather generally was not unfavourable, though a certain amount of heavy fog hindered the fishing over a number of days.
The composition of the trip was as follows:— 907 kits of cod and 94 of haddock, the remaining being halibut, catfish and a few flats, and about 10 kits of coleys. About ¾ of the trip was headless. This practice was employed in order to get a larger quantity of the edible part of the fish into the fish hold.
Skipper Harry Hayworth stated, " This trip must only be looked upon as an experimental one. had it not been for a 4 days spell of bad winds and fog, we could easily have caught 1,500 kits, and could have rendered 600 galls. of cod liver oil. We were fishing from Storksness [?] to Hvalbak [?]. Trawlers from Grimsby and Hull were also there, as well as Icelandic, German and Belgians. This time of the year is not good for Icelandic fishing, as the fish must be hunted. In other parts of the year the fish are all on one ground and this means heavier catches and shorter trips."
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 26th March 1948:
Thady Cooney, 31 years of age, trimmer on the "Maretta" (United Trawlers), disappeared while the vessel was fishing off Scotland on March 8th. Cooney was a married man with two children, and making his first trip in the "Maretta". He had previously sailed as a deckhand with the Westward Company, and for two years had lodged with Mrs. Soans, 14, Greville Road.
The owners of the trawler refused to give any information about the tragedy, and will make no statement. It is understood the Cooney, whose home is at Bicanaskill, Achill Sound, County Mayo, was engaged in hauling up ashes, as he stood on the casing. Only one bucket had been hauled up when Cooney was missed, and a search of the area was made without any trace being found.
The "Milford Duchess", in the vicinity at the time, helped in the search. Members of the crew on board at the time say they heard no sound. The "Maretta" docked in Milford on Saturday. She was in charge of skipper Marr, Johnston.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 3rd September 1948:
The Milford Docks Company trawler "Milford Princess" had to be towed about 60 miles into Londonderry last weekend by the United Company's trawler "Maretta". The "Princess" was in trouble after part of the warp got entangled with the propeller, but she was soon back at sea after repairs in port.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:
"DUKE" AT THE TOP AGAIN
After two years as "runners-up", Skipper Albert Saunders and the "Milford Duke" are once again in top place in the Milford fishing "league". In 1951 Skipper Saunders caught a greater value of fish than any other individual trawler captain in the port.
Second in the league on last year's results is Skipper W. Burgoyne, who has moved up a place, closely followed by Skipper Steve Pembroke, who was sixth in the list of 1949 catches. "Crack" Skipper for 1948 and 1949, Skipper Tom Donovan, D.S.C., is a close fifth in results while consistent Skipper James Jobson again occupies fourth position.
Here are the leading positions, the ships being classed according to size.
THE BIG SHIPS
1. Milford Duke (A. Saunders), Milford Steam Trawling Co.
2. Maretta (W. Burgoyne), United Trawlers.
3. Westcar (Steve Pembroke), Westward Trawlers.
4. Milford Duchess (J. Jobson); 5, David Ogilvie (T. Donovan, DSC); 6, Maythorne (H. Rich); 7, Cotswold (J. Clarke); 8, George Hastings (H. Ryan); 9, Lady Olwen (George Coe).
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