Kindly supplied by Ann Axford

(Also as JOLIE FRUCTIDOR see below.)

Official No:    183932    Port Number and Year: 9th in Milford, 1949

                                                                                   -    in Dieppe, 1955 (DI-?)

                                                                                    -   in Lowestoft, 1970 (LT83)

Description:  Steel side trawler; single screw motor vessel.  Cruiser stern.

Crew: 13  men (1949).

Registered at Milford: 13 Oct 1949

Built: by Cochrane & Sons, Selby, in 1949.  (Yard no. 1347)

Tonnage: 362.57 gross 127.17 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  145.1  / 25.7 / 12.8

Engine: Diesel, internal combustion,  4 stroke cycle, single acting, S.R. gearing.  8-Cyl. 62.5 nhp.  12 kts.  Ruston & Hornsby, Lincoln.



13 Oct 1949: Milford Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: James Carpenter Ward.

                Daniel Charles Bruton. (1 May 1953)


31 Mar 1955: Soc. Anon. d'Armateur Mallet, Dieppe.



1970: As ST. NICOLA LT83

Claridge Trawlers, 8 Waveney Rd., Lowestoft.

Manager: Gordon Claridge

1985: As WILLEM ADRIANA. (Offshore platform support.)


Landed at Milford: 23 Oct 1949 - 26 Jun 1954

Skippers: Jimmy Jobson (1949/54)


Jolie Fructidor was the "Beautiful fruitful month" (August/September) in the French Republican calendar.

1985: Broken up.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 29 Jun 1954.  Vessel sold to French owners.

Accidents and Incidents

   From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 14th October 1949:


     Her very  satisfactory trials completed, the Milford Duchess, in command of Skipper James Jobson, left Hull at 11 a.m. on Thursday, to start her maiden voyage.  She was seen off by the Docks Manager and Steam Trawling Company Managing Director, Mr. J. C. Ward, who with other Directors watched the trials. 

    The new motor for the winch of the held-up Milford Duke is now on test, and should arrive by road at Milford within the course of a few days, after which this fine new ship should soon be ready for sea again.

    Meanwhile at Messrs. Cochrane's yard at Selby, where all four of the bigger "Milford" Class were built, 19 new trawlers are under construction, two of them additional 105 feet motor ships for the Steam Trawling Company, delivery of which is expected next year.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 13th January 1950:

    Asked on Thursday about the prospects of Far South fishing, Mr. J. C. Ward told The Guardian, "The potentialities are great, and I am very pleased with the results.  He explained that on the first experimental voyage hake was found south of Cape Blanco, about 600 miles below the canaries.  On the present trip, trawls were shot in the same area, but there was practically no fish, and the Company's four trawlers moved nearly 250 miles further south towards Cape Verde, where hauling was more success.

    "From wireless reports I understand they are getting heavier catches than last time," added Mr. Ward.  "The Maythorn got a wire round her propeller on Sunday, but cleared it, and is carrying on fishing.  We expect the first of the boats to arrive back in Milford for the weekend of January 22nd."

    The round voyage involves a run of 5,000 miles, equivalent to a return trans-Atlantic trip, and three extra hands are carried on each trawler, because fishing can and does continue around the clock, and stowing has to be carried out smartly in the tropical heat.  Their escape from the winter gales on home grounds into the more tranquil conditions around Latitude 20N, and the catches, should ameliorate Milford's pressing problem hake shortage.

    Mr. Ward is to be commended on his foresight and courage, and his skippers and crews deserve praise for their eager and fruitful co-operation.  The Steam Trawling Company's trawlers concerned are the Milford Duke, Duchess and Marquis (Skippers Saunders, Jobson and Rich), and the Maythorn (Skipper Beckett), while the David Ogilvie (Skipper Tom Donovan) of Messrs. Jenkerson's fleet, and the Barry Castle (Consol, Swansea) are also fishing in the area.  The Arthur Cavanagh (Milford Fisheries), in charge of Skipper Arthur Harvey, was stated on Thursday to be still steaming southwards towards the new grounds.


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 27th January 1950:


    On Friday, Saturday and Monday, five trawlers from the West African grounds landed 24,221 worth of hake at Milford.  One of the boats, the Milford Duke (Skipper Albert Saunders) established a new all-time record for a local trawler, grossing 6,110 for a 23-day trip.

    Here are the trawlers and their catches, which totalled 3,381 kits or 253 tons of hake:

Friday -     Milford Marquis (Skipper Harry Rich) 645 kits, 4,791;

Saturday - Milford Duchess (Skipper Jimmy Jobson) 758 kits, 5,533;

Monday -   Milford Duke (Skipper Albert Saunders) 847 kits, 6,110; 

                Maythorn (Skipper Gilly Beckett) 520 kits, 3,747;

                David Ogilvie (Skipper Tommy Donovan) 611 kits, 4,040.

    The first four trawlers belong to the Milford Steam Trawling Company, and the Ogilvie to Jenkerson.  She is oil-fired, and the others diesel ships.

    Mr. J. C. Ward, who inspired the "Far South" experiment, said their boats had completed a round voyage of 4,212 miles, and the first boat to return, the Marquis, had only fished for four days, eighteen days being spent in steaming.  "We are going back to the same grounds," he added.

    "It was like a summer cruise," said sunburned Skipper Rich.  The boats fished in Latitude 20 degrees North.

    Following complaints from buyers in other parts of the country about the quality of the fish landed, the future of the "Far South" fishing may depend on the landings from the trips now in progress.

    Mr. J. C. Ward said on Thursday, "There have been complaints about the quality of some of the fish landed from the West African Coast fishing grounds, and the Maythorn, which has not got a refrigerator on board, has been diverted to northern waters, as have two of our older steamers which have not been on the southern trips before, but which we intended to send on this trip.  The Milford Duchess and Marquis, which have refrigerators aboard, are now on their way to southern waters, and we propose that the Milford Duke shall leave for the same grounds this weekend.  The reason the Duke is going later is so that we can spread out the landings.  We intend to have another go, and see what happens."


From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th March 1950:


    When the trawler Milford Duchess heads for the fishing grounds on Saturday, Skipper Jimmy Jobson will have a distinguished passenger on board, in the person of Dr. C. F. Hickling, the fisheries advisor to the Colonial Office.

    Dr. Hickling, who is well-known in Milford, where he was Port Fishery Captain for some years during the War, is making the voyage for research purposes.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th November 1950:


    The Milford Duchess, first local diesel trawler to refuel from the new bunker oil installation alongside the Hakin wharf, took 60 tons of oil on board on Thursday afternoon.  The installation, which has a capacity of  1,200 tons of oil, consists of three above-ground tanks, and a pipe line to the edge of the jetty.  Feed is mainly by gravitation. The oil is not exclusively for Milford Steam Trawling Company trawlers, but will be available for any vessel requiring bunkers.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:





    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.



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).




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 15th February 1952:


    Last weekend the Milford Duchess returned from the sunny south after a round trip of over 4,000 miles.  She was in charge of Skipper Jimmy Jobson, and on board were scientists who obtained many specimens during the voyage, and will report the results to the Ministry of Fisheries.

    Apart from one rough night when the Duchess felt the edge of a hurricane that was widely reported, the voyage was uneventful, under a sunny sun and brilliant starry skies.  The extreme southern position reached was the banks north of Dakar.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 4th April 1952:


    Two of the port's youngest skippers, Messrs. Harry Rich and James Jobson, both the sons of skippers, have been making fishing news at Milford.  Local records were smashed on Saturday when 38 year old Harry Rich brought in the diesel motored Maythorne from the north with 448 kits of fish, mostly hake, to gross 5,700 for the Milford Steam Trawling Co.

    On Tuesday, another of the Company's ships, the Milford Duchess, whose master, Skipper Jimmy Jobson, has just turned 40, landed 420 kits, including about 200 hake to gross 3,704.

Back Row L-R: Dai Murrow, Jack Mills, Eng Rocky Owens, Alec Henton  &  Skipper Jimmy Jobson

Middle Row:  Freddy Aldridge & Alan Funge

Front Row:  ?,    ?,    ?, Charlie Jobson & Eddie Semiki

John Stevenson Collection

[See also below]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th April 1953:


    Wreckage, identified as equipment from the Milford trawler Milford Viscount, which disappeared without trace in a gale three years ago, has been picked up in the trawl of the Milford Duchess, a ship owned by the same company.  The Viscount was lost with all hands and her disappearance became one of the mysteries of the sea, for no evidence of her fate was ever found.  Although wireless listeners in various parts of the country asserted they had heard messages from her, planes and scores of ships took part in the fruitless search. 

    On Wednesday the Milford Duchess returned from a fishing trip, bringing with her some wreckage hauled up in her trawl.  A serial number has identified part of it as belonging to the ill-fated Viscount.  The Secretary of the Milford Steam Trawling Company, Lt. Col. D. C. Bruton, made this statement:

    "The Milford Duchess, Skipper James Jobson, picked up in her trawl on April 4th two small ventilators, an echo sounder, and unused net section.  The numerals on the echo sounder have identified it as the instrument which was in the Milford Viscount when she was lost three years ago.  The items were picked up in the area of latitude 52.30 North, and longitude 12.40 West, which is approximately the position in which the Milford Viscount was seen by the Milford trawler Damito on April 1st, 1950."

    By a tragic coincidence, this is the second time in recent years that wreckage hauled up in the trawl has pinpointed a disaster.  Before the war a portion of the wireless set of the Gordon Richards, which had also disappeared with all hands, was brought up in the net of a local trawler.



L to R, back row: Deckhands E. Lumeki and Glyn Setterfield

Middle row: Greaser 'Curly' Beckett, 3rd Hand Derek Sanders, Bosun Billy Brown, Deckhand Hughie Picton (drowned in Dublin), Ch.Eng. 'Rocky' Owens

Front row: Cook B. Bray, 2nd Eng. ? ? (standing behind), Deckhands Gevallion & Grenville Jones, Greaser Tommy Gwilliam, Skipper Jimmy Jobson

Taken for an issue of the Fishing News of November 1953

John Stevenson Collection




From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 26th February 1954:


    The Milford diesel trawler "Milford Duke", skipper Grenville Beckett, sailed on Monday morning's tide on a 2,000 mile voyage to the far northern grounds of Flugga, off the Norwegian coast.  She is sailing with her sister ship "Milford Duchess", skipper Jimmy Jobson.  They are the biggest ships of the Milford Steam Trawlers Company.

    The trawlers are in search of hake.  In January 1952 there was a sudden glut of the elusive fish on the Flugga grounds.  The "Milford Duchess" was then the first Milford trawler to reach Flugga and return with a good catch.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th March 1954:


    The two largest and most modern diesel trawlers appear on the list of vessels for sale by McLarens the Glasgow brokers.  This news has been received with considerable disappointment at Milford.

    The Milford Duke and Duchess are both Cochrane-built ships and were commissioned by the Milford Steam Trawling Company some five years ago.  They were the ships which three years ago sailed on the 3,500 mile experimental voyages to West African waters.  A fortnight ago they sailed for the far north in search of hake on the Flugga grounds.

    The Milford Steam Trawling Company owns two other diesel ships of the smaller crabber class, the Milford Knight and Milford Countess, as well as the steam trawler Milford King.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th June 1954:


    The Milford Duchess, largest and most modern of the Milford Steam Trawling Company's fleet and the pride of the port, has been sold to new owners in France and will be leaving next week.

    This news was confirmed by Col. D. C. Bruton, Managing Director of the Company, who stated, "We have sold m.t. Milford Duchess to French owners because ships of this size (142 feet) have become uneconomic in today's condition in Milford, and are by 2 feet ineligible for any subsidy.  Although the Duchess has made consistent profits these have not been big enough to cover interest and depreciation.  Her gross earnings are simply not enough at current prices.  She may well gross two or three times as much in France."

    Col. Bruton added, "Since the war, the Company has put six new trawlers into service at the port and its proportion of post-war trawlers must be as high as in any fleet.  It is a matter of great regret to the Directors to sell this vessel, but they would not be justifies in retaining her if she did not earn her keep.  The proceeds will be used to pay off the Debenture Stock.  The question of making the fleet up again must wait until we are free of all interest-bearing capital.  We shall then have to consider what resources are available and whether the prospects are good enough to justify further vessels."


    The Duchess, in command of Skipper Jobson, entered dry dock at Port Talbot on Wednesday for a final survey ...  She is expected to return to Milford today and her new owner, M. Mallet of Dieppe, has arrived to take delivery.  We understand that a French crew will arrive to take over on Monday morning.


As JOLIE FRUCTIDOR [ / forums /]

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