John Stevenson Collection

Official No:    183931    Port Number and Year: 8th in Milford, 1949

                                                                                    -   in Dieppe, 1955 (DI-593)

                                                                                    -   in Lowestoft, 1968 (LT82)

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

Crew: 13  men

Registered at Milford: 13 Sep 1949

Built: by Cochrane & Sons, Selby, in 1949.  (Yard no. 1346)

Tonnage: 362.57 gross 127.17 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  145.1  > 158.1 oa / 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 Sep 1949: Milford Steam Trawlers Co. Ltd., Docks, Milford

Manager: James Carpenter Ward.

                   Daniel Charles Bruton (1 May 1953)



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



1968: Claridge Trawlers Ltd., 8 Waveney Rd., Lowestoft.

Manager: Gordon Claridge.


1985: As UNDA (Offshore platform support)


Landed at Milford: 23 Oct 1949 - 26 Jun 1954

Skippers: Albert Saunders (1949-52); Grenville Beckett (1952-55)


Jean Vauquelin (1728-1772) was a French naval officer; in 1760 was captured by the British who released him for his bravery.

 Jul 1985: Broken up at Barking.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 31 Mar 1955.  Vessel sold to French owners.

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 18th March 1949:


    The Milford Steam Trawling Company's new ship, the Milford Duke, was launched early on Tuesday by Mrs. J. C. Ward, wife of the popular Docks Manager, at Messrs. Cochrane's yard at Selby, Yorkshire.  Her sister ship, the Milford Duchess, will be launched on March 31st.

    These latest additions to the Company's diesel-engines fleet are 2 feet 6 inches longer than the Milford Viscount, and have one foot more beam.  The main propelling units will be similar, but on the two new trawlers the winch will be more powerful.  An innovation on the Duke and Duchess will be the provision of a mess room on the same deck as the galley, the first to be seen on any local trawler.

    The Duke is expected to be delivered in September, and the Duchess the following month.



From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 9th September 1949:


    A crew leaves Milford this weekend for Hull, to join Skipper Albert Saunders, who next week is expected to take delivery for the Milford Steam Trawling Co., of the newest diesel engined Milford Duke.  Running trials will begin early in the week, and Skipper Saunders will fish the voyage round to the port. 

    Delivery of the new sister ship Milford Duchess is expected in about a month's time.



From the West Wales Guardian of  Friday 9th September 1949:


    At 10.00 a.m. on Thursday the new diesel engined Milford Duke slipped her moorings at Hull, and with Skipper Saunders on the bridge, left on her maiden fishing voyage.  The trials which took place this week were reported as eminently satisfactory.



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."



The Times, Friday, Apr 28, 1950; pg. 6; Issue 51677; col D:


    A Lloyd's message from Land's End this morning states: Following from British trawler, Milford Duke, at 12.37 a.m. G.M.T., begins: Four or five different trawlers heard aircraft has located Milford Viscount and rescue ship is proceeding to her position, 52.40 N., 16 W.


[One of many false reports on the sighting of the MILFORD VISCOUNT.]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 22nd December 1950:


    One of the Milford Steam Trawling Company's newest vessels, the diesel trawler Milford Duke, is to be fitted with Radar equipment for a 12 month trial.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th May 1951:


    Mr. J. C. Ward was at Fleetwood on Wednesday to watch an experimental landing by the firm's flag-ship, the Milford Duke (Skipper Albert Saunders).  The boat had been fishing the Northern Ireland grounds, and as a considerable quantity of fish was expected in Milford, and prevailing prices were higher in the North-West, it was decided to divert a trip there and save a day's steaming into the bargain.

    As it happened, the trip grossed a higher figure, but not much better than the Duke's better voyages landed at Milford in recent months.  The Fleetwood landing was handled by the Iago Company, of which a former Milford owner, Commander Lawford, is the Managing Director. 



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 7th March 1952:


    The Milford Duke returned in tow on Monday evening.  When fishing off southern Ireland she developed engine trouble and Skipper Grenville Beckett obtained a tow from the Milford King, which was in charge of his brother Alfred Beckett.

    The Duke has since returned to sea.


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 2nd July 1954:


    Two young Aberystwyth University College students, Messrs. H. Williams and J. C. Davies, who hail from the Whitland area, will sail today on the trawler Milford Duke (Skipper Grenville Beckett) to study internal parasites in fish, as part of a scheme of research.

    The voyage has been arranged for them by the Trawler Owners Association, and made possible by the co-operation of Col. Bruton, who has placed every facility at the students' disposal.  They will be at sea a fortnight, and will make a study of the fish as they come onto the deck.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th February 1955:


    The only large modern diesel trawler left at Milford, the Milford Steam Trawling Company's 127 ton Milford Duke, will leave the port within the next fortnight for new French owners in Dieppe.

    The Company retains two crabbers in the modern diesel class, the Milford Knight and Milford Countess, and one steam trawler, the Castle Class Milford King.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th March 1955:


    Local anxiety over the future of Milford Haven's fishing industry has increased this week as the result of yet another blow to the port.  On Wednesday evening the Milford Steam Trawling Company's modern diesel crabber class trawler Milford Countess sailed from the port in charge of a Lowestoft skipper and crew on her way to her new owners, the Colne Fishing Company Ltd. of Lowestoft. 

    Her sudden and swift sale was the result of an offer made for her by the Lowestoft company, which the Chairman of the Milford Steam Trawling Co., Major J. M. Whittingdon, states, "We would not be justified in refusing."

    The Countess, launched in 1950, is the third post-war motor trawler which the Company has disposed of since last June.  The bigger vessel, Milford Duchess, was sold to M. Mallett of Dieppe in that month, and three weeks ago her sister ship, the Milford Duke, was purchased by the same French firm.  She is now docked in Milford Haven waiting for final details to be completed before she too leaves the port for good.





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