Roger Worsley Archive

Official No:  109513    Port Number and Year: 14th in Grimsby, 1898 (GY538)

                                                                                11th in Aberdeen, 1922 (A904)

                                                                                  4th in Milford, 1928      

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning.  Yawl rigged.  Wheelhouse aft.

Crew:  9 men (1899; 1924).

Registered at Milford: 27 Mar 1928

Built: 1898, by Mackie & Thompson Co., Glasgow.  (Yard no. 171)

Tonnage: 165 grt  52 net  (1914: 64.17 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  104.2  / 21.0 / 10.7

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 45 nhp.  9 kts.  Engine and boiler by Muir & Houston, Glasgow



As GY538

19 Mar 1898: Hagerup, Doughty & Co. Ltd., Grimsby.

Manager: Fred. E. Hagerup. (Same address.)


Apr 1906: Consolidated Steam Fishing & Ice Co. (Grimsby) Ltd., 1 Quality Court, London.

                                                                          (1920: Auckland Rd., Fish Docks, Grimsby.)

Manager: John D. Marsden, Auckland Rd., Fish Dock, Grimsby.


As A904

26 Jun 1922: Frederick Ballard, 114 Don St., Woodside, Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


As M153

27 Mar 1928: Robert Hancock, 'Hill House', Hill St., Hakin;

Norman R. Garret;

Carl Erasmus Ebbesen, 30 Shakespeare Ave., Milford.             

Managing owner: David Pettit, 'Westcliffe', Hakin, Milford


Landed at Milford: 3 Mar 1928 - 27 Jun 1933.

Skippers: Walter Wales (5484) 1932.  Frank Pettit 1932.


2 May 1911: Edward Mercy Downes, of Yarmouth, a deckhand on the Grimsby trawler OLDHAM, was awarded the King's Medal for gallantry at sea, on 25th January 1910, having pulled through heavy seas to the foundering Hull trawler GOTHIC, saving four hands.  The King himself presented the medal.

Dec 1914: Requisitioned by Admiralty (Admy.No. 825). 1x12pdr.

1919: Returned to owners.

15 Jun 1922: Grimsby registry closed.

8 Mar 1928: Aberdeen registry closed.

2 Jul 1933: Foundered off St. Ann's Head. 

(According to Milford Register and some local newspaper articles, but an Irish newspaper and "Shipwreck Index of Ireland" report her having foundered SW of Rosslare.)

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 27 Jul 1933.  Vessel foundered. [See below]

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 24th August 1928: 

Milford Trawler's Distress



    Shortly after eleven o'clock on Sunday night, August 12th, (states the Wexford "People") the steam trawler Oldham, of Milford Haven, ran aground on the Carrig Rocks, off Greenore Point, near Rosslare Harbour. The trawler burned flares as signals of distress, and in response, the Rosslare Harbour lifeboat, in charge of Coxswain J. Wickham, proceeded at once to the scene. When the lifeboat arrived the trawler's crew of ten had got out their small boat, and were making preparations to abandon the vessel. It was blowing a moderate gale, with heavy seas and rain at the time, and there was a bad ground swell.  The Oldham was in a very dangerous position, as she was surrounded by submerged rocks, but luckily the tide was rising, and consequent on the lifeboat coxswain's offer to make an effort to tow the vessel off into deep water, the crew decided to remain on board. The attempt to refloat the Oldham was attended with considerable risk, as there was danger of smashing her on a hidden rocks, but after an hour's careful management of the rescuing boat, and with the trawler's engines going slowly astern, the Oldham was eased gently off the rocks into deep water, and was piloted to Rosslare Harbour by the lifeboat.  The trawler does not show any signs of serious damage, and is not leaking. The crew of the lifeboat are claiming £200 salvage money.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 29th January 1932:


    The s.t. Oldham (David Pettit Ltd.), skipper Walter Wales, caused considerable anxiety by being long overdue on her last trip.  She is usually a weekly boat, but when 16 days elapsed and she did not return, the anxiety became intense.  However, she landed her catch on Sunday evening tide, all being very well with the vessel.  Bad weather had delayed her, for she had to seek shelter for a longer time than usual.



The Times, Tuesday, Jul 04, 1933; pg. 20; Issue 46487; col C

     Mails and Shipping.

Outward Mails, To-Day's Dispatches

OLDHAM.- Milford Haven, July 3rd.- British steam trawler Oldham foundered 10.20 p.m. yesterday.  All crew safe.



From the Pembrokeshire Telegraph, 5th July 1933:


Crew of Eleven Saved.

On Sunday night the Milford Haven steam trawler Oldham foundered when fishing off the Pembrokeshire coast, but the crew of eleven were saved by another trawler and conveyed to Milford Haven.

The Oldham is the third Milford Haven fishing boat lost this year.  About half a dozen people have an interest in the vessel, three of the principals being Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Hart and Mr. Scott.

The skipper of the Oldham, Capt. Frank Pettit, Shakespeare Avenue, told a “Pembrokeshire Telegraph” representative that at ten minutes past ten on Sunday night, when fishing off St.Ann’s Head, the Chief Engineer reported to him that the water was fast entering the engine-room.  “I at once began an investigation,” said Capt. Pettit, “and could see that the water was rising rapidly, and that nothing could be done to prevent it.  I ordered the crew to take to the small boat, but before leaving the trawler I sounded the siren, and another vessel, the Hawthorne (owned by Messrs. David Pettit & Co.) came alongside and took us out of the small boat.  We were aboard the Hawthorne by 20 minutes past ten, and a few minutes later the Oldham sank bows first.”



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 7th July 1933:



Crew's Narrow Escape

sudden inrush of water

    The crew of the Milford Haven steam trawler Oldham, owned by Messrs. Griffiths & Hart, consisting of Capt. Pettit and eleven men, were landed on Monday by the s.t. Hawthorn, which had picked them up on the fishing grounds after their vessel had foundered. 

    The crew of the Oldham were hauling their gear in when there was a sudden and tremendous rush of water into the trawler, from what cause is not stated.  The vessel was sinking rapidly, and the crew had barely time to get a boat launched, leaving everything behind, when the Oldham foundered.  Luckily, the small boat was on the edge of the vortex caused by the sinking Oldham, and by vigorous rowing they managed to get clear of the suction caused, and keep afloat until picked up by the Hawthorn.



From B.T. and R. Larn (2002):   Shipwreck Index of Ireland  


OLDHAM        02/07/1933 

Co. Wexford, Coningbeg L/v., off, 18M S 0.5 W        51.45N 06.40W


Foundered/total wreck or loss. 



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