Courtesy of Milford and West Wales Mercury

Official No:  117703  Port Number and Year:   2nd in Bristol,  1903  (BL10)

                                                                                7th in Milford, 1919.

                                                                                  -   in Grimsby, 1923 (GY249)

                                                                                  -   in Ymuiden, 1930 (YM ?)

Description: Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw, coal burning.  Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail and mizzen.

Crew:  10 men

Registered at Milford: 11 Aug 1919

Built: 1903 by Smith's Dock Co., North Shields. (Yard no. 708)

Tonnage: 178.46 grt  30 net.   (1914: 67.99 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 110.0 / 21.0 / 12.4

Engine: T-3Cyl.  51 nhp  9 kts.  Engine and boiler by McColl & Pollock, Sunderland.



As BL10

20 May 1903: Western Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Shannon Court, Bristol.

Managers: Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, Milford Docks. (Frederick J. Sellick, died 26 Sep 1903.)


As M61

11 Aug 1919Charles Ingram Hole, Charles St., Milford.     (21/64)

Frederick Llewellyn, Charles St., Milford.                            ( 21/

Harry Llewellyn, Charles St., Milford.                                         64)

Managing owner:  Oliver Curphy, 19 St. Ann's Rd., Hakin.  (22/64)


24 Nov 1919:  North Lincolnshire Steam Fishing Co., Fish Docks, Grimsby.

Manager: Thomas Sowerby.


As GY249

21 Jan 1923: Taylor Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Grimsby.

Manager: H. G. Hopwood.



Dec 1923: W. Kermer, Ymuiden, Netherlands.


1930: N. V. Vissch Maats Ita, Ymuiden.

Managers: N. V. Exploitatie Mij "Zuiderhaaks" (1937: W. F. Kermer)

[Same owners and manager in 1945.]


Landed at Milford:

As BL10: 29 May 1903 - 29 Dec 1914; 13 May - 10 Aug 1919.

As M61: 21 Aug 1919 - 26 Nov 1922.


1903: Peter Ebbesen; R. S. Longthorp. 1904: Ebbesen; Wales; Longthorpe

1905: Edgar Garnham; Wales. 1906: Wales. 1908: J. Crocker. 1914: J. W. Hewett.

1919: John Yolland 5953.  J.W. Hewitt c/4091.  1922: J.F. Durrant 7567.


Jan 1915 - 1919:  Requisitioned and converted to minesweeper; Admy.no. 800. 1 - 12 pdr.

3 Dec 1923: Grimsby registry closed.

1939-45: As ITA, requisitioned by German Kreigsmarine and converted to minesweeper.

1952: Broken up.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 20 Jan 1923.  Vessel transferred to the port of Grimsby.

Accidents and Incidents

From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 4th December 1903:




        At Bantry (County Cork) Petty-sessions, last Thursday, Frederick W. Sherlock, captain of the Congested Districts Board's steamer Granuale, an officer appointed by the Irish Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction under the Fisheries Act, prosecuted Peter Ebbesen, of 1, Warwick-road, Milford Haven, master of the steam trawler Portsmouth Bay*, for illegal trawling off the coast of Cork, on October 15.

        Captain Sherlock deposed that he came with his steamer, the Granuale, by order of his Board, to ascertain if any trawling was going on within the prohibited limits in the vicinity of Bantry Bay. He caught the defendant's trawler a mile inside the limit.  He charged the defendant with fishing inside the limit, and the defendant replied that he thought he was not within the limit. Witness then asked the defendant for his papers, and he replied that he hadn't them, as they were left at the Custom-house. Witness told the defendant that not having his papers with him at sea was an offence and that if he did not produce them he would be charged with two offences, viz., fishing within the legal limit and being at sea without his papers, as required by law. Defendant then asked one the hands if the papers had come back and was told by him that he thought they had. Defendant then produced the papers.

        The defendant Ebbesen was examined to show that his steam trawler was carried inside the limit line by currents and stress of weather, and that he was not engaged in illegal fishing.

        The Magistrates imposed a penalty of 30, together with 16 8s., costs of the prosecution. They made an order that if the total amount, 46 8s,. was not paid within a week, the Western Steam Trawling Company Bristol, owners of the Portsmouth Bay, should be responsible for half the amount inflicted on the defendant.


* No trawler of that name was recorded in the Mercantile Naval List of 1904.  Peter Ebbeson was skipper of the PORTSMOUTH BL10 in 1903.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 6th January 1905:



    Arthur Gibbs, master of the steam trawler "Portsmouth," of Milford Haven, was summoned  by Wm. Joseph James, Harbour Master, of the Dock Offices, Milford Haven, for unlawfully, on on January 1st, 1905, overtaking another vessel when approaching the entrance to the Docks, contrary to the Bye-laws.

    Defendant did not appear and the prosecutor briefly explained the circumstances to the Bench. He said that the Mission sailing ship was coming into the Harbour on Sunday and that two steam trawlers were in front of her. The defendant, with his vessel, was following and he committed the offence complained of, with the result that the Mission Ship and his vessel collided, some damage being done to both, whilst his vessel also came in contact with the Dock gate staging and did some damage to it. It was through pure carelessness on the part of the defendant that the accident occurred and there was no object to be gained by his conduct. He also said that the authorities had brought this case as a warning to others. If defendant's vessel had struck the dock gates, which were just like a ship, they might have been waterlogged and the authorities would not have been able to close them. The consequences would have been very serious. Defendant was returning from a trip at sea; otherwise, if he had only gone out that day and returned for some reason, he would have said that he was drunk. It was simply madness to do what he did, because he could not benefit by it at all. He went on to say that the Dock authorities had had several cases of this kind and although they had escaped serious, damage up to now they felt that it was getting nearer every time and that it was time this sort of tiling was put a stop to.

    Replying to the Bench the witness said that the damage to the gate staging was not serious but that it was due to sheer luck on the part of the defendant that that was the case.

    After consultation with his brother magistrates the Chairman said they felt that this was a most serious offence. Defendant would be fined 3 but the next defendant that was brought before them on a similar charge would be fined the full penalty allowed by law. The Bench hoped that this case would be a warning to all concerned.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 5th January 1906:


The Storm.

            During the storm which prevailed on the Pembrokeshire Coast on Saturday and Sunday considerable damage was done and there was great anxiety in the vicinity of Milford Haven, where crews from several schooners which left Newport on Saturday were landed. Several vessels lay in Dale Roads in positions of great danger.


            The Joseph Fisher, of Wexford, which left Newport, on Saturday laden with coals, was seen flying a flag of distress under Great Castle Head.  The steam trawler Portsmouth went to her assistance, and found her only a cable's length from the shore abandoned by the crew. The Portsmouth took her in tow, and brought her into dock. Her crew had already reached Milford on board the steam trawler Alexandra.

            The Alexandra has also brought the crew off the schooner James, of Baltimore, which also left Newport on Saturday with coals. The vessels lay in Dale Roads, and the James was afterwards towed into dock.

            The Alexandra also brought in the crew from the Ellen Fisher, which left Newport on Saturday for Waterford.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 12th January 1906:




WRECK OFF THE IRISH COAST.- One of the hands on the steam trawler Portsmouth, of Milford Haven, reports that when passing between the Blasquets and Cape Clear they passed through a whole cargo of baulks of timber, which strewed the sea for such a distance around that great care had to be taken to avoid damage. It was sufficient to have made the cargo of a very large ship. He also saw a huge clothes' chest floating. There were, apparently, some initials on the lid of the chest, but the sea was so rough and the wreckage so abundant that it was impossible to get near enough to decipher the name


From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 26th June 1908:





When the steam trawler Portsmouth (Captain J. Crocker) arrived at the Docks on Monday morning, the vessel presented the appearance of an excursion boat, judging from the number of persons to be seen on the deck. It afterwards transpired that the vessel carried a host of stowaways, and seeing that they had all escaped punishment, the men were in high spirits. An outward bound vessel from Liverpool to Beunos Ayres [ sic ] hailed the trawler, and transferred no less than 11 men, the majority of whom were young, to the trawler, to be landed at the first port of call. It was stated that there were five other stowaways to be transferred, but they could not be found. All the men appear to have left the town.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 18th June 1919:


    Some excitement was manifested on the Milford Docks during last week when it became known that Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price were disposing of their fleet of steam trawlers.  For a considerable time negotiations had been proceeding with the Consolidation Company of Grimsby, but these recently fell through.  It is gratifying to know that the greater portion of the fleet has been retained for the port, as will be seen from the following list.  Several local gentlemen having come forward, the competition was very keen.

    The Alnmouth, Weigelia, and Exmouth have been sold to Fleetwood firms, while the Charmouth, Macaw, Tacsonia, Rosa, Xylopia, Essex, Uhdea, Petunia, Lynmouth, Kalmia, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Syringa, Yarmouth and Magnolia have all found local buyers.

    This opens out the question of the need for local trades people and others to invest in the staple industry of this fishing port, as has been done in competing fishing centres.



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 23rd January 1920:


    The Cuxwold Steam Fishing Company of Grimsby are erecting new offices and store sheds at the Docks, Milford Haven, and we understand, are to adopt them permanently for their headquarters.  This company recently purchased two local trawlers, the Portsmouth and the Weymouth.  One of the company's Grimsby vessels has now arrived and is to be followed by others.




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