John Stevenson Collection  

Official No:  145185    Port Number and Year: 169th in London, 1921 (LO ? )

                                                                                  8th in North Shields, 1921 (SN69)

                                                                                 10th in Aberdeen, 1941 (A ? )

                                                                                 15th in Peterhead, 1947 (PD380)

                                                                                   9th in Milford, 1951

Description: Non-standard Strath Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Pareja method (Spanish).  Ketch rigged: mizzen.

Crew:  12 men (1951).

Registered at Milford: 20 Aug 1951

Built: Jan 1918, by John Duthie, Torry Shipbuilding Co., Aberdeen.  (Yard no. 437)

Tonnage: 234.75 grt  90.09 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  120.0  / 22.6 / 12.6

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 56.7 nhp. 10 kts. Engine and boiler by J. Abernethy & Co., Aberdeen




1921: The Secretary of the Admiralty, Whitehall, London SW1. 


As SN69

1921: Robert Hastie & Sons Ltd., Fish Quay, North Shields.

Manager: George H. Hastie, 53 Preston Ave., North Shields.

                Alexander Hastie, 'Invercauld', Cleveland Rd., North Shields. (1929)


As A ?

1941: River Ness Fishing Co. Ltd., Aberdeen.

Manager: George Craig.



1947: George G. Baird, J. S. Park and others, Peterhead



20 Aug 1951: Goodleigh Fisheries Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: Henry John Richards, Bulford Rd., Johnston.


19 Feb 1953: J. C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: John Charles Llewellin


5 May 1953: South Western Trawlers Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: John Charles Llewellin.


Landed at Milford: 12 Oct 1951 - 2 May 1956

Skippers: D. Broome (1953)


John Fitzgerald was the name of six seamen and one Marine at the Battle of Trafalgar, four of whom were Irish.

14 Dec 1917: Launched for the Admiralty as JOHN FITZGERALD (Admy. no. 3754); 1x12pdr.

1 Apr 1918: In the North Sea, collided with and sank destroyer HMS FALCON, whose C/O was Charles Lightoller, former 2nd Mate of the TITANIC.

30 May 1919: Acquired by the U.S. Navy and commissioned UST JOHN FITZGERALD.

12 Aug 1919: Decommissioned 12 August 1919 and returned to the Admiralty.

1921:  Registered in London by the Admiralty and sold to mercantile.

4 Jan 1940: Requisitioned by Admiralty as JOHN FITZGERALD and converted to auxiliary boom defence vessel (P.No. Z.149). 1x12pdr / 4in gun.

Jul 1946: Returned to owners. 

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 26 May 1956.  Vessel broken up.

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th February 1953:


    Good news this week was the announcement that two well-known local owners, Mr. J. C. Llewellin, Vice-President of the T.O.A., and Mr. W. H. Kerr, had bought six of the trawlers belonging to Goodleigh Fisheries, which firm has gone into liquidation.  The six trawlers were fished as pairs, and when they were stopped some months ago, not only were hake supplies affected, but some 75 fishermen were thrown out of work.  Two of the ships, the Queenleigh and Lordleigh, are now being prepared for sea and will sail shortly under Skippers Denley Broome and Sam Larner.





L to R, back row: 2nd Eng. Tony Stockdale, Firemen Albert Jones and Stanley Hanson, Deckhand Anthony McCullagh, Bosun Stanley Broome, Deckhand Billy Jones

Front row: 3rd Hand Eddie Harding, Ch.Eng. Vincent Thomas, Mate Alfred James, Skipper Denley Broome, Cook David Kellsher, Deckhand Charlie Goffin

Taken for the West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th February 1955

John Stevenson Collection



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 13th May 1955:


    Although no confirmation was forthcoming from the owners, Messrs. J. C. Llewellin, on Thursday, it is hoped that the pair trawlers Queenleigh and Lordleigh will shortly sail on another trip to the fishing grounds in search of big hake.  The results of their two other trial voyages were very disappointing.



From The West Wales Guardian of Friday 23rd December 1955:




    Six  Milford Haven "pair" trawlers will commence operating in two groups of three in January to provide a "shuttle" service which will mean that their catches will never be more than nine days old when landed.

    The vessels are "Strath" class boats, owned by Messrs. J. C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd., and up till now engaged in the normal "pair" fishing, using the Spanish "pareja" system.

    The "group of three" system has been used very successfully by Spanish fishing vessels, but the Milford Haven scheme will be the first time it has been introduced in Britain.


    The ships which will operate in threes are the Queenleigh, Lordleigh, Steynton, Nolton, Lord Northcliffe, and Lord Cecil.

    Mr. J. C. Llewellin explained to the "Guardian" this week how the "groups of three" system will work.  The first two ships will go out to fish as a normal "pair".  A week later a third boat will sail to "relieve" one of the original pair, to which all the fish then caught by the "pair" will be transferred.  The relieved ship will bring the total catch back to port and the other two ships will continue fishing until the second vessel is relieved a week later by the ship that originally returned to port.  By this method catches which up to now have been landed after a 14 to 15 day "pair" trip will now be brought back every week by the third trawler.


    In practice, as far as the crews are concerned, the "groups of three" system will mean a minimum of three days ashore every 17 to 18 days.




From The West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th May 1956:




    Already in the "doldrums" following bad news from several quarters the Milford Haven fishing industry suffered another severe blow on Saturday when mt J. C. Llewellin announced with regret that he was winding up his business of J. C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd. and scrapping his seven remaining "Strath" class vessels.

    This decision, made after twelve months of deterioration in the situation, means that seventy fishermen and about twenty maintenance and office staff will be affected.  It also means the end of the "pair" method of fishing carried out at Milford Haven for 21 years by the firm, which is the only company in Britain to use this system.

    As we reported last week the trawlers Shielburn and Lord Cecil go for scrap this week.

    "There is very little doubt that the others, the Lord Northcliffe, Queenleigh, Lordleigh, Steynton and Nolton will have to follow," stated Mr. Llewellin.


    Mr. J. C. Llewellin told the "Guardian" that it was with regret that the decision to finish had been made.  "During the last 12 months the pair ships have brought in very small quantities of hake, and it is only the high prices that has enabled us to keep going," he said.  "The main reasons are the shortage of hake and the high costs of running the ships."

    Mr. Llewellin had no doubt about the reason for the shortage of hake.  "It is the tremendous number of Spanish ships operating in grounds which are traditionally British," he stressed.  "Years ago Milford trawlers sailed as far south as Morocco into grounds which the Spanish ships have since swept bare.  Now the pendulum has swung the other way and the Spaniards are sweeping clean the British grounds up as far north as Achill Head and Hebrides.

..............  Many Spanish trawlers use net meshes which are considerably smaller than the size laid down by international agreement.  The Spanish also have a demand for undersized hake and they have swept the grounds bare.  There is absolutely no hake there for British ships which are not allowed to land undersized fish and observe the Convention agreements to the letter. ............. ."




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