As WYRE CORSAIR FD287 (1948-56)

Courtesy of Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust and The Bosun's Watch

Official No:  143516    Port Number and Year:  42nd in Cardiff, 1920 (CF65)

                                                                                  14th in Milford, 1929

                                                                                     -    in Fleetwood, 1948 (FD287)

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail

Crew:  10 - 12 men

Registered at Milford: 16 Dec 1929

Built: 1920; by Cook, Welton & Gemmel, Beverley.  (Yard no. 426)

Tonnage: 281.53 grt  110.2 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  128.5  / 23.5 / 12.6

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 85 nhp.10 kts.  Engine and boiler by Charles D. Holmes & Co., Hull.




Sep 1920: Neale & West, Hope St., Cardiff.

Managers: Wilfred Neale, Morley H. Neale, and Joshua Neale. (1920-26)

                  Morley H. Neale, 'Haldon', Clinton Rd., Penarth;      (1927-

                    & Joshua S. Neale, 'Skomer', Marine Parade, Penarth.     -1929)



16 Dec 1929: Hakin Trawling Co., Docks, Milford.

     Joseph Samuel Pettit, 'Wayneflete', The Rath, Milford.

     Frederick Steer, 22 St. Peter's Rd., Milford.

     Horace Samuel Fiddy, 'Stratford House', Shakespeare Ave., Milford

.Managing owner: Joseph Baron Bardsley Huddlestone, 'Dania Villa', Wellington Rd., Hakin.


15 Mar 1937:  Westward Trawlers, Docks, Milford.

     (Edgar E. Carter, 16 Great North Rd., Milford; & Richard S. Bowen, Port Talbot)
Managing owner: Edgar Erel Carter, Docks, Milford.

18 May 1938: As RUDILAIS M50


Oct 1948: Wyre Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Fleetwood.

Managers: Merchants (Fleetwood).

Nov 1948: As WYRE CORSAIR FD287


Landed at Milford: 22 Dec 1929 - 30 Sep 1940;  18 Mar 1947 - 15 Oct 1948

Skippers: J. Fred G. Jones (1938); Albert Riby (1940).


Kyoto was the capital of Japan until 1868, and is the seventh largest city in the country.

1918: Originally ordered by the Admiralty (Ad.No.4410) as a "Castle" class to be named RICHARD BANE but cancelled.

1919: Completed as a fishing vessel, and renamed KYOTO.

1 Sep 1939: Requisitioned for war service as RUDILAIS and converted for minesweeping duties (P.No.FY.528). [But note that her fish landings continued until 30 Sep 1940; became HMS RUDILAIS on 6 Oct 1940.]

Sep 1940: All-time record of herring catch. [See below.]

Dec 1945: Paid off and returned to owners.

19 Apr 1956: Broken up by B. J. Nijkerk S.A. in Antwerp.

[With thanks to The Bosun's Watch and the Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 8 Nov 1948

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 19th March 1937:


    A private company, Westward Trawlers Ltd., was registered on March 15th, with a capital of 10,000.  Directors - Edgar E. Carter, 16, Great North Road; Richard S. Bowen, Grove House, Port Talbot.

    Our Milford correspondent was informed on Thursday that the Company was formed to take over the Hakin Steam Trawling Company's fleet of five trawlers: the Kuroki, Kyoto, Slebech, Caldy and Gordon Richards.  This is understood to mean that the services of the present managing director of the Company, Capt. J. H. B. Huddlestone, are to be retained.




Statement by Skipper John Frederick George Jones of No 26, Hakinville, Hakin, Milford, October 1938.


    I  have held a Skipper's Certificate (Trawlers) for about five years.  On Wednesday, October 5th, I 938 I took the Steam Trawler "Rudilais"  to sea. That was my second trip in her as Skipper. We left the Milford Docks about 2.30p.m. G.M.T. and the weather was then bad with a strong wind from West North West and we therefore proceeded to Dale Bay for shelter. There were several trawlers there then. We steamed up clear of all of these and took up a berth well clear of the nearest ship which I think was the S.T. "Arthur Cavanagh". 

    The weather became better early the next morning and we proceeded to sea about 7.30a.m. I had a good watch kept the whole time we were at anchor and I say definitely that we did not touch any other ship and we had good anchorage in about six fathoms. The wind remained in the same quarter the whole of the time we were at anchor. I say definitely that we did not touch the "Shama"  and that we were clear of her the whole time we were at anchor.  There were about two ship's lengths between us and the "Shama".  The "Shama"  left before us and gave us no intimation of our alleged collision with him.  If we had fouled him we were bound to know when he weighed anchor.

    I knew nothing of the alleged collision until we returned to port. When we dropped anchor Dale Point was bearing about West by South and it was high water.



Statement by the Third Engineer Alfred Thomas Jones:


     I  live at 29, Hakinville, Hakin, Milford, and was at the date in question the Third Engineer on the S.T. "Shama" .  I served in her altogether for a period of two years with one short break.   I  am now the Second Engineer of the S.T. "Grackle".

    On the day in question we left dock at about 3.30 p.m. bound for the fishing grounds. We dropped anchor in Dale Bay for the purpose of making the necessary preparations for fishing operations. On this particular day the weather was rather rough and that is why it was decided to make these preparations in the smooth water of Dale Bay rather than in the open sea. There were several other Milford trawlers anchored in Dale Bay when we arrived there. We reached Dale Bay somewhere between 4 and 4.30p.m.  On arrival in Dale Bay we dropped our anchor.  When the vessel is at anchor I have no need to be down below and I came on deck.  I assisted in the operations which were being carried on on deck.  We anchored with our stern pointed towards Dale Point, a distance about  150 yards therefrom.  The tide at this time was on the ebb and the head of the "Shama"  accordingly was swinging up harbour. At the time we dropped anchor the S.T. "Rudilais"  was already at anchor astern of us nearer the centre of Dale Bay, that is to say nearer the beach and distant quite 300 yards.  We lay all night in the same position as I have described as regards the anchorage but of course our ship would swing round with the change of tide.  We left the Dale Roads on the following morning, 6th October at about breakfast time namely 7.30 o'clock.

    I  was on watch between 7.30p.m. on the 5th, and at  1.30 a.m. on the 6th, in company with the Chief Engineer. That meant that I was back and fore between the engine room and deck looking after the fires and watching generally.  At the time we left for sea on the morning of the 6th, the "Rudilais"  was still at anchor in the same position in which I had seen her on the previous evening.  Her position underwent no change whatever during the period between the evening of the 5th, when I first saw her and the morning of the 6th, when the "Shama"  left for sea.  No conversation of any sort took place between those on board the "Shama" and those on board the "Rudilais"  during the whole of the time we were in the Dale Bay.  I was on board the "Shama"  the whole of the time we were in Dale Bay.  I say definitely that at no time whilst we were proceeding to the anchorage in Dale Bay or at anchor in Dale Bay or whilst we were leaving for sea on the morning of the 6th, did the "Rudilais" foul the "Shama"  or any of the "Shama's" gear or anything. I am quite definite on this point. No force of any impact between the two vessels could have taken part with out being awoken. My watch below, namely  1.30 to 7 a.m. of the 6th,  I am quite certain that no collision of any description between the two vessels or any parts of them between 5 and 6 p.m.on the 5th, as alleged could have taken place without my knowing it.  No difficulty whatever was experienced by the "Shama" in raising her anchor on the morning of the 6th to go to sea.  After raising our anchor and going to sea we didn't have occasion to approach any nearer to the "Rudilais"  than had been the distance between the two vessels when at anchor.


Despite the evidence of the Third Engineer of the "Shama" , the brother of Skipper Jones, the latter was found guilty by the Arbitrator, Captain Hurry, and had to pay the below costs:


Repairs paid to United Engineering         35. 0 .0.

Donkeyman 3 days @  I0/- a day                1.10.0

Watchman .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..                    1.10.0

Supt. Engineer .. .. @ 21/- ..                     3. 3.0

Demurrage .. .. .. ..@ I 2. I 0.                37.10.0






C.F. Hikling M.A.: The Herring Fisheries at Milford Haven.


...................   In 1940, the trawl fishery for herrings off the Old Head of Kinsale was the heaviest known.  One trawler, the Rudilais, Skipper A. Riby, landed 1019 cwt. of herrings in a single voyage, an all-time record.   ...................


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From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 10th October 1948:


    In the fishing doldrums at the moment, Milford is seething with rumours about trawler sales, but owners who have seen these vicissitudes before are not unduly alarmed about the situation.  Even so, several of them are looking further afield, and Iceland and Spanish fishing are likely to figure prominently in the port's activities during the next 12 months.


    The steam trawler Rudilais is the latest sale, her owner (Mr. E. E. Carter) having disposed of her to the Dock Steam Trawling Co., Fleetwood, a concern in which fish merchants are interested.





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