Kindly supplied by Donald Smith

Official No: 129357     Port Number and Year: 17th in Aberdeen, 1911 (A365)

                                                                                  1st in Milford, 1945

Description:  Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burner. Pareja (Spanish) method. Ketch rigged: mizzen.

Crew: 9 men (1911); 10 men (1919, 1934); 12 men (1945).

Registered at Milford: 12 Feb 1945

Built: by Alexander Hall & Co., Aberdeen, in 1911.  (Yard no. 465)

Tonnage: 211.52 gross 80.78 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  117.3 / 22.35 / 12.3 

Engine: T 3-cyl.. 66 nhp. 10.5 kts. Engine and boiler by builders.




31 Mar 1911: Mrs. Ann Melville, 39 Murray Tce., Aberdeen.

Manager: James S. Melville. (Same address.)


1921: Walker Steam Trawl Fishing Co. Ltd., Commercial Quay, Aberdeen.

Manager: Andrew Walker.  (Same address.)

22 Feb 1922: As STAR OF FREEDOM A365


16 Nov 1933: David Wood (& J. Flett), 'Rose Tor', Anderson Drive, Aberdeen.

Managing owner.


1941: Henderson's Trawling Co. Ltd., The Balcony, North Side, St. Andrew's Dock, Hull.

Manager: Geoffrey Edwards Marr. (Fleetwood)


As M15

12 Feb 1945: Westenborg Trawlers Ltd., The Docks, Milford

Manager: Herman Westenborg.


25 Sep 1945: Lewis Wilcox & Co. Ltd., 'Longleat', Johnston.


28 Mar 1951: J. C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd., The Docks, Milford.

Manager: John Charles Llewellin.


Landed at Milford:

As HMT ANN FORD MELVILLE: 9 May 1915 - 13 Jan 1919.

As M15: 9 Feb 1945 - 1 Apr 1956.

Skippers: Lenny Brown (1946); Matt Owston (1951); Victor Adams (1953); Charles Shearing (1956)


Apr 1915: Requisitioned as ANN FORD MELVILLE and converted to a minesweeper.  (Admy. no.1347). 1x6 pdr. Based in Milford. (See landings above.)

12 Mar 1919: Returned to owners.

29 Mar 1944: Requisitioned for war service as a smoke making trawler assigned to Operation Neptune Normandy landings (P.No.4.439).
11 Jun 1944: Left Thames for Mulberry A with Group A2. Employed smoke making with replenishment at Portland.
3 Jul 1944: Operation Neptune ended. Employed as a fuel carrier (Esso).
31 Oct 1944: Returned to owners.

1951: Pareja pair trawling with RIVER SPEY (M130).

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 18 May 1956; vessel broken up at Ward's Yard, Castle Pill.

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

 Accidents and Incidents:

 From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 28th June 1946:


    "Fifty miles with death" sounds like the title of a thriller but it was more than a thrill for the crew of the steam trawler Shielburn which steamed throughout Tuesday night with a live mine on the deck on top of a pile of fish.

    Skipper Lenny Brown, Stratford Road, was fishing in darkness on Tuesday night, fifty miles to the south-west, on grounds recently declared clear after sweeping.  The trawl was hauled inboard, the bosun, Mr Billy James, Prioryville, opened the cod-end and fish poured onto the floodlit deck.  Suddenly there was a cry of, "Look out!" and a mine slid onto the heap of fish. 

    "Thank God, there was no explosion," said a member of the crew afterwards.  It was an amazing escape.  But all was not over yet.  With their black cargo of death standing upright on its bed of silver fish, the trawler turned about and steamed for port.

    The crew were quite unconcerned after the first shock and on arrival at Milford it was not long before a Royal Naval Mine Disposal Squad from Swansea was on the scene.  The mine on the deck could be seen from the shore and the crew were taken off while the detonator was removed.  The mine was later taken to the Royal Naval Mine Depot. This is the third mine reported this week from the same grounds.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 17th August 1951:


    The Milford steam trawlers River Spey and Shielburn, owned by J.C. Llewellin (Trawlers) Ltd., landed a record post-war trip at Milford on Tuesday.  In a twelve day trip to the western Irish fishing grounds, they caught 401 kits, to gross 4,310, which is 104 in excess of the previous best pair voyage.

    The trawlers, in charge of Skipper Jack Garnham (Sen.) and Mat Owston, had a lovely catch which included 193 kits of big hake, 95 of medium and 31 of small.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 15th May 1953:  


FISHING FIGURES.  This has been another week of fluctuating prices, but best quality has remained steady in demand and value.  .....

Top pair trip was that of the River Spey and Shielburn (Skippers Matt Owston and Victor Adams) who had 76 of large hake, 85 of medium and 69 of small between them to gross 2,716.




From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 10th February 1956:  


    Mr. Charles Shearing, skipper of the Shielburn, was brought ashore ill when she docked on Tuesday morning,  Skipper Shearing lives at 166 Priory Road.



Back to Trawlers 1941-88