As LYSANDER H800 (1903-17)

John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  118794    Port and Year:   Hull, 1903 (H800)

                                                                   Fleetwood, 1919 (FD252)

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged

Crew: 12 men (1917).

Built: 1903; by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverely.  (Yard no. 38)

Tonnage: 264 grt 96 net (1903);  107 net (1 Jan 1914).

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 130.0  / 22.0  / 12.1

Engine: T.3-cyl; 78 rhp;  by Amos & Smith, Hull




21 Dec 1903: Hellyer Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Hull.

Manager: Charles Hellyer, St. Andrew's Dock, Hull.

17 Apr 1915: As LYSANDER II H800 



3 Nov 1919: The Mersey Steam Trawlers Ltd., London St., Fleetwood

Manager: Ernest Taylor. (Same address.) (1919-21)

                Joseph G. Taylor & Harold Taylor, Orient Buildings, Station Rd., Fleetwood. (1922-24)

                Walter J. Morley, 1 Preston St., Fleetwood. (1924-26)



1926: Magnolia Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., 230 Dock St., Fleetwood.

Manager: Rowland Morris. (Same address.)


1928:  Reginald Llewellyn Hancock, 'Beachways', Picton Rd.,Hakin, Milford.

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford: 12 Jun 1927 - 16 Jun 1935

Skippers:  Joe Watts , 1935 (see below.)


Lysander, a Spartan admiral who commanded the Spartan fleet in the Hellespont which defeated the Athenians at Aegospotami in 405 BC.  [Wikipedia.]

Aug 1914: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper (Admy.No. 255). 2x6pdr.

20 Mar 1919: Salvaged MV VASTMAR.  Admiralty award distributed on 20th March 1920. [The Times, Saturday 20th March 1920.]

1919: Returned to owners.

25 Jun 1935: Struck rocks off the Blasket Islands, Co.Kerry.

28 Jun 1935: Came off rocks and sank; crew abandoned in boat, picked up by an Irish fishing boat, and landed at Dingle.. (Skipper Joe Watts; Milford crewman Albert Wiseman.)  [See story below.]

[Information supplied by the Fleetwood Maritime Trust and the Bosun's Watch website.]

Accidents and Incidents

From an unknown local newspaper, in the week beginning 26th June 1927:



Messrs. Peter Hancock and Sons are also increasing their fleet, and have under their management the steam trawler "Sydnelsie" of Fleetwood.  Mr. E. J. Hellings too is launching out with some of the smaller stamp of boats.  All this is very good news for the port and is very welcome just now.



From an unknown local newspaper, in the week beginning 4th December 1927:


    An action remitted from the High Court was heard at the Liverpool County Court relating to the seizure of two catches of fish which were landed at Milford Haven by Fleetwood trawlers.  Plaintiffs were Messrs. Peter Hancock and Sons, Shipowners and builders, of Milford Haven, who claimed that the proceeds of the catches were their property, and not that of the defendant, Mr. Arthur M. Goldsmith, of Stockport Road, Manchester, and judgement creditor for 250. 

    Mr. E. Gething for the plaintiffs said that early this year Messrs. Peter Hancock and Sons carried out to the steam trawlers "Magnolia" and "Sydnelsie", owned by the Magnolia Steam Fishing Company of Fleetwood, repairs equipment and overhauling.  As means of reimbursing them, the owners agreed to allow Messrs. Hancock to take over the work and to appropriate the proceeds of their catches until such time as all the disbursement had been met.  At the present time there was still about 1,500 owing on account of the work done and money expended.  Mr. Goldsmith, the defendant, had supplied bunker coals to the Magnolia Steam Fishing Company, and having obtained judgement for 250 the Sheriff, on his instructions, took possession of the two catches of fish landed at Milford Haven. Mr. Gething submitted that Messrs. Peter Hancock had a lien on the catches and earnings of the two trawlers until the whole of their claims had been satisfied.

    Judge Thomas said but for the expenditure on the trawlers by Messrs. Hancock, and the terms arrived at, the vessels would not have been able to operate.  He gave judgement for the plaintiffs, with costs, including the High Court costs and Sheriff's charges.  A stay of execution was granted for fourteen days.



From The Irish Times of 27th June 1935, p.7:





    While battling with heavy seas in a dense fog off the west coast of Kerry yesterday, the British trawler Sydnelsie struck a rock near the Blasket Islands, and sank within an hour.

    The captain and crew of ten took to the boats and boarded another trawler, which with difficulty took them safely to Dingle, Co. Kerry.

    Captain Watts, of Milford Haven, told a reporter: "When the vessel struck there was a terrific crash.  I went below immediately, and found our hold and engine-room filling rapidly.


    "We sent out rockets, but failed to attract attention, and as we were about to take to the boats a Dingle trawler came into view.  When she was a near to us as she could safely come we took to the boats and managed to board her safely."

    The rescued seamen saw the Sydnelsie sink a few minutes after they had been taken off.  The crew lost their belongings,only the ship's papers being saved.

    The Sydnelsie had a catch of 200 on board, and was ready to make the return trip to Milford Haven.

    According to Lloyds Register, she is registered at Fleetwood, is of 264 tons gross, and is owned by R. L. Hancock, of Milford Haven, Pembroke.


From The Irish Times of 1st July 1935, p.13:


    Wrecked crew leaves.― The skipper and crew of the Milford steam trawler Sydnelsie, which struck a rock and foundered off the Blasket Islands, arrived at Rosslare on the Cork boat express, and embarked in the G.W.R. mail boat St. Andrew for Fishguard, en route to Milford haven.  Interviewed before leaving, Captain Watt paid a tribute to the warm hospitality accorded to himself and his crew in Dingle.



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


SYDNELSIE          26/06/1935


Co. Kerry, Blasket Island, off       52.08N 10.35W



.... sank after striking rocks near Great Blasket Island, the crew abandoning the sinking trawler in their own boat, to be picked up by another fishing vessel without loss of life.





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