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Official No:  112469   Port Number and Year: 1st in Milford, 1905

                                                                                -   in Grimsby, 1921 (GY1309)

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

Crew:  9 men (1905); 10 men (1907); 14 men (1921); 9 men (1934).

Registered at Milford: 18 Jan 1905

Built: 1905, Smith's Docks Co., North Shields.  (Yard no. 760)

Tonnage: 242.89 grt  76.49 net. (1 Jan 1914: Amended by BoT to 93.15 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 125.4 / 22.1 / 12.05

Engine: T-3Cyl; 58 rhp., by W. V. V. Lidgerwood, Glasgow. 1924: New boiler fitted.



18 Jan 1905: Southern Steam Trawling Co., 127 Quay, Waterford.

(Messrs. Sellick, Morley & Price, Docks, Milford.)

Manager: Cornelius Cecil Morley, Milford.  


12 Aug 1919:  Robert James Williams   )

Oliver Johnstone                                    )  Docks, Milford

George Herbert Russell                         )

Managing owner: Robert James Williams.


9 Feb 1920: Direct Fish Supplies, 3 London Wall Buildings, London E.C.

Manager: John McR. Knight, The Docks, Milford.


Jan 1921:  Transferred to Grimsby.

Manager: G.W.P. Margarson.

7 Nov 1921: As GY1309


Oct 1922: Charles Dobson, Fish Docks, Grimsby

Managing owner. (1922-28)

Manager: Norman Stockdale. (By 1928)


[ Thanks to the Bosun's Watch website for details of the transfer to Grimsby. ]

Landed at Milford:  7 Feb 1905 - 9 Aug 1914;  1 Jun 1919 - 7 Dec 1920


James Kean cert. 5113, age 37, born London; residing Dewsland St., Milford; signed on 18 Jan, 13 Jul 1905; 1 Jan, 6 Jul 1906; 1 Jan, 5 Jul 1907; 6 Jan, 10 Jul, 3 Aug 1908; 8 Jan, 2 Jul 1909; 12 Jan 1911.

J.J. Stevenson 7434; 10 Jul 1908

James MacDonald 7981, 44, Leeds; 4 Sep 1907

B. Foster 1608; 28 Jul 1910

C. Bradnum 5693, 42, Upton; 6 May 1911

D. Smith 3566, 35, Lincoln; residing 13 St. Peter's Rd., Milford; 26 Jun, 8 Oct 1911

Thomas Salter 5349, 35, Exeter; 27 Jul 1911; 5 Jan 1912; 14 Jan 1913; 21 Jan 1914

T.W. Leggett 7028;

E. Ash 5732, 33, Brixton; 2 Aug 1912;


Syringa is a shrub with creamy-white strongly scented flowers.

Aug 1914: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper. 1x13 pdr.

Mar 1917: Renamed SYRINGA II.

1919: Returned to owners.

9 Apr 1938: Sold to foreign yard to be broken up.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 14 Oct 1921.  Vessel transferred to the port of Grimsby.

 Accidents and Incidents:


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 22nd February 1905:


    Two more of the fine steam trawlers recently built at Shields to the orders of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price are at the moment in Milford Docks.  They arrived during the week.  The steam trawler "Syringa", which is charge of Captain Keene, landed last week, whilst the steam trawler "Tacsonia", Captain M. Kingston, made a trip realising £350 at Monday's market.  The vessels belong to a new class of trawlers specially adapted for long voyages, which the above enterprising firm are adding to their already large fleet.  They are sister ships to the "Rosa", and alongside the ordinary steam trawler they are leviathans in comparison.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 20th October 1905:


Illegal Trawling Welsh Skippers Fined.

        At Bantry, Co. Cork, the Department of Agriculture for Ireland, last week, prosecuted Frank Payne, skipper of the Welsh steam trawler, Tenby Castle, for illegal otter trawling from that vessel, which is a steamer of more then 20 tons net register, within the prescribed limits, off the coast of Cork, on the 23rd of September. The Tenby Castle is the property of the Castle Steam  Trawlers (Limited), of South Dock Basin, Swansea.  The Bench imposed a penalty of £10, and ordered the net to be forfeited.

        The department also prosecuted Richard Colmson, skipper of the steam trawler Ribble, owned by the Wyre Steam Trawling Company (Ltd.), for a similar offence, on the 5th of September.— The Bench imposed a fine of £30, and ordered the net to be forfeited.

        A similar prosecution was instituted against James Kean, skipper of the Milford steam trawler Syringea [sic] for illegal steam trawling from that vessel in Bantry Bay on the 23rd of September— The Bench fined the defendant £10, and ordered the net to be forfeited.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 27th September 1907:


Racing into the Dock.


At the Milford Haven Petty Sessions on Wednesday, before Dr. Griffith and other magistrates, James McDonald, the skipper of the steam trawler Syringa, Milford, and Henry Hewer, skipper of the steam trawler Alexander [Alexandra], were charged with passing into the Docks abreast of another vessel contrary to the bye-laws of the Milford Docks Company.

McDonald pleaded guilty, but Hewer did not appear.

Captain Ward, the dockmaster, said the skippers were charged with coming into the dock abreast on Sunday night, September 15th. When the gates were opened there were about a dozen or fifteen steam trawlers lying about two or three cables out in the channel. Most of them were close together. When the gates were opened two or three came in. Then some others came in leisurely, and then two or three made a dash for the gates together. The defendants' two boats entered the gates abreast. He shouted to them to astern, which they did. One of them might have been a few feet ahead of the other just outside the gates, he could not say. There was an almost exactly similar case heard in that court a short time before, when a trawler pushed in between two others. They had tried in all weathers to prevent damage to the dock gates, but one of these fine summer nights the damage would be done which they had tried for twenty years to avoid. If the dock gates were carried away he did not know what the consequences would be.

The Chairman said the vessels could not have come all the way together. One must have been ahead.

Mr. Gaskell, another magistrate, agreed that one of the trawlers must have been first. Someone in Court shouted hear, hear, and there was loud applause.

The Chairman: Turn him out. I will not have these expressions of opinion in Court, and I am sure my brother magistrates will support me in that.

The Chairman said the magistrates had had those cases before them for a long time. There was great danger to vessels entering the dock abreast whether it was done intentionally or otherwise. In the interests of the skippers themselves, the owners, and everyone interested in the docks, the magistrates must discharge their duties when such offences came before them. The skipper McDonald, who had appeared in court, would have to pay a fine of £5 inclusive, and Hewer, who had failed to appear, although he was in Milford, would have to pay £5 and costs.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 20th December 1907:


Trawler Owners and Employment of Lads.


            At the Milford Haven Petty Sessions on Wednesday, before Colonel Roberts and Mr. G. H. Birt. At the previous Court Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, trawler owners, Milford had been charged at the instance of Alfred Collins, school attendance officer, prosecuting on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Education Committee, with unlawfully employing William Davies, of Thornton, Milford Haven, a lad just under fourteen years of age, and who had not secured the necessary certificate.  The prosecution was undertaken under the Factories Act, 1878, and the local bye-laws. On the last occasion the case was before the magistrates Alfred Collins gave evidence to the effect that on the afternoon of November 4th he visited the docks and on the Syringa, a steam trawler, owned by Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, he found the lad Davies washing the boards. For the defence was stated that Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price had nothing whatever to do with the employment of the lad. They merely stipulated that the trawlers must be washed out and whether certain members of the crew did the work themselves or employed casual labour was a question of indifference.  As that was the first case of the kind which had come before the magistrates, other prosecutions would probably follow, the case was adjourned for a fortnight to enable the Clerk to look up the law on the question as to whether Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price were legally responsible for the acts of their age.


            Mr. Birt said to his own knowledge the trawler owners had no knowledge of the boys.  

            The Chairman said the case would be dismissed. The magistrates recommended that trawler owners have notices posted in their offices prohibiting the employment of those boys.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 19th February 1908:


    Frederick J. Hancock, Point Street, Hakin, summoned John Stroud, Charles Street, master mariner, for piloting the steam trawler "Essex" out of the port of Milford without holding the necessary certificate.  David J. Davies, of Great North Road, master of the steam trawler "Gillygate"; James Keen, Dewsland Street, master mariner of the steam trawler "Syringa"; and Thomas Leggett, Waterloo Road, master mariner of the steam trawler "St. Clear", were summoned for a like offence.  It was mentioned that the cases had all been settled, and they were struck out.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 23rd April 1909:



        It is pleasing to note that the mackerel market has improved and supplies last week were the best of the season. The "Syringa" brought in a peculiar haul on Tuesday, viz: a huge whale's gill, which fell to the bid of Messrs. Howlett. The new patent slip has been in frequent use during the week and the dispatch with which trawlers are cradled for painting etc., means a tremendous saving of time.



Log book entries:



When steaming about due west off Oxwich Head, the steam trawler 'Petunia', also on the same course, veered across our bows.  We stopped our engines but she hit us before our way was gone.

    C. Bradnum (Skipper)

    J. W. Croaker.




Castletown, Ireland

F. Thomas, age 37, Cook; born Brighton, residing Milford.

Broken knee cap, slipped off engine room casing.

    Thomas Salter (Skipper)

    J. H. King


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 11th September 1912:


    The crisis in the Milford fish trade is the one topic of conversation in the town and port.  The exodus has already commenced, and grave concern is being expressed as to what will be the end of it all.  Of the intentions of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price, our readers are fully cognisant, yet there is hope that developments may take place which will be the means of preventing the loss of the entire fleet to Milford.  Much of course depends upon the results of the trading to Fleetwood by the six trawlers which have been transferred.

    The boats which have left for sea during the last few days, and which will run for the next three months to Fleetwood, are the steam trawlers "Teesmouth", "Tacsonia", "Sidmouth", "Uhdea", "Essex" and "Syringa".  Messrs. F. B. Rees and A. rainbow, manager and salesman, have also left, together with Mr. W. Lewis as shoreman.  The firm have taken offices at Fleetwood, and all arrangements have been completed for the transfer of the business.


From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 21st April 1915:


Milford Skippers Home from the Dardanelles.


Deed Worthy of V.C. by Skipper Woodgate and His Crew.


    The work of the mine-sweepers in the naval operations at the Dardanelles has been brought prominently before the public during the past month, and we are now able to bring some of the most thrilling incidents of this memorable campaign to the notice of our readers. Amongst the fleet of trawlers engaged in these perilous operations were five of the best trawlers belonging to the port of Milford Haven, viz: the G.M. (owner Captain H. Dove): Beatrice (Mr James Thomas): Koorah (Brand & Company); Syringa (Sellick, Morley Price) and Gwenllian (Mr M. W. Howell). The latter's experience was recorded last week in a letter from the skipper. On Sunday the skippers of the five ships arrived home in Milford Haven. and all have remarkable stories to tell. Their names given in the order of their ships mentioned above are — Captain H. James, senior; Captain H. James, junior (two cousins); Captain Robert Woodgate; Captain J. Blake, and Captain R. Limbrick.

    A representative of the" Telegraph" called upon Captain Harry James, senior, at his home in Robert Street, on Monday and congratulated him upon his safe homing coming. Glad to be home again, Skipper?

    Aye, that I am, though it did not look like it on more than one occasion, but, you can take it the sweepers have done fine work out there. Just look at these (here Captain James produced three memoranda from the officer commanding eulogising the work of the trawlers).

    Speaking of his experiences since they left Milford in August last Captain James said they spent most of the time in the North Sea, and were attached to the Lowestoft base, and were in the swim at the time of the first German raid on the East coast. It was in the early part of February that they were sent to Devonport to fit out for the Mediterranean and left for Malta. A month later they were in the thick of it, and after a short spell in the Dardanelles his ship the "G.M." and the "Beatrice" were sent with others to the Gulf of Smyrna to work with Admiral Peirse's squadron where he had his baptism of fire. The sweeping is done by pairs. ..................

    All the ships were continually under fire, and although they were hit repeatedly, the shells and shrapnel did not strike the vital parts. Some had remarkable escapes, as for instance, one trawler was struck by a shell aft. It went through the bunkers, the fish room, cutting the main stanchion, through 25 tons of ballast and out through the bow. In another case the shell went clean through a trawler from side to side. His experiences in the Dardanelles were not so exciting as at Smyrna, though always dangerous.


    That the authorities appreciate the work of these men is shown by the fact that a special signal of congratulation was sent to the skippers in command by the Vice-Admiral.



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.



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