John Stevenson Collection

Official No:  110756    Port Number and Year:   Hull, 1899 (H482)

                                                                                  Lowestoft, 1923 (LT1293)

Description: Iron side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged. Wheelhouse aft.

Crew: 9 men (1899 - 1929).

Built: 1899 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Hull. (Yard no. 247)

Tonnage: 160 grt  56 net (1899); 63 net (1 Jan 1914).

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 106.8  / 21.0  / 11.0

Engine: T.3-cyl; 45 rhp;  by Amos & Smith, Hull




16 Dec 1899: The Hull Steam Fishing & Ice Co. Ltd., St. Andrews Dock, Hull.

Manager: Henry Toozes, Carlton Tce., Hessle Rd., Hull. (1899-1912)

                  Joseph Vivian, St. Andrew's Dock, Hull. (1912-23)


24 Dec 1923: George D. Utting, Kessingland, Lowestoft.

Managing owner.


1926: Thomas A. Utting, 32 Alexandra Rd., Lowestoft.

Managing owner.

7 Oct 1929: As TRESCO LT1293.


1944: Respondo Trawlers (Yolland Bros), Docks, Milford.


1946: F. Uglow & Son, Docks, Milford.

Manager: W. D. Uglow.


Landed at Milford: 26 Feb 1930 - 22 Nov 1937; 30 Aug 1944 - 30 Oct 1945;

30 Apr 1948 - 25 Aug 1950

Skippers: S. J. Prior (1932); Ambrose ('Bush') Setterfield.


1914-18: Fishery Reserve.

29 Aug 1932: Towed NEPTUN O.250 to Milford Haven. (See below.)

Oct 1951: Broken up at Ward's yard, Castle Pill.

Accidents and Incidents

From a transcription of an undated statement (c. September 1932) in the Les Jones Archive:




                       The Owners, Master and Crew of the steam trawler "Tresco"  of the Port of Lowestoft.     



The motor trawler "Neptun"   of the Port of Ostende and her cargo of fish.



1. The Plaintiffs are the owners, master and crew of the steam trawler "Tresco" and together rendered salvage services to the defendants' motor trawler "Neptun" and her cargo of fish as hereinafter appears.


2. The "Tresco"  is an iron screw steam trawler belonging to the port of Lowestoft, of 63 tons nett tonnage, 106 feet in length, and 21 feet in beam and fitted with engines of 45 H.P. At the time of the said services the "Tresco"  was in the course of a fishing voyage and manned by a crew of 9 hands all told.  The value of the "Tresco" at the time was 3000 and the value of the cargo of fish on board of her was 121.


3. The "Neptun"  is a motor trawler belonging to the port of Ostende .


4. At about 7.30 a.m. (British Summer Time) on Monday the 29th day of August 1932 when the "Tresco",in the course of a fishing voyage from Lowestoft to Milford was about 18 miles west by north from St Ann's Head, the motor trawler "Neptun",  which had since daylight been observed driving towards the "Tresco"  from a southerly direction, was noticed to be displaying distress signals in the form of two black balls and two flags. The "Tresco"  immediately hove in her fishing gear and proceeded towards the "Neptun". The wind at the time was moderate from a southerly direction there was a drizzle and the visibility was poor. The tide was ebb, setting to the northward and there  was a slight swell on the sea.  As soon as the "Tresco"  had reached the "Neptun"  those on board the "Tresco" were informed that the "Neptun's" engines had broken down and in response to an enquiry as to whether the "Neptun"   required any help they received an affirmative reply. Those on board the "Neptun"  were thereupon asked if they would be towed by rope from the "Tresco" and replied again in the affirmative.  The "Tresco" was thereupon navigated so that her stern was brought up close to that of the "Neptun"  and a wire trawl warp of the "Tresco" was passed on board the "Neptun" and made fast to the latter vessel's bow for the purpose of being used as a towing warp. In the course of that manoeuvre the sterns of the two vessels came into contact. Connection having been established course was set for Milford at about 8 a.m., and the vessels proceeded without incident for a distance of about ten miles when the trawl warp parted owing to the strain on it. The "Tresco's" engines were thereupon stopped and a heaving line was then thrown on board the "Neptun" by which means another warp of the "Tresco" was enabled to be hauled on board the "Neptun" and the two vessels resumed their course for Milford, a further fifteen miles distant, which was reached without further incident at about noon on the 29th August, the vessels heaving to, off the entrance to the Docks.  At about 4 p.m. on the same day the dock gates opened and a tug of the Docks Co. came alongside the "Neptun"  and took her into dock, the "Tresco" not being permitted by the Company to do so.

5. By reason of the said services the "Neptun", the engines of which had been broken down since mid-day on 28th August 1932, and which vessel had during the intervening period drifted some thirty miles from the direction of Lundy Island, was rescued from a position of considerable danger and was taken into safety. She was only about four miles from the Hats & Barrels rocks, and under the influence of the wind and tide, she was drifting in a helpless condition in the direction of those rocks, which she would have reached before the tide turned. The wind gradually freshened as the towage proceeded until by the time Milford was reached it had attained the force of a fresh breeze.


6. The said services were rendered skillfully and successfully.The "Tresco"  ran some risk in the course of establishing connection with the "Neptun" on two occasions, but by reason of skilful handling damage was avoided. The warps of the "Tresco" were respectively damaged and strained by the ranging of the vessels during the towage.  In rendering the services the "Tresco" lost some fifteen hours fishing.  The Plaintiffs claim 200 for  Salvage.


[ ? ] Williams of 1, Barlow Street, Milford. Agents for Chamberlin Talbot & Bracey, of Bank Chambers, Lowestoft. Plaintiffs' Solicitors.



 Dear Sirs,


    We have your letter of 2nd instant.

    The other side would not pay the 145 and costs and their solicitors have to-day given an undertaking for bail in the sum of 200.  We accordingly consented to the release of the vessel.

    We enclose a copy of the statement we took from the skipper of the "Tresco" , this being by the way of amplification of the report he had made to his owners, of which you doubtless have a copy. 

    We are informed that the "Neptun"  is 65 feet long, has a net tonnage of 28 tons, was constructed some fourteen or fifteen years ago, and is made of wood, was converted into a motor trawler by the installation of a second-hand engine about two years ago, and carries a crew of five men and one boy.  The owner of the "Neptun" gave it as his view that the present market value of the "Neptun", inclusive of her gear (for which type of vessel there is no ready sale nowadays), is not more than 450, that the damage she sustained to her engines prior to being picked up cost 35 to repair,  and that the catch on board realized 109 gross.


Messrs Chamberlin Talbot & Bracey.




Skipper's statement:


I, S. J. Prior, Master of the steam trawler "Tresco"  LT.1293,do hereby make the following statement.


At about 8 a.m. on Monday August 29th 1932, we were fishing about 18 miles West by North from St. Ann's when we saw the "Neptun" 0.250, flying distress signals. We went and took him in tow at his request because he had engine trouble. We towed him in to Milford Haven, a total distance of about 25 mi1es,and anchored at about mid-day.   When the gates opened, the tug came out and took the "Neptun"  from us, as he said we were not allowed to tow him into dock. There was an ebb tide and a fresh southerly breeze all the time and the "Neptun"  was in danger of driving on to the Hats and Barrels.


Sgd S.J.Prior,

Skipper. S.T."Tresco" .



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 9th July 1948:


    As we reported last week, the three Yolland Brothers vessels, Concertator, Tenedos and George Adgell left last weekend for Lowestoft.  Their places will however be filled by new vessels, and at least four have already been named.  These are Crabber type boats of 100 to 115 feet in length and one of them, the Loch Rannoch (Tilbrook Trawlers), is already in port.  The others of the same class, expected within a week or so, are the Tresco (W. Uglow), St. Lucia (Haven Trawlers), and Framlingham (Yolland Brothers), and there will also probably be two more crabbers not yet named.   



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 25th April 1952:


    The trawler Norrard, one of the smaller vessels belonging to Messrs. Goodleigh Fisheries, has this week gone to the breakers' yard at Pill Point, bringing the total of trawlers scrapped during the past year to eight.

    She was preceded by the Phoebe, Ellesmere, Tresco, Lavenham, Framlingham, St.Vincent and Ocean Shield.  All these vessels were seaworthy but had become uneconomical to run.



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