Photo by Peter Brady, Fleetwood Maritime Heritage Trust.
Official No: 137020 Port Number and Year: 7th in Grimsby, 1915 (GY455)
1st in Hull, 1920 (H128 )
3rd in Milford, 1946
Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail.
Crew: 13 men (1948; & 1955 - see photograph below.)
Registered at Milford: 20 Apr 1946
Built: 1915, by Cochrane & Sons, Selby. (Yard no. 627)
Tonnage: 302 grt 157 net (By 1922: 128 net.)
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 135.0 / 23.5 / 12.3
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 84 rhp.10.5 kts. Engine and boiler: Charles D. Holmes & Co., Hull.
As WELBECK GY455
20 Mar 1915: E. C. Grant, Grimsby.
1 Aug 1916: The Welbeck Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Fish Docks, Grimsby.
Manager: Edward C. Grant.
7 Feb 1919: Yarborough Steam Fishing Co. Ltd., Fish Docks, Grimsby.
Manager: John Edward Rushworth.
Dec 1919: F. & T. Ross Ltd., Myton St., Hull.
Manager: Percy Ross, West Dock Ave., Hull.
21 Feb 1920: As OHM H128
16 Mar 1946: Westward Trawlers Ltd., The Docks, Milford.
Manager: Edgar Erel Carter.
20 Apr 1946: As WESTCAR M110.
Landed at Milford: OHM 17 May 1946.
WESTCAR 4 Jun 1946 - 17 Jul 1960
Skippers: Frank Armitage; G. McLelland; Steve Pembroke; Jimmy Jobson, George Spooner.
Welbeck is a famous traditional estate in Nottinghamshire.
May 1915: Requisitioned as WELBECK; converted to mine layer (Ad.No.N.4A; later N.8A). 1 x 6 pdr HA. Based in Portsmouth.
Mar 1919: Required for post-war service.
20 Dec 1919: Grimsby registry closed.
1920: Returned to owners.
25 Aug 1929: Together with five other trawlers, OHM was damaged in the great fire at the newly completed Hull Fish Dock. [The Times, Tuesday, 27th Aug 1929.]
Aug 1939: Requisitioned as OHM and converted to minesweeper (P.No. FY.561), in 41 M/S Group (with GUNNER, FORT ROYAL, ROBERT BOWEN and THOMAS ALTOFT); based at Aberdeen with M/S Group 37 for sweeping duties of the NE coast of Scotland. Held the record with the minesweeper GUNNER for the time spent at sea sweeping.
Feb 1940: Inspected by HM the Queen at Aberdeen, together with GUNNER.
Oct 1940: Employed on miscellaneous naval duties.
1941: Transferred to Ardrossan with M/S Group 37.
1942: Based at Grimsby with M/S Group 57.
22 Dec 1945: Laid up.
31 May 1946: Returned to owners.
10 Apr 1946: Hull registry closed.
22 Jul 1960: For breaking up at Passage West.
Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 10 Aug 1960. Vessel broken up.
[ Mayes G. & Thomas M. (2014): Cochrane Shipbuilders Vol.2: 1915 - 1939. ]
Accidents and Incidents
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 24th May 1946:
Two weekend additions to the Milford fleet have left on their maiden voyages from the port. Yesterday the Westcar, purchased by the Westward Trawling Co., from Messrs. F. & T. Ross, of Hull, left in charge of Skipper Frank Armitage. She is a 135 footer, built in 1915, and has been on war service.
Also on her way to the fishing grounds with Skipper Utting and Mate James Hastings is the steam trawler Rugby, which arrived in Milford last weekend from Grimsby for Messrs. Tillbrook Trawlers.
Great interest was taken in the arrival yesterday of the 140 feet super-Castle trawler Gunner, purchased by United Trawlers Ltd., from a Grimsby firm. Built in 1927, the ship has been doing Iceland and Bear Island fishing. She will probably sail on her maiden voyage from the port on Monday under Skipper Albert Riby.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 8th August 1947:
When the Milford trawler "Westcar" docked last Friday, Skipper G. McClelland reported that he had a German aerial torpedo in his catch.
The missile, some six feet long by eighteen inches in diameter was picked up in the trawl on the south west Irish fishing grounds, and on Sunday, before the trawler left for another trip, the torpedo was transferred by crane and secured on the deck of the steam trawler "Kuroki", being converted for fishing for the same firm.
On Wednesday night a Mine Disposal Team from Swansea arrived in Milford and set about rendering the torpedo harmless. "It was covered with weed and barnacles," a member of the crew told us.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:
"DUKE" AT THE TOP AGAIN
After two years as "runners-up", Skipper Albert Saunders and the "Milford Duke" are once again in top place in the Milford fishing "league". In 1951 Skipper Saunders caught a greater value of fish than any other individual trawler captain in the port.
Second in the league on last year's results is Skipper W. Burgoyne, who has moved up a place, closely followed by Skipper Steve Pembroke, who was sixth in the list of 1949 catches. "Crack" Skipper for 1948 and 1949, Skipper Tom Donovan, D.S.C., is a close fifth in results while consistent Skipper James Jobson again occupies fourth position.
Here are the leading positions, the ships being classed according to size.
THE BIG SHIPS
1. Milford Duke (A. Saunders), Milford Steam Trawling Co.
2. Maretta (W. Burgoyne), United Trawlers.
3. Westcar (Steve Pembroke), Westward Trawlers.
4. Milford Duchess (J. Jobson); 5, David Ogilvie (T. Donovan, DSC); 6, Maythorne (H. Rich); 7, Cotswold (J. Clarke); 8, George Hastings (H. Ryan); 9, Lady Olwen (George Coe).
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 2nd July 1954:
After seven years as skipper of the Milford Steam Trawling Company's diesel fishing vessels, Skipper Jimmy Jobson has reverted to steam. He sailed on Tuesday in charge of the Westward Trawlers' Westcar, taking with him a number of members of the crew of his last boat, the Milford Duchess. Mr. Walter Rackley is Mate with him.
L to R, back row: Ch.Eng. Tom Hicks, Bosun Kenny Cockrell, Skipper Jim Jobson, Deckhand Grenville Jones, 3rd Hand Hughie Picton (with leg of pork), Deckhand Gene Kuzma
Front row: Mate Clarence Rackley, 2nd Eng. John Longdon, Firemen Fred Patten and Jock Perkins, Deckhand Tommy Donovan, Cook Johnny Gapski, Deckhand Walter Salaman.
Taken for the West Wales Guardian of Friday 11th March 1955
John Stevenson Collection
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 13th May 1959:
Popular fisherman Mr. Jack Braddick, 5 St. Lawrence Avenue, Hakin, Bosun on the the steam trawler Westcar (Westward Trawlers), damaged his ribs in a fall at sea last weekend. Skipper George Spooner put the injured bosun ashore in Ireland, and he was admitted to hospital.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 22nd July 1960:
Mr. Carter confirmed that the 135ft. trawler Westcar is to be scrapped. Less than two months ago another of the company's big ships, the Rudilais, was despatched to the breaker's yard.
"As with the Rudilais," said Mr. Carter, "I have decided reluctantly to scrap the Westcar because it is impossible to run boats on the rubbish of coal that is being sent to us today. As a result of this poor quality fuel, the ships are not doing their duty while they are at sea, and they are killing the men below in their efforts to keep them steaming."
The scrapping of the Westcar, which was reconditioned in the last war, is another serious blow to Milford, whose fleet will thus be reduced to 28 trawlers, the lowest figure in the port's history.
Back to Trawlers 1940-88