Grimsby trawler Magnolia – Help Request

GY177
14th November 2007, 17:06
My Grandfather was an unlucky soul, or lucky, depending on which way you look at it. He was on the Steam Trawler Howe GY177 (Hence the user name) when it was shipwrecked off Bear Island in 1931 – a great story, and one I’d like to create a website for… when I have some spare time! He was also, if I recall correctly, on the Magnolia when she sunk whilst being towed back into port; at least that is my recollection of the story.

I have no idea of the date or registration no. but was wondering if you knowledgeable folk out there could provide some information on the incident.

Regards,

Dean.

Steve Farrow
14th November 2007, 19:03
Hi Dean,
This is part of a piece I wrote mainly about the Rose of England but it also deals with the Magnolia.

In August 1952, Skipper Alf Walker and his crew on the Rose of England, were nearing the end of their trip, when a nasty North-Easterly gale blew, creating a huge swell that lasted for several days. They called it a day and returned to Grimsby and landed their catch. When this was done some of the crew went home and the others began to secure the ship, when the Skipper heard his friend Stanley “ Snowy” Wing on the Magnolia (also Harry Franklin’s), say on the radio that he required assistance as they were taking in water, 45 miles N.E of the Spurn Light Vessel. This was passed on to the owner’s office and they told the Rose of England to take a pump out to them and help in every way they could. So they steamed towards the troubled Magnolia, tired and hungry, and with only half her crew on board. When they found her, she was wallowing sluggishly in the heavy swell and down by the stern with her bows high out of the water. The pump was transferred when they where close enough together…..a dangerous maneuver in that weather, and this was soon set to work. Then it was decided to pass warps across and attempt to tow the Magnolia to the Humber and home. When the two ships turned away from the swell to run before it, huge seas swept over her stern, washing the pump over the side. As the towing progressed, the Magnolia’s stern settled deeper in the water so the Skippers agreed over the radio to make plans to transfer all the men over to the Rose of England. Then someone shouted “She’s going over, she’s turning over”. In seconds she was gone, just men swimming for their lives, clinging onto anything that was floating. The crew of the towing vessel had to chop the wires with an axe to prevent them from being dragged down with her. Three men lost their lives on the Magnolia, Skipper Stanley Wing, Chief engineer Albert Forster and deckhand Roland Willis. The survivors were picked up in difficult circumstances and taken back to Grimsby.
Only five crew took the Rose of England out to save their fellow fishermen and they fought for forty hours, without sleep, food or drink. Brave men indeed!
She continued fishing the North Sea until 1961, when she went to Belgium for scrap in November that year.

Official builders number 127954. 222 gross tons, 85 net tons, 120.2’ loa. 22’ beam. 11.3’ draught.
Steve

GY177
15th November 2007, 14:49
Many thanks for that Steve, a very interesting and sad story. Thanks for the pic as well.

Regards,

Dean.

birgir
16th November 2007, 15:27
Steve Farrow.

Magnolia was built in 1909 by CWG for G.E. Forum of Esbjerg Denmark as Kong Frederik III. Then sold to Frank Barratt of Grimsby in 1915. I suspect mr Forum of being a front-man for Barratt. Do you have any information about that? A clue might be the Minoru GY 484, a sister ship, registered to the Orient Steam Fishing Co. (In 1914 both ships were leased by icelandic company Kveldulfur), which suggests at least common management.)

Birgir Thorisson

Steve Farrow
16th November 2007, 16:55
Birgir,
The only information I have for the MINORU isSeptembe 1909 Orient St Fg Co. July 1929 British Fish Supplies Ltd. September 1922 T. W. Bascomb, October 1935 Dobson Ship Repair Co. Scrapped April 1959.
In WW1 she was converted into a mine-sweepere and armed with 1 x 12 pounder. Admiralty No 348.From 1917 until 1920 named Minoru 11.
Regards
Steve

Toecutter
18th July 2008, 01:19
Hi Dean,
This is part of a piece I wrote mainly about the Rose of England but it also deals with the Magnolia.

In August 1952, Skipper Alf Walker and his crew on the Rose of England, were nearing the end of their trip, when a nasty North-Easterly gale blew, creating a huge swell that lasted for several days. They called it a day and returned to Grimsby and landed their catch. When this was done some of the crew went home and the others began to secure the ship, when the Skipper heard his friend Stanley “ Snowy” Wing on the Magnolia (also Harry Franklin’s), say on the radio that he required assistance as they were taking in water, 45 miles N.E of the Spurn Light Vessel. This was passed on to the owner’s office and they told the Rose of England to take a pump out to them and help in every way they could. So they steamed towards the troubled Magnolia, tired and hungry, and with only half her crew on board. When they found her, she was wallowing sluggishly in the heavy swell and down by the stern with her bows high out of the water. The pump was transferred when they where close enough together…..a dangerous maneuver in that weather, and this was soon set to work. Then it was decided to pass warps across and attempt to tow the Magnolia to the Humber and home. When the two ships turned away from the swell to run before it, huge seas swept over her stern, washing the pump over the side. As the towing progressed, the Magnolia’s stern settled deeper in the water so the Skippers agreed over the radio to make plans to transfer all the men over to the Rose of England. Then someone shouted “She’s going over, she’s turning over”. In seconds she was gone, just men swimming for their lives, clinging onto anything that was floating. The crew of the towing vessel had to chop the wires with an axe to prevent them from being dragged down with her. Three men lost their lives on the Magnolia, Skipper Stanley Wing, Chief engineer Albert Forster and deckhand Roland Willis. The survivors were picked up in difficult circumstances and taken back to Grimsby.
Only five crew took the Rose of England out to save their fellow fishermen and they fought for forty hours, without sleep, food or drink. Brave men indeed!
She continued fishing the North Sea until 1961, when she went to Belgium for scrap in November that year.

Official builders number 127954. 222 gross tons, 85 net tons, 120.2’ loa. 22’ beam. 11.3’ draught.
Steve

Albert Forster was my wife's grandfather.

mattarosa
18th July 2008, 08:51
Steve has given you far more detail about the Magnolia than I can, but thought I would post the very small article from the Times newspaper about it.

The Times, Thursday, Aug 21, 1952
Lloyds stated last night that a report received from the trawler Rose of England said that the trawler Magnolia sank in seven seconds yesterday evening 12 miles north of the Humber. Eight survivors were picked up, one man was killed, and two men were missing. According to a member of the firm owning the Magnolia, H Franklin Limited, the vessel blew up.

Hilary

mattarosa
18th July 2008, 09:03
Also
Manchester Guardian 21 August 1952

TRAWLER BLOWS UP DURING TOW
SANK IN SEVEN SECONDS
In the North Sea last evening the Grimsby trawler Magnolia (260 tons) blew up while being towed and sank in seven seconds. Her sister-ship, Rose of England, which had towed her for thirty miles, radioed that she had picked up eight survivors and one body but that two other men are missing. The casualties are believed to include the skipper and the engineer.
The first news of the casualty came earlier in the day when the Magnolia radioed that she had sprung a leak 65 miles from Spurn Head and water was entering through the bunkers. Preparations to launch the Spurn Head lifeboat to go to her help were made but these were cancelled when the Rose of England (222 tons), owned by the same firm, H Franklin Ltd, of Grimsby radioed that she was in the area and was trying to tow the Magnolia. Further messages from the Magnolia said that her fires were out and she was not making any speed.
After towing for several hours the Rose of England radioed that the Magnolia had blown up and sunk in seven seconds. Other vessels in the area were asked to keep a look-out for the missing men.
A representative of the owners said last night that the cause of the explosion was a mystery as the Magnolia had been without fires in her boilers for twelve hours.

Hilary

SWing
31st January 2009, 17:51
Hi Dean my Grandfather was the Skipper of the Magnolia when it sank, I have a copy of the Evening Telegraph dated 21/09/1952 Who was your Grandfather ?

My Grandfather was an unlucky soul, or lucky, depending on which way you look at it. He was on the Steam Trawler Howe GY177 (Hence the user name) when it was shipwrecked off Bear Island in 1931 – a great story, and one I’d like to create a website for… when I have some spare time! He was also, if I recall correctly, on the Magnolia when she sunk whilst being towed back into port; at least that is my recollection of the story.

I have no idea of the date or registration no. but was wondering if you knowledgeable folk out there could provide some information on the incident.

Regards,

Dean.

GY177
6th February 2009, 23:26
Hi Dean my Grandfather was the Skipper of the Magnolia when it sank, I have a copy of the Evening Telegraph dated 21/09/1952 Who was your Grandfather ?Hi SWing, I’ve only just seen your post, so sorry for the slow reply.

My Grandfather was Thomas Kent.

Dean.

Steve Farrow
7th February 2009, 22:25
Dean,

I know Norman Kent very well. How is he related to you?

Steve

GY177
9th February 2009, 09:34
Hi Steve,

Norman is my uncle. Just sent you a PM.

Dean.

SWing
9th August 2011, 22:34
Albert Forster was my wife's grandfather.

Hi the Skipper was Arthur Stanley Wing (Snowy) this was my GrandFather. His Son my Father was Stanley James Wing he was a Tug Skipper in Grimsby dock on the Sir John Marsden.