salvasens fairtrys

ron hansen
10th January 2006, 19:35
been trying for ages to get photos of these factory trawlers started on fairtry3 as engine room boy where i caught the bug anyone know where i can get photos of these ships and older aberdeen trawlers

10th January 2006, 22:14
been trying for ages to get photos of these factory trawlers started on fairtry3 as engine room boy where i caught the bug anyone know where i can get photos of these ships and older aberdeen trawlers

Try here

or read the book?

'The Fairtry Experiment' by Jack Campbell

Paperback 120 pages (June 1995)
Publisher: Black and White Publishing
ISBN: 187363157X

from Amazon or

ps Try Salvesen in Google

ron hansen
10th January 2006, 22:32
thanks very much for your help dave was sure i saw one of the fairtrys
in blyth being broken up in the late 60s but cant be sure was on an old collier
"ferry hill" just in and out no time to investigate but i will certainly follow up on your leads once again thanks

11th January 2006, 06:35
Fairtry I remember was laid up in Leith in 50's and I believe she was converted ex RN. First time I saw what was to be later known as a stern loader.

11th January 2006, 16:07
Fairtry I was laid up at the Shore in Leith for ages. Guess that was so the people in the office could walk and see the money they spent on an experiment. Don't know how long it was there but I remember it well as we used to go to Crawfords Tea house for a nutritinal lunch of Pie, beans and chips. Chartwork in the afternoon was interesting as we could recognise the "Fog" signals!!

13th January 2006, 09:50
I have an old black and white picture of fairtry 3 if that is any help! I would need to find it, (in the attic).

13th January 2006, 11:09

This narrative is an extract from a paper of maritime historical research compiled by Captain W. L. Hume, M.N.I., concerning the background of British Steam Trawlers circa 1890 until the innovation of stern trawling.

HMS Felicity [ see Gallery ] Fairfree LH271


Stern Trawling proved to be the effective way forward, offering a greater degree of safety and comfort to the crew, to re-trace the origins of this development we have to go back to a venture which evolved immediately after the end of the 1939 - 1945 war, several enthusiastic business entrepreneurs had in mind that this type of fishing could be commercially useful, although the early efforts were concentrated on a form of inshore fishing, as carried out in the Firth of Clyde, they acquired an old steam yacht, which had been laid up at a boatyard on the Holy Loch, lacking in any form of maintenance or upkeep this old boat was purchased at cost of £1200 in 1946, the steam yacht ORIANA - of 172 gross tonnage, built in 1896, owned by Allan Line, of Aros House, Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, a vessel incidently requisitioned by the Royal Navy as an Auxiliary Patrol vessel during the 1914/1918 war - Firth of Clyde based, and operated from Campeltown, Rothesay, Ormidale and Gourock.
Oriana was altered with no small difficulty due to shortage of materials and labour, the main requirement being to alter the original deep counter stern common to these craft, to incorporate a ramp or chute as employed on large whale factory ships, with alterations completed Oriana was the used in the various fishing grounds in and around the Firth of Clyde as an experimental stern trawler trials vessel, in varying depths, with the deep counter stern cut away to accommodate the experimental fishing gear, after many trial and error voyages carried out, with much guess work regarding the warp lengths used on a Granton Trawl, in areas from Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire Coast to the Mull of Kintyre, with greatly encouraging results and good catches of fish, local fishermen were very sceptical until they witnessed large volumes landed in relation to time spent fishing – fishery scientists also indicated it could not be accurately assessed as practically no commercial fishing had been pursued during the war years, but with the comparative ease of handling the fishing gear in relation to side trawling, these worthy pioneers were convinced it was worth a try, they decided to go for broke, as they say, using their combined limited capital and immediately looked around for a suitable vessel to purchase and convert. This was immediately at the end of hostilities, during which time the Royal Navy were disposing ships of all shapes and sizes, within the 'Craft for Disposal' lists the Clyde fishing enthusiasts found and decided on an ex Algerine Class mine-sweeper, relatively huge in comparison to the nominal little Oriana, the mine-sweeper which was lying alongside the quay at Portland Naval Base, still in full commission, during 1946, a representative body of the syndicate, Chairman, Accountant and Technical Director (ex RNVR Lt. Commander) travelled hot foot, with much wartime aftermath problems, from Glasgow to Portland to visually survey and inspect the vessel in question, HMS Felicity, these ships were of course being offered by the Admiralty 'as is, where lies', in other words, what you see is what you get, with no come back after signing acceptance, our worthy delegation did not waste too much time in deciding that even a ridiculous nominal offer would be more than recoverable if the ship were sold on for scrap, and submitted a firm offer in writing of £5000 for the vessel (less all armaments) otherwise complete, as she lay alongside , this was accepted on behalf of the Admiralty by return, on condition that the vessel was within a period of ten days, immediately the responsibility of the purchaser and removed within a very short time, they were officially allowed ten days and afforded many extras, fuel tanks topped up, full complement of ships stores with lots of help from the dockyard maties, plus a dockyard run crew of riggers and engineers to the Clyde, the ship duly sailed north under the command of the Technical Director, who had been instrumental in securing the transaction, without mishap or problem to a local shipyard, Messrs Fairfield, at their Govan premises, on the Clyde for conversion.
Background aspects to Fairfree.
HMS Felicity - ex HMCS Coppercliff 1944, built 1944 in Canada and transferred to the Royal Navy up completion in 1944, a 1241 ton Algerine class Mine Sweeper, these ships were 225-ft. in length with a beam of 35-ft and draft of 9-ft. fitted with two reciprocating steam engines of some 2000 h.p. This vessel cost the syndicate £5000 as seen and where lay (Portland Naval Dockyard) representing just over £3 per ton scrap value compared with the £150 plus, per ton for new construction, less armament - market scrap value at that time was £8 per ton for steel, any non-ferrous metal being almost £25 per ton: ex HMS Felicity sailed from Portland to the Firth of Clyde, arriving at Fairfield Shipyard in Glasgow for the purpose of conversion to a fishing trawler, incorporating a stern chute or ramp similar to that of a Whale Factory Vessel. Soon after arrival at the shipyard in Glasgow, one boiler, in practically new condition and being surplus to requirements, creating further working space below decks, was sold to an Edinburgh brewery for £3223, such materials being almost unobtainable at the time to civilian merchants, a venture which helped bringing the cost of the vessel down to less than £2000, the refrigerating machinery was sold back to the local Glasgow manufacturers for £1800 resulting in an overall cost of the Felicity at £-23, .
Completed in October 1947 the ship was now named FAIRFREE - and Registered at Glasgow, with the Fishing Number GW19, the name is understood to be loosely based on the fact she had been converted at the Fairfield yard and was obtained (nearly) free. After extensive preliminary fishing trials off the West Coast of Scotland, FAIRFREE was then immediately subject to detailed professional analysis, purchased and taken over by Christian Salveson of Leith, who operated a very large fleet of Whale Factory ships and Whale Catchers in addition to many large ocean-going and coastal cargo vessels, this Company, upon acquiring the Fairfree promptly changed the Port of Registry to Leith, with a new Fishing Number LH271, and with a local Skipper and crew operating from Granton and Leith, ultimately serving for over a year on a trial and error basis, testing deck gear, and factory machinery (which created a large number of problems), although in spite of the technical difficulties the fish catches were considered to be a good return on the capital outlay. With further consideration given to the operating costs the steam driven engines were removed, and sold on, propulsion having being converted to diesel power in August 1949,
First voyages thereafter were undertaken Faroe Islands, Iceland and to Grand Banks, a round trip of 5000 miles. Operated originally out of Granton, although eventually moved South with a Grimsby Skipper, to discharge her entire frozen cargo at Grimsby and Immingham, the venture was declared an unqualified commercial success, until laid up at the Shore, Leith Docks in September 1951, the experiment had yielded sufficient information to prompt her owners to build a new larger version of some 3500 tons, which was eventually increased to three of these units, respectively named Fairtry I, Fairtry II and Fairtry III.
So after initiating what became the fore-runner of real stern trawling the Fairfree was laid-up at Leith for nearly ten years, eventually being quietly towed away to the scrap yard at Inverkeithing, it was sold for £15500, in August 1957, not a bad return on an initial wartime built naval ship created to fight the enemy though ended up helping the civilian population with a reasonable means of affordable fish food.
What of the originator, Fairfree, of all this cheap [now very expensive] food,
After being laid up at the Shore quayside berth in her home Port of Leith for
Some ten years, the old Fairfree was quietly towed away to Inverkeithing to be broken up, long forgotten but never-the-less part of the long chain of

W. L. Hume…©……2006

Regards WLH.

ron hansen
13th January 2006, 11:54
spent years trying to find out what happend to the fairtrys got more info here
in a couple of days than i have got in the years ive been trying.
this is realy a great site and i cant thank you all enough for your help (Applause)

15th January 2006, 08:38
Cap'n Bill, I don't think we can cast any shadow of doubt on WLH's explanation above re Fairfree yet you and I, regular visitors to Crawford's Tea House of the August Moon, maintain she was Fairtry.
I do remember Crawford's female manager was a good looker, so that part of my RAM is functioning well.

15th January 2006, 17:49
Hi Malcolm
Maybe my brain is not as accurate as I thoght but I will contend to my dying day that the vessel was called Fairtry I.
Yes there were lots of great looking young ladies went there as lots of offices were round that area.
Was down there when I went on vacation in 1999 and although many of the famous landmark building were still there there usage had changed. Ah well my long term memory is still exellant but have lost my car keys again!!!

20th January 2006, 19:07
Fairtry III was indeed broken up at Blyth by Hughes Bolkows arrived at the yard 25.7.70.

21st January 2006, 11:22
Chr.Salvesen had four large stern trawlers in the 50/60/70s which were:-

FAIRFREE, ex Canadian Navy minesweeper COPPERCLIFFE, originally2 x MLW triple expansion, re-engined with 2 x Mirrlees diesel, total 2500 bhp. Broken up 1957 by Shipbreaking Industries, Charleston,Fife.

FAIRTRY/FAIRTRY I. Built 1959 by John Lewis, Aberdeen, with 4cyl Lewis Doxford, 2200bhp. Sold to Panama in1979 and renamed JOY 18. Broken up Split 1995. Vessel was originally named FAIRTRY and name changed to FAIRTRY I after the next vessel was built.

FAIRTRY II. Built 1959, W.Simons, Renfrew, Diesel Electric with 3 x Ruston engines, total 4020bhp.Sold 1971 to Vickers Oceanics, renamed VICKERS VOYAGER, thence BRITISH VOYAGER. Broken up Troon 1984.

FAIRTRY III. Built 1960, Simons Lobnitz, Renfrew, Diesel Electric with 3 x Ruston engines, total 4020bhp. Broken up 1970 at Blyth.

Salvesen later had some smaller trawlers in various places, SEMLA, SHIKA, PROMESA, CENTENNIAL 3, ENDEAVOUR, HANSEN, SHIKA III, SEALIFE NO1, SEALIFE II, SEALIFE III, SONDRA II, ELINOR VIKING. These were mainly owened by subsidiaries of Salvesen when it was involved in the seafood industry.

For photographs try to get the book "From 70 North to 70 South" by Graeme Somner, plus supplement Nine Years On

daniel glen
3rd May 2008, 02:30
Served my apptenticeship in Simons - Lobnitz building Fairtry 2.
Was a fully riveted ship & when it rained as it is wont to do in Renfrew the water ran through the open river holes.
The welders used to stand on wood when working in lower decks to avoid getting zapped.
Very noisy in engine room
Went on the ships trials on the measured mile

3rd May 2008, 09:32
Fairtry I was laid up at the Shore in Leith for ages. Guess that was so the people in the office could walk and see the money they spent on an experiment. Don't know how long it was there but I remember it well as we used to go to Crawfords Tea house for a nutritinal lunch of Pie, beans and chips. Chartwork in the afternoon was interesting as we could recognise the "Fog" signals!!

When the Fairfree lay at the Shore, it was said that the watchman augmented his wages by charging the Ladies from the adjacent "Jungle" ten shillings for the use of each cabin.

3rd May 2008, 22:24
Have a go at google "Salvesens Fairtry" you,ll find your photo,s and information there .....thewre are 3 pages of sites and as for the "Ferry Hill" I think nearly every AB in Aberdeen wanted that job anyway good hunting from another Salvesen man ......Backsplice (Thumb)

7th March 2009, 19:45
been trying for ages to get photos of these factory trawlers started on fairtry3 as engine room boy where i caught the bug anyone know where i can get photos of these ships and older aberdeen trawlers

See my painting of Fairtry built by John Lewis
Jim Pottinger

George Tait
29th March 2009, 12:22
To Ron Hansen, ref; "Fairtry" / old Aberdeen Trawlers,
check out; John Lewis built ships within the webpages of:
I think you will get a photo their of at least one of the "Fairtry's".
+ many of the old ships built in Abdn..
George Tait...

3rd April 2009, 16:31
See my painting of Fairty on S/N maritime Art section.