Steam Drifter Cross Water - One For The Fishing Fraternity

19th December 2006, 20:58
In the 1950's a wooden steam drifter appeared in Harwich. She was, I think, registered in Lerwick and was named 'Cross Water'. She spent some considerable time laid alongside the Trinity House Pier in a derelict state before being moved a short distance up the River Stour, where she was deliberately beached on a mud flat alongside a couple of other wrecks and where, as far as I am aware, her remains are still visible to this day.
My question is, can anyone explain how a Lerwick registered steam drifter found its way to Harwich and why she should she have been deliberately disposed of in the way that she was?

19th December 2006, 22:18
my guess is that the boat was no longer economically viable to operate. Lots of steam drifters were scrapped in the 30s 40s and 50s, due to coal being dearer and the motor engine providing a far cheaper method of propulsion.
As for how the boat ended at Harwich, well, plenty of them followed the herring down to Lowestoft and Gt yarmouth, which can only be about 60 miles from you. Perhaps the boat made a loss at the fishing down there, not even covering the running expenses, and was just sod on locally. Who knows, just a guess...(Thumb)

19th December 2006, 22:22
incidentally, couldnt find a Cross Water in the almanacks for 1948 or 1954, are you sure that was the name? cheers, Graham

23rd January 2007, 15:36
The last steam drifter in Shetland was called Gossawater LK 173,never heard of one called Cross Water.

wully farquhar
23rd January 2007, 16:07
Was she one of the war time MFV'S Winner?

23rd January 2007, 17:45
The last steam drifter in Shetland was called Gossawater LK 173,never heard of one called Cross Water.

This could possibly be the one, Winner, she was definately very elderly and the name was actually carved on the wooden bows and had been filled in with gilt paint, which may well have flaked off in places.

11th October 2009, 19:34
Although I started this thread in 2006, I have added this footnote as, amazingly, a photograph has just appeared on EBay of the actual vessel berthed in a very run down condition alongside the Trinity Pier at Harwich. The name 'Gossa Water' and 'Lerwick' are clearly visible on the stern.
So the bones of the very last Lerwick steam drifter do indeed rest in the mud of the River Stour - a long, long way from home!
My thanks to those who provided me with the correct answer.