Trawler Operation

13th March 2008, 08:29
Any of our members have the trawler experience?
Apart from 5-ton the only other morse operation at GND/Stonehaven was 2 m/cs from trawlers, generally around 2130 in the evening.
A very busy sched which could last through midnight with a high percentage we called regular customers who didn't bother with GKR/Wick..
From coded catch messages to bookies lines it was a welcome change from doing fishfone all day. Interesting site on Miranda which came about presumably with mysterious trawler disappearances such as "Gaul".

13th March 2008, 13:04

that has brought back a few memories. Interesting site I will have to have another look when time allows. Sat on that dedicated sked with GULL/Miranda many times. Not a vessel I would have liked to have been on. I am a fair weather man.

Neville - Hawkey01

13th March 2008, 13:07
"Miranda" was put into operation as a "mother ship" following the loss of Ross Cleveland, Kingston Peridot and St Romanus in January 1968. 40th anniversary commemoration services were held recently in Hull.

John T.

18th March 2008, 10:34
Yes, I remember well the losses 1968. That was my final year at Grimsby College and the year I did my three trips on Ross Kipling, Juno and Khartoum before joining Brocklebanks. Can't recall the name of the skipper on Juno but he was a mountain of a man and fished in the foulest of weather when everyone else had bolted for the Faroes or elsewhere. And woe betide anyone who started dinner before the old man got the first bite! Geez - how I wish I was there now.....

19th March 2008, 08:38
Alan, thanks for above. Was your trawler trips as an operator? I visited a deep sea Aberdeen trawler once and the radio room was better kitted out than some merchantmen I've sailed on. How about some details?

19th March 2008, 16:35
Yes, I was more of a relief operator for those 3 trips. I was coming towards then of my time doing PMG 1st/BOT Radar at Grimsby and picked up some part time work as sidekick to Barney Warman at Ross House. Each morning I'd get a string of calls from the ships that had just docked and any problems they were experiencing from a radio/radar standpoint. I'd collect them all up, jump in the trusty Morris 1000 van and work my way along the North Wall fixing problems and generally testing gear before they went to sea again.

As far as I can recall, Kipling, Juno and Khartoum were standard Marconi 100W stations (Oceanspan/Atlanta etc) but Juno was really only a middle water ship so was a bit lighter on with gear. I was only on there because she was sent on a distant water trip so required an operator. I can recall with considerable frightening clarity being on the bridge in the middle of the night in the foulest of weather. We were still fishing whilst everyone else had run for cover. In the light of the deck lights I could see the seas breaking well above my level on the bridge. I was in relative comfort compared with the guys hauling and shooting down on the deck.

What a bunch of guys that used to crew these ships. I remember one deckie was renowned in Grimsby for turning up for sign on in pin strip suite, bowler hat and rolled umbrella! It is such a shame that an entire industry and the people who made it have since disappeared. I visited the UK last year (from my home here in Oz) and took the opportunity to tramp around Grimsby for a day. It is a sad, sad sight - the North Wall is empty, the buildings are all dilapidated with crumbling masonry and broken windows and weeds growing up through the concrete. The slipways are abandoned and rusting away. It appeared as though everyone had just walked away and abandoned the place.

20th March 2008, 19:42
Very much agree with your comments about the loss of old stamping grounds. I recently returned to Fleetwood and decided to visit the fish docks. Only problem was that they had gone. Outer dock is now a marina for small craft. What a loss.

21st March 2008, 12:34
Perhaps we were just a bit too greedy. I read some while back a very interesting article in Ships Monthly by an ex trawler operator I think out of Fleetwood at the end of WW2. The thing that stuck in my mind about this article more than anything else was that cod caught at this time could be as long as six ft.
Lucky if we catch above 12ins today.

22nd March 2008, 23:50
Six feet easy and halibut the size of a small car. I can still picture the guys on the foredeck picking up these montrous fish with one hand, deftly gutting them with the other and then casually flinging them blindly over their shoulder to land neatly in the washer.

I used to lend a hand on the foredeck between watches/skeds but, being then a lad of slight stature, had to lay the poor unfortunate fish on its back on a hatch cover and then operate on it like some mad surgeon!