The following story is based upon a real life account written by Forrest Frank based upon a story by Captain John Wilson. These appeared in the Scarborough Daily Post in 1920 as part of the 'Sea Dogs' stories by Forrest Frank.
Up to about 1870 there was quite a fleet of sailing vessels owned in Scarborough, and there were no fewer than three Mutual Insurance Clubs for the purpose of insuring Scarborough and other vessels. These clubs were managed by committees, and these committees were formed of the shipowners - Pantland Hick Sen, Thomas Hick, Michael Hick, Benjamin Fowler, Hawson Herbert, Hodgson Smith, George Brown, Porrit Webster, Pantland Hick Jun, W Fligg, R Mosey, and W.S. Lister. The committee meetings of each club were held once, a month, and a day or two prior to the date of each meeting, each member of the committee received a notice to attend at the offices of the club at 11.30am on the Friday and at the Talbot Hotel or the Castle Hotel at 4.30 in the afternoon. The meeting in the morning was for attending to the business of the club of the club and passing claims, and the meeting at 4.30 meant an invitation to a good Yorkshire high tea, which as there were no fees, was the only compensation they received for their services. After the meal a social evening was spent, smoking and talking over the events of the time and of past days. These clubs came to an end when the Scarborough wooden ships, having nearly all died out in the town - Porrit Webster, who owned three iron sailing vessels, and Pantland Hick Jun, who in addition to a couple of barques owned seven steamers. But even these were sold a few years later, and Scarborough ceased to own foreign going vessels.
Up to about 1850 or 1860 the old shipowners lived in Princess Street, St Marys Street, Longestgate, and Cook's Row, but then they began to move out to Westborough and Falsgrave. They all took a keen interest in the old harbour - many being on the Harbour Commission - and used to meet nearly every morning one by one on the piers, all joining up to walk home, and it was quite a usual sight to see as many as ten or twelve of them walking all in a line abreast along the sands and up to the Plantation, dropping off one by one at their respective homes.
Many of them lived to good old ages, their constitutions having been well set by their early sea life, succeeded by a regular, steady, and temperate life afterwards. Amongst them were Michael Hick, who lived to be 92; Hawson Herbert, 87; Pantland Hick Sen 84; Hodgson Smith, 84; and Thomas Hick, 77. Two Scarborough men, WH Tindall and TB Walker, were elected to fill the high function of chairman of Llyod's registry, London. Sir Edward Harland, the son of old Doctor Harland who was about 70 years ago was the principal family doctor in Scarborough, founded the worldwide shipbuilding firm of Harland and Wolff at Belfast.