Fishing with the "Linda Louise" off the east coast of Scotland one calm summer's day in 1982, getting towards the end of a 4/5 day fishing trip, we snagged our trawl on what we thought was a wreck. This fastener was situated on the north-east edge of the largest of the Devil's Holes and was listed on our decca charts as "The Lugger".
Although the position was slightly out and resting on the top edge of the chasm in about 34 fathoms of water we were sure we had snared the wreck with our gear.
Devil's Hole is actually a group of deep trenches in the North Sea about 120 to 130 miles due east of Dundee on the east coast of Scotland.
The seabed in the North Sea is around 30 fathoms in this area but the troughs or holes in the sea bed can be as much as 120 fathoms from the surface. They run in a north to south direction and are up to 1 mile wide and 15 miles long.
Fishermen have long been aware about the Devil's Hole and would lose their nets on a regular basis due to the steepness of their sides.
The day in question we managed to free our fishing gear from the wreckage and when we hauled the trawl to the surface our bobbin rig was wrapped up in, what we thought was, some old twisted piece of wood or metal. We eventually managed to clear the nets for the object but the whole bobbin rig and the chain sweeps were totally secure around what we now saw was a large anchor.
Unable to do anything with it and due to set of to Scarborough we decided to take it home with us. Usually fishing skippers would dispose of the anchor somewhere where fishermen did not trawl and would not pose a threat to other fishermen trawling.
Docked at the North Jetty (Cargo Boat Pier) we made use of one of the tall cranes, used for landing the cargo boats which called into Scarborough often in those days, to lift it and it was put into the void between the pier and the road. This area was nicknamed "no man's land". This space now has the new Italian Restuarant on it now but in them days was full of nets, bobbins, fish washers, trawl doors and other items.
It was donated to local businesses men, Don Robinson and Nicky Robinson, who had the Zoo and Marineland situated at the top Northstead Manor Gardens. I was used as a feature in the middle of the Sea Lion Enclosure.
I have seen it since then. It is now situated outside Raincliffe School. I could not mistake it. The chain is still intact, one of the shanks is slightly bent and the lead on the ends of the shank is still as found. Apparently they found the anchor in a tip further on Lady Ediths Drive but how it managed to get there I am not sure. It would have taken a few people to man-handle it
This anchor is not to be confused with the one on the seafront outside what was Scarborough Marine Engineers near the Golden Ball Public House. Although if you were to look at them both in the different locations you would think them very similar. If you were to have them together you would see most aspects of them are different.
I have always wondered about the anchor. I do not think we took the anchor off the wreck but a little way from it. Maybe it was being used by a ship at the time of its demise. lt would be certainly something that a ship would use in times of very bad weather to keep the ship to wind when all boats were powered by sail. There must be a tale to it somewhere.
John Swift, Skipper of the "Linda Louise" H343 Johns Website - Click Here