Written by George Westwood - Scarborough boats from the turn of the century
Picture above : A typical mounts bay lugger unloads its catch of herring onto a cart at low water at Scarborough.One such boat is recorded to have made the passage from Scarborough to Newlyn in 49 hours such was their capability as seagoing vessels. This particular boat Uncle Tom was bought from Brixham owners and re registered SH 51 and skippered for many years by Ben Grimmer of Scarborough. During the herring season boats would come to the fishing from all parts of Britain probably the furthest to travel were the Manx men of Douglas and Ramsey IOM. who like many others would follow the migrating herring around the coast from the Shetland Isles in the spring to East Anglia in the Autumn.
Picture above : The Yarmouth drifter Ocean Pioneer of the Bloomfield fleet is left high and dry at the end of the West Pier but has probably not missed the tide the photo implies. It was not uncommon for boats to unload their catch from almost any position outside the harbour if it were full which was often the case at the height of the season it was not uncommon for boats to ferry their catch to the harbour if they were unable to gain direct access.This beautiful wooden built ship is indicative of her type built just before the first world war when herring fishing by steam drifters peaked, and her name just as all Boomfield ships carried the prefix "Ocean".
Pictures above : On the night of 25th Sept 1916 the German submarine U57 under command of kaptain Ritter von Georg sank amongst others 11 Scarborough steam trawlers in an area in an area approximately 25m NE of Scarborough. Quite recently Andrew Jackson and his team of local divers located six of the sunken ships that are in remarkably good condition. One trawler has been positively identified as SH70 Otter and the bell has been located to confirm the find. There is great importance in this historic find as Otter is credited in the winter of 1892/3 as being the first ship ever to engage or use the what was to become known as the Otter trawl under the command of Scarborough skipper Thomas Normandale. Otter was owned by George Alderson Smith the wealthy local businessman who lived at Wheatcroft Towers on Filey Rd and it is said that the square tower of the building was used for him to observe his numerous fleet of ships entering and leaving harbour. The trawler was built by Eltringham at South Shields in 1888 but under went many alterations and refits to accommodate the innovations in trawling techniques. The changes included twin drum winch as a replacement for the original winch that was designed with single drum primarily use for beam trawling. Gallows were also fitted to replace the dandy score for the aft board(door) and handy billy to raise the fore door.
Picture above : The Marguerite. Originally built for Armitage Steam Trawling Co Hull by Cook Welton and Gemmell at Hull in 1895 fitted with a 280 hp triple expansion engine built by CD Holmes of Hull. Built of iron she was 103ft in length and 20.8 in breadth giving her 151 gross tonnage displacement. Her official number was 105051 and was originally registered H288. On 15/10/1913 she was sold to W.A. Leith of Aberdeen and registered A594. She was sold again this time to Richard Wardell Crawford of Scarborough 16/3/1916 and registered SH214 and was sunk along with ten other Scarborough trawlers on the night of 25th September of that year just six months after arriving at the port. The U-Boat U57 was under the command of Kaptain Ritter von Georg.
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