Live AIS VesselTracker

Track the Newlyn fishing fleet at sea.

powered by vesseltracker.com

Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Excellent news; the last wooden sidewinder trawler in Newlyn is no more.


The Excellent as she was back in 1992 when she was fully restored and sent to attend the 1992 Brest & Dournenez Working Boat Festival ...

photo courtesy of @Phil Lockley

with one or two notable characters on board...

photo courtesy of @Phil Lockley

under L-R, skipper Mervyn Mountjoy, WS&S chief shore engineer John Swann (who slipped from the top of the wheelhouse while they were filming!), Sapphire skipper Mike Corin, fish merchant Pete Tonkin, shipwright, Roger Treneer and last, but not least, the irrepressible Roger Nowell - who spent most of the Brest festival hiding aboard the Excellent away from the TV crew that were trying to film him for the second series of The Skipper, What Happened Next?..


she was one of the Stevenson's fleet of wooden sidewinders that included the Anthony PZ33



Jacqueline PZ192, Trewarveneth PZ196, Marie Claire, Elisabeth Anne Webster, and the Elisabeth Caroline... 


a few years later both the Trewarveneth...


and the Excellent were recommissioned as a hake netters, the Excellent under command of skipper 'Mad' Joe Andrews...


with the North Quay closed off to all-comers the harbour provided a water taxi for workers and fishermen to access the boats...




with the oil spillage boom in place as a precaution the crusher and crane set to work on destroying the what is left of the South West's oldest wooden sidewinder trawler...




at high water the vulture-like crusher, was able to pick away at the ribs of the hull...


as if to herald her impending destruction, she appears to make a final, last-gasp act of defiance and set off a smoke flare on board...



the remains of her rare, eight ton, enameled Lister Blackstone now clearly visible as the tide dropped...



by he time low water came to pass there was precious little left of a boat that was requisitioned by the Admiralty for the duration of the Second World War for clandestine operations in the North Sea...



by now, just a pile of shattered frames, planks and ballast remains along with the gearbox...



shaft and propeller...




with the grab able to burrow easily into the bowels of the hull...



and discharge the remnants into the waiting trailer...



watched over by the destruction team's H&S crew.



In her day, the Excellent was possibly the oldest wooden sidewinder still to be fishing.