Monday, 28 December 2015

A trip down memory lane aboard the Picton Sea Eagle - early 1990s Milford Haven trawler.

Milford fisheren - documentary about the lives of the crew of the Picton Sea Eagle, a fishing boat working out of Milford Haven in West Wales.

Milford was once a huge fishing centre - with a fleet of boats famed for catching Channel ray and skate (roker) and hake.

There was a direct rail link with Billingsgate in London - the fish market was also a platform with fish auctioned, sorted, boxed and then loaded straight into fish wagons bound for London.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Marin, Milford Haven.

The following pics courtesy if the website - he mentions diving for crayfish out of Milford in the 1970s so there are a number of Nelwyn fishermen who did the same and may well know this guy!

"In above pic. the Vessel stbd side to quay at Newlyn is I believe the trawler Trevessa which lies down on sandy bottom about a mile off & about that much west of Oxwich Point, I dived on it often when Trinity House vessel was searching for it, I was on the MV Young John, tied to the samson towrope fast to the Trevessa.
I would never admit it but there is a ship's wheel in my bar rumoured to have been recovered from Trevessa.  P.S.  It cd not come out of the wheelhouse window & had to be carried thru an empty engine room & up thru galley.  I could never really admit to this!"

In the late 1970s and early 1980s a small fleet of Newlyn longliners fished from Milford mainly for dogfish and skate - the Spes Firma owned and skippered by Kenny Downing being one.

At that time the fleet in Milford had been reduced to just a handful of near-water trawlers: Kinnelan, Norrard Star, Bryher, Andrew Wilson, WesterdaleRosevear and the legendary Picton Sea Eagle - who could forget skipper Frank (Cranky) Reynolds! - other boats in the fleet included the Girl Freda skippered by Bobby Cairns and the Vigilant skippered by Peter Sheriff.

There was also a Newlyn boat Quo Vadis registered in Milford and part owned by the uncle of Newlyn and England rugby player Luke Cowan-Dickie and Robbie Wilkins. She was one of a number of Newlyn boats that fished for crayfish - today they would have been known as 'hand-dived' crayfish!

During the late 1970s the port was used as a base for the big East coast freezer trawlers that fished for mackerel off Cornwall. One Newlyn skipper recalls some of the crew from these boats 'racing' the little Lister autotrucks used to pull boxes of fish across the market - and ending up in the dock!

The Galleon, found just outside the dock gates was one of those legendary fishing port pubs famous for its lock-ins was run by an ex-Welsh rugby player in the late 1970s.