THAT REMINDS ME: The Jeff Dunn column

1:40pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013

Time for more of our magical memories and tantalising teasers, but, before we get down to the nitty gritty, let me just say that I’m beginning to get a complex.

Am I some sort of ogre?

I’m always grateful to hear from readers, but it seems that I’m getting more and more from those who, for some reason, want to remain anonymous.

Like Veronica X, The Old Man, and, this week , a Mysterious lady from Angle, who rang to tell me that she too had vivid recollections of the Northern Lights being seen in Pembs (as mentioned in a few recent TRMs).

She descibed it as a wonderful spectacle, which lit up the Angle skies with some extraordinary hues of red and green.

Thanks Mysterious lady and thanks for your kind comments but you’re not helping my complex!

Someone who regularly gives his name (although I have been known to miss it out) is Denis Payne who, a few weeks ago, in response to the mention of the early digging days of the Esso refinery, kindly sent me a few appropriate snaps, none more so than the one used this week.

Jim Hughes picked up another TRM thread: “Hi Jeff, you mentioned the crickets in your page this week, but can anyone remember the arrival of the sprats in the haven?

“There were so many they were shovelling them up in the Dry Dock when it was drained, and all you had to do if you wanted a feed was drop a bucket with a hole in off the dock wall, and you had more than enough.

“I think most of Milford lived on sprats while they were here, and I don’t think it’s happened since.”

And Malcolm Cullen added a bit more to our Captain James’ hill portfolio.

“Hi Jeff, re Clare Arnold’s comments, Capt W.J. James was indeed from farming stock, and his brothers farmed in the parish of Marloes, also at Castle Pill. Descendants of the family still live in Pembs.

“At one time the Childs family lived at St Lawrence House, and Mrs Childs’ brother, Mr Edgie Bevan, also lived there. I’m sure many TRM readers will recall Mr Bevan as a school teacher at Milford Central School.”

Once again I’m grateful to all who got in touch.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that our next trawling memory would be looking back at the Milford Duke, and I was delighted to hear from Mr J. Ward, who himself spent five years going to sea, now living in Broad Haven, and who rang to say that his father was the Managing Director of Milford Steam Trawlers, the company that owned the trawler.

Built in 1949 by Cochranes of Selby, this steel sided vessel was 145’ long, weighed 362 tonnes, and was first registered in Milford in the September of that year.

Skippers were, from 1949 to 1952, Albert Saunders, and from 1952 to 1955, Grenville Beckett.

It was a time for experimental fishing in the Far South , a round voyage which involved a run of 5,000 miles, the equivalent to a Trans-Atlantic trip and because fishing continued around the clock, each trawler carried an extra three hands.

Other of the company’s boats involved in trawling those more tranquil conditions, where stowing had to be carried out smartly in the tropical heat, were: the Milford Duchess and Milford Marquis (Skippers Jobson and Rich).

Here are a few relevant news cuttings from WWGuardians.

Jan 1950: “The Milford Duke, Skipper Albert Saunders, established a new all-time record for a local trawler, grossing £6,110 for a 23 day trip. 847 kits.”

Jan 1952: “After two years as ‘runners-up’, Skipper Albert Saunders and the Milford Duke are once again in top place in the Milford fishing ‘league’.

“ In 1951 , Skipper Saunders caught a greater value of fish than any other individual trawler captain in the port. Second in the league on last year’s results is Skipper W. Burgoyne, closely followed by Skipper Steve Pembroke.”

Feb 1954: “The Milford diesel trawler, Milford Duke, skipper Grenville Beckett, sailed on Monday morning’s tide on a 2000 mile voyage to the far northern grounds of Flugga, off the Norwegian coast.

“She is sailing with her sister ship, Milford Duchess, skipper Jimmy Jobson. They are the biggest ships of the Milford Steam Trawling Co. and are in search of hake. In Jan 1952, there was a sudden glut of the elusive fish on the Flugga grounds, the Duchess was then the first Milford trawler to reach Flugga and return with a good catch.”

Feb 1955: “The only large modern diesel trawler left at Milford, the Milford Duke, will leave the port within the next fortnight for new French owners in Dieppe.”

And here’s a photo of the boat, once again kindly provided by John Stevenson.

Now it’s time for our brainbox beauties. I managed to fox a few of you last week, the answer being that the man was born B.C (before Christ).

Those who spotted it were -Malcolm Cullen, Sheila Rimmer, Denis Payne, the Tish Llewellyns, Linda Frampton, Roy Holman, Les Haynes, Enid de Wolf and Steve Demattia (happy birthday for today Steve).

Before this week’s poser, I’ve been asked to recap on another of our recent questions - how many times do the hands of a clock overlap in 24 hours?

The answer is 22 . The minute hand will go round the dial 24 times, but the hour hand will also complete two circuits, thus 24-2 =22.

Now for this week’s teaser, and it could be a stinker! Let’s see how many get this one - My grandson is about as many days as my son in weeks, and my grandson is as many months as I am in years.

My grandson, my son, and I together are 160 years.

What is my age in years?

Nearly time to flee, and I’ve got a hectic week . I’ll be going to see the St Katharines Stratford Players latest production, A Night on the Tiles, which sounds absolutely hilarious. Then on Saturday morning, from 11am to noon , I’m doing a book signing in the Milford News shop in Charles Street, which sounds absolutely terrifying!

Still, it’s all in a good cause. See you.

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