FOR this ultimate TRM of 2017, we're kicking off with one from our Trawler Corner memories corner.

The ship being highlighted, is the Gordon Richards, which I know has been included before, via Ken Goldspink, our Milford/Canadian follower, but, as I recently received this request from Yvonne Evans, it certainly warrants another mention.

"Dear Jeff, please see the piece below, which Margaret Brace and myself would be pleased if you can include in your column. This would enable the message to be passed on to others who may not have realised their connection to this tragedy.

“On the 14th January 1938, the trawler, the Gordon Richards, was lost at sea, during extreme weather, off Fastnet near Ireland. The boat was not recovered, and all crew were lost. One of the crew was the Chief Engr. James A. Lewis. In 1990, his son Derrick arranged for a memorial window to be installed in the Church of St. Peter the Fisherman, Marloes.

“The window, designed by John Petts, was of ‘Jesus calming the storm’.

“Margaret is a granddaughter of Mr Lewis, and in the January issue of Pembrokeshire Life, she has written an article about the loss of the trawler, to be followed in February by an article about the Lewis family in the 2nd World War.

“On Sunday, 14th January 2018, on the 80th anniversary of the loss of the Gordon Richards, the Rev Andrew Johnson will dedicate part of the 9.30am morning service to remember the loss of the trawler, and all those who died alongside Ch. Eng. James Lewis.

“The officers and the crew were…SKIPPER…W H Johnston, aged 44, Pill Lane, married with four children; MATE…Herbert Davies, 36, of Shakespeare Avenue, married, one child; BOSUN../Francis Allen, 56, Thomas Street, Grangetown, Cardiff, married; 3RD HAND…Oscar Johnston, 20, son of the Skipper, and living at Priory Rd with his aunt; DECKHAND./.L.A. Terporter, 19, single, St. Peter's Rd; COOK../A.D. Goldspink, 21, single, 48, Robert St.; CH. ENGR. James A Lewis, 46, married, four children, Hakinville.

“2ND. ENGR..Charles R. Orchard, 28, married, two children, Prospect Place, H/west.

“FIREMEN…W.H. Jenkins , 41, married, two children, Brickhouses, Pill; E. R. Stephens, 23, single, Crundale Rd, Rudbaxton.

“All those who have a family connection with those named above are welcome to attend the service, as well as other members of the fishing community in the wider Milford Haven area who would like to join in this act of remembrance.

“As far as is known, there is no other memorial to the Gordon Richards.

“Anyone who has further information about the Gordon Richards, or the planned service of remembrance, is welcome to contact either Margaret or myself via Jeff. No known picture of the boat has been traced to date. It is believed that the boat may have been called GUDRUN, previously, and may then have been owned by another company sailing out of Milford."

Thanks to both, Yvonne, and Margaret, if I get any feedback I'll be pleased to pass it on. They were correct about the previous name, the Milford Fishing vessels Internet site confirms that in 1907, with German owners, she was the Gudron, then, in 1928, under new owners Hakin Trawling Co. Ltd, she changed to Gordon Richards. The site also includes a local paper's description of the tragedy.

Right, as Monty Python used to say, "and now for something completely different”.

I'm finishing off the 2017 run of TRM's with some of the stuff that Ken Clay kindly gave to me... back in the summer! Sorry it's taken so long to include it, Ken, but better late than never.

We're going back to the late 1940s and 1950s, when Milford's two main cinema attractions were the Astoria and the Empire. But it wasn't only nightly movies and Saturday morning matinees that were on offer, there were also many stage shows and cabaret acts that played to packed audiences in each of those auditoriums.

These attracted many Music Hall artistes, and radio performers, to journey down to the town to take part, and some of them stayed in local ‘digs’ of which was Ken's mum's house, in Pill.

Some ‘acts’ played the town on a regular basis, and were so pleased with the homeliness of the digs, formed a lasting friendship with their hosts.

One such act was ‘Sheriff Johnny Denis, his ranchers and his cactus Kids’, who sent this photo and Xmas card in 1951, with a note…"Love to Eileen and Joe and the kids. Hope to see you soon”.

There was also a letter from Sandy Lane…(two distinct acts…Skirts or Trousers) from Bury, Lancashire, who wrote…”Dear Mr & Mrs Clay....How are you all keeping?

“I hope your strike is over and the lads are back at work. My boy is in hospital but is better, and will be out Sat. He has been having his adenoids out in a private hospital.

“Drop me a line next week to…Hippodrome Theatre, Hulme, Manchester.

“ to you all…Sandy."

The accommodation offered by the 'Clays of Pill' was highly regarded, and their names were passed on to other performers heading to Milford, as this, from Mark Chesnay of Brighton, confirmed…"Dear Madam…You have been recommended to me. Would you please let me know if you have combined room or a bedroom and sitting room vacant for week of the 20th, just for myself.

“I would just need the usual cooking and attendance."

Cheers Ken, and I'd love to hear from any others who have recollections of those shows and artistes, when the Empire and Astoria played a huge part in the town's early post-war entertainment.

The final photograph from Ken is of a 'gang of wannabes', and includes a couple of Clays, one being Mike…who, Ken reminded me, never forgave me when I replaced him in the Mike Walters Skiffle group in the mid-1950s! It's a tough old game, is showbiz!

Now for last week's photo teaser…the well-known Milford/Pembrokeshire man was none other than Radio Pembrokeshire's roving reporter...Jimmy Hughes, and seeing through his disguise were Royston Holman, Margaret Lloyd, Brian Phillips and John and Pam Glover, Peggie Warren, Anne and Jets Llewellyn.

No poser this week as I'm taking a bit of a break.

So, all that's left is for me to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year…and thank you for all the kind comments and continued interest in these flashbacks…if you're still enjoying them../then so am I. See you next year.