What is this site about?

This site will cover all aspects of Fleetwood’s Maritime History that are not covered by The Bosun’s Watch and Fleetwood Motor Trawler sites. These deal exclusively with the fishing industry.

Almost from the time that it was built, Fleetwood was noted for its fishing industry. But what is rarely publicised is the rest of its rich and varied maritime heritage

Quite apart from fishing, Fleetwood was at the forefront of trade with other nations and had a thriving boat-building industry with Armour’s and Gibson’s yards turning out many fine vessels. One of them, MAUNA LOA, is still operational today.

Steamers plied their trade to the Isle of Man and Belfast and many trading vessels docked from all over the world.

To keep these vessels operational and the port capable of servicing them, many ancillary industries sprang up around them. Shipwrights, painters, plumbers, tinsmiths, riggers, sailmakers, electricians, braiders and many, many more came and are now no more.

Who now remembers Teon Beltworks, Joe Littler’s blacksmiths, Gourocks, Coal Salt, Massey’s Seamens Outfitters, Fleetwood Trawlers Supplies, Fleetwood Box Pool, Lister auto trucks, the smoke house, the dock clog maker, Isaac Spencer’s for what they really were, or remember the trawlers offices, Marr, Boston, Wyre, Iago with the crews assembling for their “settling” complete with a bass of fish? How many are left that called into one of the dock cafes for a doorstep of toast dripping with real butter and a pot of sweet, strong tea?

Who remembers the dock gates and the dock gate cafe, the compass adjusters and much more?

While there is a (much deserved) monument to the fishermen on the seafront, not much is mentioned about the rest of our heritage. This site intends to address that.

It is right and proper that the town moves on and develops in the wake of the collapse of the fishing industry (and Fleetwood has seen many industries collapse in its short life) but it is not right that any aspect of it should be forgotten. All that is left now is the seafront monument and a “Heritage Trawler” that is gradually being squeezed out of its berth. There is a wealth of history out there from Bold Hesketh’s Rossall fleet to today’s ferries and this needs to be recorded.

Any personal recollections and/or photographs are very welcome.

  1. Mike McGill says:

    I am interested in finding the location of the records of the United Alkali Company and the Nobel Explosives Company. A great grand uncle of mine, one Albert Edward Hetherington, was married in Fleetwood in August 1899. His occupation is shown as technical chemist. In April 1901, on the birth certificate of his firstborn, he is again shown as a technical chemist in a chemical works.

    He subsequently worked at a factory in Penrhyndeudraeth in Wales. I have found this to be a part of the Nobel Explosives company, and note that this company, together with the United Alkali Co., were merged with two other companies to form ICI. I would therefore also like to locate the records of the Nobel Co.

    Anything of relevance would be most gratefully . I can be contacted at mikemc3gill@aol.com.

  2. admin says:


    I can only think to contact ICI or the Public Records Office at Preston.


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