Poignant service for fishermen lost at sea

Ex-trawlermen were  among those who attended this year's special service at the Goth Funnel Memorial in Fleetwood.
Ex-trawlermen were among those who attended this year's special service at the Goth Funnel Memorial in Fleetwood.

Fleetwood fishermen who lost their lives in tragedies at sea were poignantly remembered at a special service in the town.

The service, conducted by the port’s representative of the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, took place close to the anniversary dates of two disasters which occurred just before Christmas.

Reverend George Ayoma led the service at the site of the Lost Trawlermen’s Memorial, at the junction of Dock Street and Station Road.

There were 21 men who lost their lives when Goth disappeared in a storm off north west Iceland around the date of December 13, 1948.In 1959, eleven year later and almost to the day, Red Falcon was steaming home from Iceland when she was overcome by mountainous seas and 19 men lost.

The service means a lot to ex-fisherman Bill Edwards, who was there to pay his respects. Bill, 80, of Hathaway Road, lost his father, John Edwards, on Goth, and his brother-in-law, Jack McDaid, on the Red Falcon. He was just 12 years old when his father perished in the tragedy.

Bill said: “These tragedies are embedded in the minds of a lot of Fleetwood people and it is very important that we have the chance to pay our respects like this. We went through a lot of struggle to get this memorial in place and at times like this it is vital.”

The Lost Trawlerman’s Memorial was created from the lost funnel of Goth itself. When the funnel was dredged up by accident in the nets of an Icelandic trawler in 1997, it was returned to Fleetwood after nearly 50 years.

The memorial was unveiled in 2006 by committee members and local historians David Pearce and Dick Gillingham, who were at last week’s service.

Dick said: “The service brings people together. It was nice to see them paying their respects.”