Working as an engineer by Fred Innes

Fred’s first job was as a milk boy in Portgordon. Once he was a little older he was employed at Jones, the engineering firm in Buckie. He went into the Merchant Navy working on Shell tankers and Anglo Saxon Petroleum. Joining the Merchant Navy meant that Fred did not have to do National Service. The drawback was that while he was sent out on a ship bound for Singapore, not returning for two whole years his friends were able to combine their two years of National Service with regular trips home on leave.

The Trawler Faithlie
The Faithlee was built with a grant from the White Fish Authority and run by Richard Irwin in Aberdeen. Normally its catch consisted of haddock, cod, halibut and turbot. It was a weekly boat going out Monday and returning Wednesday. Then it went out again on Wednesday and back on Friday or Saturday. Sunday was a day off.

During the 1960s while Fred was Chief Engineer on this boat it caught a more unusual catch in the form of an elephant carcass. Even though it was caught in the nets Fred could clearly see the tusks and trunk of the creature which the crew presumed had been floating on the ocean for some time. Although the carcass was thrown back over the side the smell of the rotting carcass made the boat smell for months.

The tale is also recounted by Doug Andrews, a fireman on the same boat and Stewart Cree, who lived in Aberdeen during this time and remembers reading about it in the local paper.

Memory contributed by Fred Innes from Portgordon

Additional Information

Link to an image of the Faithlee Trawler


TrawlerVisual Dictionary – Copyright © 2005-2011 – All rights reserved.


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