Remembering lost crew of tragic Goth

Ex-trawlermen among those attending a special service at the Goth Funnel Memorial in Fleetwood.
Ex-trawlermen among those attending a special service at the Goth Funnel Memorial in Fleetwood.
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Trawlermen from Fleetwood who paid for the catch with their lives were remembered at a poignant service in the port.

It was held at the site of the Lost Trawlermen’s memorial alongside the Asda Supermarket at the junction of Dock Street and Siding Road.

Crewmen on board the ill-fated Fleetwood trawler Goth pictured in 1947, the year before the ship was lost.

Crewmen on board the ill-fated Fleetwood trawler Goth pictured in 1947, the year before the ship was lost.

The idea came from retired fisherman Tommy Patterson whose brother, Alfred, was second engineer of the trawler Goth.

He was one of 21 men who lost their lives when the ship disappeared ion a storm off north west Iceland in 1948.

The ship’s funnel forms the memorial.

But the service also remembered hundreds of other fishermen who were lost at sea in Britain’s most dangerous workplace.

I thought Tommy’s idea was a very good one and I hope that this service will become an annual event

Among those recalled were the 19­-strong crew of the Red Falcon which also vanished in appalling weather near Skerryvore Lighthouse off western Scotland in 1959.

Both tragedies happened in December and seemed all the more severe because they occurred at Christmas.

The service, held in pouring rain, was conducted by the Reverend George Ayoma, Minister of Fleetwood Baptist Church and the port’s representative of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.

He said: “ I thought Tommy’s idea was a very good one and I hope that this service will become an annual event.”

The funnel of the trawler Goth was recovered nearly 50 years later when it became tangled in the nets of an Icelandic trawler.

It was returned to Fleetwood and preserved as a memorial not just to the Goth’s crew but to all the port’s fishermen who were lost at sea.

It is sited in an area once at the heart of the dockland world.

Relatives of Goth crewmen were at the service including Mr Bill Edwards, chairman of the Goth Funnel Preservation Group.

Officials of Fleetwood Museum also took part recalling the events they organised in 2009 to mark the 50th anniversary of the loss of the Red Falcon.

As part of the service, the names of the Goth crew were read out by David Pearce, Secretary of the Goth Funnel Preservation Group.

The names of the Red Falcon crew were read out by Dick Gillingham, chairman of the Friends of Fleetwood Museum and vice­chairman of Fleetwood Museum Trust.

Dick said: “The loss of these vessels still matters to people in Fleetwood. The sheer numbers attending the 50th anniversary commemorations of the Red Falcon, back in 2009, showed that.”