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A Brixham Trawler abandoned at the far eastern end of Hooe Lake.

Types

Brixham Trawler

History

This vessel is a Brixham trawler similar to the sloop class Brixham trawler Antelope hulked in the Laira and constructed by the same shipbuilder, Robert Jackman & Sons. Wendew was built in 1915 with official number 139411 and registered in Brixham at 24 tons and portmark BM119. By 1915 she was owned by Dan Friend and was sold to John T. Crocker of Brixham in 1928, who was also kinown as 'Mad Jack'.

In November 1926, Wendew picked up a floating torpedo when fishing off Berry Head in Devon, then towed it to Brixham. The torpedo was thought to have been lost during recent Naval manoevres in the area as practice torpedoes are designed to float on the surface when they have finished their run after being fired.

Wendew ceased fishing in 1938, she came to Plymouth in 1940 and her register closed in 1950. Her last owner, Eddie Blackler converted Wendew to a houseboat and lived on board before she was abandoned in Hooe Lake.

Description

Wendew was abandoned in Hooe Lake after spending time as a houseboat, beached alongside the much larger unknown vessel Hooe Lake 3 at the east end of the lake. Photographs taken by John Cotton in the 1980s suggest that she was lying hard over on her starboard side, as would be expected because of her sharp V shaped hull. When beached, Brixham trawlers were usually supported on strong timber legs attached to the outside of the vessel to keep them upright. By the time John Cotton photographed the remains of Wendew all that was left was a section of keel at the stern and her sternpost, with the lower starboard frames partly buried in the mud and some of the lower port frames sticking nearly vertically upwards. The bow of the vessel is missing, presumably salvaged.

Most of this trawler has been removed, some of it in 1992 using a mechanical digger in a half-hearted attempt by Plymouth City Council to tidy up Hooe Lake. Today all that remains are some of the lower starboard frames and a section of keel from the aft end of the vessel, and many lumps of concrete ballast that once fitted between her frames.

This vessel was mentioned in the book Lost Ships of the West Country by Langley & Small as one of three vessels side by side at the east end of the lake. Their map of Hooe Lake shows Wendew in the correct position as the most northern hulk of the three.

Location and Access

Hooe Lake, Oreston, Plymouth

From Oreston, take the Lower Saltram road off Plymstock Road then turn right into Kingfisher Way. Follow the road down to the lake and there is a car park at the end. The wreck partially covers at high tide springs so plan a visit to coincide with low water, the foreshore is accessible when the tide height is less than 2.5m above chart datum. The foreshore round the wreck is soft mud so appropriate footwear is needed.

Nearby hulks include the lighter Arthur SHIPS Link, the fishing boat Hooe Lake 1 SHIPS Link, unknown vessel Hooe Lake 3 SHIPS Link, unknown vessel Hooe Lake 4 SHIPS Link and the passenger ferry Cornubia SHIPS Link

Last updated 04 Apr 2021

Position OS: SX 50298 53010
Position GPS: 50.357917, -4.105889
Show the site on Google Maps SHIPS Link


Information

Date Built:

1912

Type:

Brixham trawler, Mule class

Builder:

Robert Jackman & Sons

Official Number:

139411

Length

62.2ft

Beam

15.7ft

Depth in Hold

7.7ft

Construction

Timber, carvel

Propulsion

Sail, ketch rig

Tonnage

35.16 GRT, 24.15 net

Portmarks

BM 119

Outcome

Abandoned 1960s?

Reference

Unknown

Margaret Jarvis

My grandfather used to go out at low tide in the 50’s and get wood for his fire, it burnt with a lovely blue flame. Our family home overlooked the lake.


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