Arthur Alexander

Now being restored by member John Hodson.  This 33ft Nobby was designed by Stobie and built by Armours of Fleetwood in 1902.  She fished out of most of the ports in Morecambe and was used as a fireboat during the war at Liverpool Docks.

The Arthur Alexander was the subject of a Granada TV documentary as she had sunk in the mud on the River Wyre, Fleetwood, for three years before being successfully raised by association member Stan Hurley.  Stan then subsequently sold her to Michael Griffiths (honorary member). Mike then spent three years bringing her back to a good condition.

She was the winner of the 1988 Liverpool Nobby Race and has been sailed to Isle of Man, Scotland and Ireland.  It's anticipated that John Hodson will return her to the original name TERN, watch this space.

5 thoughts on “Arthur Alexander

  1. ‘Tern’ of which is currently named as ‘Arthur Alexander’ ( soon to revert back to Tern) was designed by William Stoba and was built by Gibson’s of Fleetwood in 1893, according to Nick Miller in his book on the Lancashire Nobby.

  2. Mike Coyle

    Hi. The original 'Tern' was owned by my Great Grandad, Henry 'Harry' Melling, working in partnership with Robert 'Skip' Harrison at St Annes, between 3 May 1906 and 5 April 1913. I have more info if you wish. This info courtesy of Ian Mayes of 'SmaShipData' 2001.

  3. John Hodson

    Thanks Mike, that is very interesting as it corroborates an account of an incident involving the Lytham & St.Annes Lifeboat recorded in arame book I have, which mentions the crew names as the same. In this incident, ‘Tern’ makes it back during a severe squall - to raise the alarm following the sinking of another Nobby which involved loss of life.

  4. John Hodson

    Here is an extract from 'On a Broad Reach' : TERN (PN64) sailed by Henry Melling and Robert Harrison, left their moorings to fish outside the banks. Although there was only a light breeze and they did not like the look of the weather, the necessity to get some earnings in before the really bad winter storms set in, clearly made up their minds. At about noon they were fishing two miles beyond (to the south) of the Nelson Buoy and according to Henry Melling " with not a breath stirring" The weather was soon to change. "About 10 minutes later the wind came like a gunshot and brought water with it like smoke before the wind, making the sea feather white. We were taking any amount of water, we had our nets out, but we could scarcely stand on the forecastle deck, let alone take the nets in." Henry Melling and Robert Harrison spent over two hours struggling to recover their nets and feared that they would have to cut them loose, but eventually they got them safely onboard. Throughout, they had been hit by heavy seas and as they got nearer the banks and into the breakers, the waves were frequently washing over the TERN. Once the nets were on board, Robert Harrison ran up the foresail and Henry Telling turned the TERN to run before the gale force westerly wind, not daring to hoist the mainsail. The foresail was blown away before they had gone very far, but by now they were in the 'North' Channel, running through the southern end of the Foulnaze to the Penfold Channel and were driven on into the comparative safety of the smoother water. In the Penfold Channel were several steam flats and other vessels and as they started to pump out TERN, they were hailed by a Preston Corporation tug, who asked them if any of the other boats were out; they replied that they thought the others, including the two St.Anne's boats, had run for home.

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