nellie bywater

The history of the Nellie Bywater is well-documented, principally because her last owner wrote a book (see Source 2) describing not only his own experiences with her, but also giving a good account of her building and early history. This book includes plans and many photographs. Trevor Morgan added more detail in his article in Maritime Wales, and it is was he who gave me the photograph of the painting of the Nellie Bywater that is shown here.

The Nellie Bywater was sold to a group of people from Annalong, Co. Down, for £1825 in 1921. Her new master and managing owner was Capt. William McKibben. The vessel was requisitioned for war service in 1940, and soon after the war ended she was sold to Capt. Richard England. He kept her trading for several years, supplementing her income with some appearances in films. With cargoes for schooners hard to find in Britain, in 1951 he decided to take the schooner to the Caribbean. Delayed by postwar bureaucracy, he found himself having to set off to cross Biscay in December. After battling gales in the English Channel for six days, the Nellie Bywater foundered near Bolt Head on the 28th December 1951, whilst trying to make the safety of Plymouth. One of Capt. England's daughters and a crewman drowned, the other nine crew being rescued by H.M.T.Careful.

Name Year Built Gross Tons Length (feet) Breadth (feet) Depth (feet) Masts Figurehead Stern Lloyd's Classn.
Nellie Bywater 1873  115  89.7  22.0 10.2        12A1 

Sources :

  1. "The Cumberland Connection: Hugh Jones, Shipbuilder, Millom", by Trevor Morgan in Maritime Wales (1983) pp69-95
  2. "Schoonerman" by Capt. Richard England (1981), ISBN 0-370-30377-6